The new Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer raises the bar for premium design in the mid-size estate sector, combining the elegance of its hatch and saloon siblings with an even higher degree of practicality and versatility.
- Insignia style combined with even greater practicality
- 2.0 BiTurbo diesel (190PS) and 1.6 Turbo petrol (180PS) for 2009
- Low drag: aerodynamically the best estate Vauxhall has ever built
- Load space volume comparable with best in class
- Prices from £17,185 OTR
Two new engines for the entire Insignia range also make their world premiere at the Paris Motor Show (October 4 – 19). The innovative 2.0-litre BiTurbo diesel with cleantech combustion system has 190PS, and the down-sized 1.6-litre petrol turbo engine produces 180PS.
The Insignia Sports Tourer offers the same state-of-the-art technology as the Insignia, including Vauxhall’s Front Camera System, Intelligent AFL headlamps, Adaptive 4×4 all-wheel-drive and the FlexRide chassis. This is complemented by estate-specific equipment such as a power tailgate with programmable opening height, a self-levelling system and the FlexOrganizer cargo management system. The completely flat luggage compartment has a capacity of 540 to 1,510 litres. With a CD of just below 0.30, the Insignia Sports Tourer is the most aerodynamic estate Vauxhall has ever built.
Sporty design and spectacular aerodynamics for class
While designers carried forward the sporty, elegant design of the Insignia to the Sports Tourer, they were careful to endow the estate with a unique appearance. Mark Adams, Vice President of GM Europe Design, says, “This is a stand-alone model and not simply a wagon version of the sedan. In fact, all the bodywork aft of the B-pillar is unique to the Sports Tourer. We’ve also ensured that its design combines the sculptural artistry and technical precision found in the saloon and hatchback models.”
The result is a dynamic, sporty station wagon that elegantly conceals its high utility value. To achieve this, the designers re-interpreted a number of elements. They pulled the “wraparound” tailgate far into the flanks and accentuated it with large, distinctive, fully integrated tail lights. The chrome strip holding the prominent Vauxhall Griffin logo gives the car a note of added confidence.
The rear sweeps down into a rounded bumper, emphasising the aerodynamic framework that underpins the car’s design. The roof spoiler has the same effect, elongating the dynamic sloping roofline that is accentuated by roof rails and thus helping to ensure that the Insignia saloon’s sporty proportions are retained in the Sports Tourer. Also, the air is guided longer along the roof reducing the drag. Two vertical fins that bridge the roof spoiler and the rear lights have the same effect. The air flow is sharply cut off which also reduces rear end lift.
As with the Insignia saloon, GM Europe’s engineers fine-tuned the subtlest details to ensure excellent aerodynamic performance. These included rounding the front bumper corners and adding a flexible spoiler lip to its bottom end, giving the A-pillar a rounder shape, changing the exterior mirror to a wing form, and profiling the lower control arm in the rear suspension. Two underbody spoilers direct air over the rear axle to reduce drag and lift even more, while the three front air inlets have been optimised for efficiency. With a CD of just below 0.30, the Insignia Sports Tourer is the most aerodynamic estate Vauxhall has ever built. With a drag of 0.69 m², it is better than many smaller cars.
Interior: ample space and added practicality with FlexOrganizer system
The Sports Tourer’s dynamic look embraces an interior that offers ample space for five occupants and a highly competitive, 540 litre luggage compartment. The Sports Tourer has retained the saloon and hatch’s 2.74 metre wheelbase, and added around eight centimetres to its rear cargo length for an overall length of 4.91 metres. The load area length up to the front seats is 1.91 metres and when fully loaded, the sporty estate has a maximum capacity of 1,510 litres.
Standard on the Sports Tourer are an automatic levelling system and power tailgate-closing support, which pulls the tailgate into the lock near the end of its travel. Also available is a tailgate that can be electrically opened and closed and features a programmable opening height that helps prevent damage to the tailgate even in garages with low ceilings. Vauxhall’s familiar FlexOrganizer system separates and secures cargo loads via a flexible system of nets and foldaway dividers that can be fixed to two horizontal rails running along each side of the load area.
With the new Sports Tourer comes a new seat material that is an automotive industry first. It uses “TopTec” nano-technology to help textile upholstery resist staining and prevent liquids from penetrating it, therefore is up to 50 per cent easier to clean than conventional upholstery. TopTec material, available with the beige interior, is as breathable as conventional material and makes it easier for families with small children to choose interior trim with friendly, light-coloured upholstery.
Seven engines available in the UK from 2009
Two new engines make their premiere in the Insignia Sports Tourer, and join the five units already available for the saloon and hatch models. The 2.0-litre BiTurbo diesel with 190PS and the 1.6-litre petrol turbo with 180PS will then become available in the other Insignia models. Both engines are part of Vauxhall’s down-sizing strategy. This strategy aims to achieve improved performance, not through higher displacement, but rather to increase the efficiency of smaller engines with the help of state-of-the-art technology to such a point that they at least rival larger engines in terms of performance, torque and drivability while at the same time consuming considerably less fuel. In addition to these seven engines, an ecoFLEX variant with remarkably low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions will also be introduced during 2009.
Vauxhall’s ‘Affordable technology’ carried forward to Sports Tourer
Developed for front and all-wheel drive, the Sports Tourer’s chassis is designed to offer a high level of safety and comfort. It can even be enhanced with the innovative, integrated FlexRide chassis system which improves stability and provides real time, electronically controlled damping. FlexRide also gives the driver the choice between three driving modes. In addition to the standard adaptive mode, the driver can either opt for a comfort-oriented Tour mode or Sport setting. The Sport mode makes the Insignia Sports Tourer driving experience more active, as it changes the set-up of interlinked functions such as the steering, throttle control and even the ambient lighting of the dashboard. Furthermore, Insignia customers can order the new, sophisticated Adaptive 4×4 system that proactively distributes torque to ensure superb stability while providing optimal traction and enhancing handling performance on all road conditions.
Vauxhall’s Front Camera System, which reads and memorises traffic signs and warns drivers when they unintentionally veer out of their lane, also increases safety in the Insignia Sports Tourer. Other innovative features are the new-generation intelligent AFL headlamps that adjust to prevailing traffic conditions with nine different lighting functions and the orthopedic Ergonomic Sport Seats that are offered at a very competitive price.
Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer prices start from £17,185 on the road.