Press Release:

Saloon and hatch body styles with Sports Tourer to follow- Sporty silhouette with class-leading aerodynamics- Five engines from 130PS to 260PS; two new engines to follow with Sports Tourer- Technical innovation throughout the rangeThe UK’s mid-size sector has traditionally been the preserve of conservative and predictable designs. But now Vauxhall is launching the Insignia, which is set to break from convention by offering buyers in this class a compelling mix of breathtaking design and leading technology.‘In the same way that the Astra and Corsa have freshened up their respective sectors, the new Vauxhall Insignia has been designed to breathe fresh air into what is normally a very staid area of the market,’ says Andy Gilson, Vauxhall’s Marketing Director. ‘Our customers will be able to enjoy premium styling, advanced technology and exceptional dynamics, but at an affordable price.’Style & efficiency with wide choice of powertrainsThe Insignia’s elegant styling combines sculptured artistry with technical precision, illustrated by wing and blade themes which integrate with the car’s rakish, but graceful silhouette. The body’s sculpted shape is punctuated by sweeping front and rear light designs and fronted by a bold radiator grille, which displays the refreshed Griffin logo in a new, circular surround carrying Vauxhall’s name.Another benefit brought by the Insignia’s flowing lines is a spectacularly low Cd of just 0.27, bringing with it benefits in fuel consumption, cabin refinement and performance. All body variants have an identical wheelbase of 2737mm, while the Sport Tourer adds around 80mm to the 4830mm length of the saloon and hatch models.Insignia’s saloon and hatch models will hit UK dealerships at the end of 2008 with a broad range of two diesel and three petrol engines. The Sports Tourer – due in 2009 – will bring with it two further powertrains, a 1.6-litre, 180PS petrol and a new 2.0 CDTi BiTurbo with a maximum output of 190PS. An ecoFLEX version with lower C02 emissions, but with no performance compromise, will join the line-up later next year. All powertrains will come with either a six-speed manual or six-speed auto transmission.New technology benefits dynamics and safetyA range of new or improved features on the Insignia enhance everything from dynamics to comfort and safety. The FlexRide system, available on selected models, allows drivers to personalise their suspension set up at the press of a button, or if left alone will automatically adapt to different driving styles. Complementing FlexRide is Adaptive 4X4, which improves handling and stability in all conditions. Standard with both turbocharged petrol powertrains, the system uses electronically controlled hydraulic disc clutch plates to distribute torque from 0-100 per cent between the front and rear axles. On SRi models, an electronic limited slip differential which balances rear wheel torque left to right is also standard.Vauxhall’s Front Camera System will appear as an option on Insignia soon after launch. This leading technology uses a small camera, positioned inside the car’s windscreen to read and memorise both speed warning and no-overtaking signs, the details of which are relayed back to the driver from the instrument panel. The system also incorporates a lane departure warning, alerting drivers if they unintentionally leave their lane.The Insignia is also the first Vauxhall to use the latest generation Adaptive Forward Lighting. This clever system now uses nine lighting functions which automatically adapt to information relating to road profile, driving status and general visibility. Models fitted with Intelligent AFL are also equipped with LED daytime running lamps.Market: ‘The right car at the right time’Vauxhall rejuvenated the coupe segment in 1989 with the Calibra and co-founded the compact MPV category ten years later with the Zafira. Now, with the launch of the new Insignia, Vauxhall is bringing much-needed panache to a market segment that is being revitalised as people search for vehicle with greater fuel efficiency.The Insignia’s innovative design has the potential not only to excite mid-size car buyers again, but also to recapture customers leaving the large SUV segments because of high fuel costs. Mid-size cars currently account for around 10 per cent of the European market, but it is expected that this figure will increase again.‘This is the right car being introduced at the right time as people are moving from large sports utility vehicles. The Insignia is expressive looking, uses fuel efficiently and has five full seats and plenty of luggage capacity – all important features for families, ‘ says Alain Visser, GME’s Chief Marketing Officer.Developed by General Motors Europe, with a significant contribution coming from Vauxhall’s Engineering Centre at Millbrook in Bedfordshire, UK, the Insignia will be built at GME’s plant in Rüsselsheim.DESIGN• Aerodynamic: Spectacularly low drag coefficient of 0.27• Harmonious: Unique design cues for interior and exterior• Sporty: Coupé silhouette on both saloon and hatchback• Versatile: Sports Tourer combines style and practicalityWith its groundbreaking design and sophisticated technology, the new Insignia takes Vauxhall’s new-found design language to another level. The premium styling of the new five-seater clearly defines Vauxhall’s philosophy of making advanced technology and attractive design affordable.Vauxhall has a long and successful tradition of building aerodynamic cars – remember the 1990 Calibra with its Cd of 0.26? With a drag coefficient of 0.27, the Insignia is more streamlined than competitors. The Insignia’s fuel consumption and driving dynamics benefit from its sleek, flowing styling which was optimised during more than 650 hours in the wind tunnel, in addition to 290 computer simulations.In addition to its streamlined body shape and sporty roofline, the Insignia boasts numerous details designed to improve aerodynamic performance. These include the front bumper corners, boot-lid spoiler, the exterior mirror’s wing form and the profiled rear axle’s lower control arm. The future ecoFLEX version, designed to produce low CO2 emissions, will take these improvements a stage further, to a cd at only 0.26Fresh and innovative appearanceLike the signature crease on the bonnet, a blade form can be seen in the side of the car, highlighting a styling element that will become a defining characteristic of future Vauxhalls. Other design elements of note include a distinctive front grille with a newly-designed Vauxhall Griffin badge, as well as sweeping front and rear light lenses.‘We have redefined our design vocabulary. Opel/Vauxhall’s philosophy behind the new Insignia is ‘sculptured artistry meets German precision’,’ says Mark Adams, Vice President of Design for GM Europe. ‘We have created beautiful, sculptural, fluid shapes, which are accented by crisp intersecting lines. This makes the Insignia look muscular, sporty, yet very elegant and graceful.’The shapes and surfaces of the exterior are also echoed in the Insignia’s interior. Crafted in high quality materials, the new car’s dashboard wraps around from the instrument panel to the door, embracing the occupants. The bold exterior ‘blade’ graphic is picked up in the shape of the interior door grab handle, the steering wheel and the gear-shift surround.Sports Tourer brings even greater versatility to Insignia rangeCarrying forward the same design cues and technology as its saloon and hatch siblings, the Sports Tourer was unveiled at this year’s Paris Motor Show and will hit UK showrooms in Spring 2009.‘The Sports Tourer is a stand-alone model, not simply a wagon version of the sedan. In fact all the bodywork aft of the B-pillar is unique to the Sports Tourer,’ says Mark Adams, GM Europe Design’s Vice President.Designers gave the rear of the Sports Tourer a unique, yet cohesive appearance by pulling the ‘wraparound’ tailgate far into the flanks and accentuating it with large, distinctive, fully integrated tail lights.Inside, the Sports Tourer has ample room for five occupants and a competitively-sized luggage compartment with a volume of 540 litres with the rear seats up.The Sports Tourer also features Vauxhall’s clever FlexOrganiser, a versatile cargo management system which can be used to create tailor-made configurations for all daily transport needs. A flexible system of nets and foldaway dividers can be fixed to two horizontal rails running along each side of the load area to easily separate and secure cargo loads. The Sports Tourer also comes with a powered tailgate-closing support as standard.
New European Design CenterThe Insignia was designed in GME’s European Design Centre, which opened just two years ago. The facility provides state-of-the-art technology required for production and advanced vehicle design. Some 400 people work in the growing design function, creating new products for Vauxhall, Opel and Saab.The new facility features a Virtual Reality Center with massive high definition screens that allow designers to ‘build’ and test designs and examine them in various environments. Computer programs help designers explore a not-yet built interior and exterior with a 360° view from any level and any perspective, including 3-D visualization.POWERTRAIN• Five engines from launch, each meeting Euro 5 standards• Petrol engines: turbo and naturally-aspirated units, four and six cylinder• Diesel engines: new 2.0-litre units with maintenance-free particulate filters• Two new engines for 2009The new Vauxhall Insignia launches with a range of five engines, all of which meet Euro 5 emissions standards. The three petrol engines range from 140 to 260PS and two new 2.0-litre turbo-diesels are available with either 130 or 160PS. All engines are highly competitive in terms of CO2 and fuel consumption in their respective power output categories. In Spring 2009, two additional powertrains – a 180PS 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol and a BiTurbo version of the 2.0 CDTi with 190PS – will become available. An ecoFLEX version with low CO2 emissions will also join the lineup.Apart from the auto-only 260PS V6 model, each engine is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, with all but the 1.8-litre petrol model being available with the optional six-speed automatic transmission. Adaptive 4×4 is standard on 260PS V6 models, and optional on 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol cars.1.8 ECOTECThe entry level petrol engine is the four-cylinder 1.8 ECOTEC recently introduced on other models in the Vauxhall range. It produces 140PS at 6300rpm and maximum torque of 175Nm at 3800rpm. Technical highlights of the four-valve per cylinder unit include variable camshaft phasing, a two-phase intake control pipe, and a new magnetic crankshaft sensor – one of many ways in which Vauxhall has worked to reduce the weight of its engines.While the 1.8 ECOTEC weighs in at just 118kgs – 20 per cent less than its predecessor – extensive bracing of the head and block has resulted in greater rigidity and structural strength.In contrast to conventional engines, in which the crankshaft and camshaft are connected mechanically via a belt or chain, the ECOTEC’s variable phasing allows the camshaft to turn relative to the crankshaft. This happens with the aid of a highly-compact, vane-type electro-hydraulic lightweight adjuster. The adjustment range on the inlet side is a 60 degree crankshaft angle, and a 45 degree crankshaft angle on the outlet side.Double cam phasing enables variable valve control times, which in turn allows the engine to adapt to various speeds and cylinder charges. The benefits are higher performance, better torque over a wide rev-range, lower emissions due to high gas recirculation rates, lower fuel consumption, and reduced engine noise.
2.0T ECOTECThe 2.0-litre turbo is new in the Vauxhall mid-size class segment. The 220PS direct-injection engine is of all-aluminum construction and generates 350Nm of torque from 2000 to 4000rpm, with twin balancer shafts to ensure smooth running. This engine also illustrates the downsizing policy at GM as this 2.0-litre, four-cylinder model is competitive with five- and six-cylinder cars in terms of performance, but has lower fuel consumption and emissions.Fitted with this engine, the Insignia can accelerate from 0-60mph in 7.2 seconds and achieve a top speed of 150mph, yet will still return 42.2mpg on the Extra-urban cycle.A direct petrol injection system contributes toward the 2.0T’s overall efficiency, ensuring a more thorough combustion of the fuel/air mixture. A high-pressure pump driven by the camshaft increases the pressure of the fuel drawn from the car’s tank up to 155 bar. The multi-hole injection nozzles are located below the intake ports and the special shape of the piston head means that the mixture swirls around the centrally positioned spark plug. Due to the efficiency of the combustion process, a particularly high compression ratio (for a turbocharged engine) of 9.3:1 was achieved, which is beneficial to the 2.0T’s fuel consumption while the engine is under partial load.The 2.0T’s uses a twin-scroll turbocharger, with the first and fourth channels of the exhaust manifold are separated from the second and third channels. The pulsing gas streams are led through spirals, or scrolls, and brought together directly before the turbine. This separation optimises the gas flow and allows a build up of pressure from as early as 1400rpm, providing more immediate acceleration from lower revs. The maximum charge pressure is 1.38 bar.A pneumatic over-run air valve and highly efficient turbine wheel also feature on the 2.0T’s compact turbocharger. At a defined vacuum, a valve is opened which leads the air back to the compressor inlet, maintaining the turbine’s speed while it does so, and therefore providing instant charge when the accelerator is pressed. To increase volumetric efficiency in the combustion chambers, the pre-compressed air is cooled by around 100 degrees Celcius in an intercooler before entering the chambers.The 2.0T’s high thermal endurance is supported by a water jacket which extends to the bottom of the cylinders, and oil-spray cooling of the underside of the pistons. The cast aluminium pistons are mated via forged rods to a forged crankshaft.Both camshafts can be adjusted via an electro-hydraulic cam phaser to match valve opening times according to engine load via the ECU. In addition, a higher overlap at lower speeds with continuously variable camshaft phasing ensures the turbocharger responds more quickly. The outlet valves are sodium-filled and all valves are actuated via low-friction roller valve levers.Other engine features are two counter-rotating balance shafts, low-maintenance chain drive for the camshafts, and a cast-on oil filter housing, which is easily accessible from above. An oil change simply requires replacing the cartridge, and is signaled by an interval indicator. Sensors measure wear and tear of the fully synthetic lubricant according to parameters such as the number of cold starts and the number of ignition sparks delivered by the plugs.2.8 V6 Turbo ECOTECThe Insignia’s most powerful engine at launch will be the 2.8 V6 Turbo, which develops 260PS and 350Nm of torque between 1900 and 4500rpm. It boasts a wide array of high-tech features: a classical cylinder angle of 60 degrees and overhead camshafts driven by double chains; variable valve control and a four-bearing crankshaft made from micro-alloy forged steel – a material commonly used in racing engines. The advanced construction of the V6 includes details such as friction-reducing, coated pistons. These are provided with hard-anodised ring grooves for longer life, run in cast iron sleeves and are cooled by oil spray. Sinter-forged steel conrods, outlet valves filled with sodium for improved cooling and the oil sump which is die-cast in aluminum for extra structural rigidity also illustrate the advanced overall design of this engine.Operating with a 9.5:1 compression ratio, the engine has a single, twin-scroll turbocharger. The intercooled unit, installed centrally above the transmission, has an integrated charge air control valve and feeds the engine with up to 0.6 bar boost pressure. The turbine wheel is made of a high-grade special steel alloy. Due to the twin-scroll design, the turbine is fed uniformly from both banks of cylinders. Separate channels – one for each cylinder bank – separate the exhaust gas pulses. This keeps energy-related losses of the turbocharger low, while benefiting exhaust gas flow and operating efficiency.The continuously variable, electronically controlled and hydraulically activated phasing of the inlet camshafts ensures a rapid throttle response and strong torque, even at low engine speeds. The inlet camshafts can be turned within a range of 50 degrees relative to the crankshaft in order to adapt the valve control times, and thus the charge cycle, to the prevailing engine load and speed. Both the inlet and outlet shafts are made of high-strength aluminum, which makes them especially lightweight, heat-resistant and durable.In addition to the quick response behavior of the turbocharger, the rapid but smooth build-up of engine power is due mainly to the 32-bit Bosch-Motronic engine management system. The control unit’s software was specially adapted to the Insignia and regulates all key functions such as ignition timing, fuel injection, turbo boost pressure, airflow measurement and throttle valve position.The exhaust manifolds have double walls, with the innermost made of hydro-formed stainless steel. This reduces exhaust emissions after a cold start because the manifold absorbs less heat. In addition, air is blown into the manifold for up to 30 seconds after a cold start so that the upstream catalytic converter responds more quickly.The performance of the engine is as impressive as its technical specification. Some 90 percent of the maximum 350Nm of torque is generated at only 1500rpm and the peak value is available between 1900 and 4500rpm. The 2.8-litre V6 comes as standard with a six-speed automatic transmission and Adaptive 4×4 all-wheel-drive.2.0 CDTi (130 & 160PS)The new-generation Vauxhall 2.0-litre diesel engines in the Insignia feature more power and torque, as well as excellent fuel economy. The Insignia will launch with two versions of the 2.0 CDTI engine developing either 130PS or 160PS. This last engine variant will also power the Insignia ecoFLEX with lower fuel consumptions and CO2 emissions. All versions come with a maintenance-free diesel particulate filter as standard and meet Euro 5 emission levels.Both engines are exceptionally economical, and when fitted with the standard six-speed manual transmission (a six-speed automatic is available on both engines) achieve 58.9mpg on the Extra urban cycle. Despite this, the 2.0 CDTi 160 will accelerate from 0-60mph in 8.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 135mph.The 2.0 CDTis have two overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, and common-rail, multiple fuel direct injection, together with a variable geometry turbocharger for a rapid throttle response from low rpm. Thanks to the large 70-litre tank, the diesel models boast a range of approximately 750 miles, based on their combined fuel consumption figures.CHASSIS• Advanced chassis for more comfort and control• New generation FlexRide allows personalised settings• Class-leading, Adaptive 4X4 provides optimal tractionAn all-new chassis underpins the Vauxhall Insignia. Its MacPherson strut front suspension has dual path top mountings in the body structure turrets, separating the transfer of spring and damper loadings. To reduce unsprung weight, the combined steering knuckle and strut carrier is made from aluminum, and the anti-roll bar from hollow section steel.Steering and lower suspension arms are attached through two mountings to a substantial front sub-frame, which is bolted via four bushings to the front structure’s longitudinal members. This isolated mounting technique helps reduce the transfer of road shocks and noise to the cabin. The hydraulic damping of the rear arm mounting also adds to ride comfort.The rear suspension comprises an independent, four-link layout, with the second lower link in aluminum. For all-wheel-drive applications, a lower H-arm is used. The bushes in the rear-most arms are hydraulically damped to help prevent road shocks and vibrations from being transmitted through the steering wheel.FlexRide systemThe new FlexRide system enables drivers to choose a chassis setup that matches their own particular driving style. In addition to the Standard ride setting, FlexRide enables the driver to select a relaxed (Tour) setting or a firmer suspension set-up (Sport) by pressing one of two buttons on the instrument panel. Deactivating the Sport or Tour mode returns the ride to the Standard setting. In all modes, the chassis management system automatically adapts damping in real time to the driving and road conditions.In Sport mode, FlexRide not only provides stiffer damping, but also swifter throttle response. It also changes the valving in the Variable Effort Steering (VES), raises the shift-points of the automatic transmission to a higher rpm and adjusts the Adaptive 4X4 system for more rear-wheel drive. In Sport mode, the Intelligent AFL system reacts more quickly, and the lighting on the instrument panel changes from white to red to add to the driving experience.In the customisation menu, accessible via the infotainment display (available with satellite navigation), the driver can personalise the Sport mode by specifying which functions are activated when the Sport button is pushed. For instance, the electronically controlled dampers, VES, and all-wheel drive can be added or switched off.At the heart of FlexRide is the Driving Mode Control (DMC) which oversees and executes the system’s settings, allowing the car to react to sudden changes in driving style or emergency situations. For example, if an obstacle must be avoided when the car is in ‘Tour’ mode, various chassis sensors convey this to the DMC and the dampers are adjusted within a split second, optimising acceleration, braking and cornering.FlexRide is standard on all petrol models, other than the 1.8 ECOTEC, where it is available as an option on SRi models. All 130PS 2.0CDTi SRi models can be specified with FlexRide as an option, while SE, Elite and SRi models powered by the 160PS 2.0CDTi also receive FlexRide as an option.Adaptive 4X4Both the Insignia’s turbocharged petrol engines are available with the latest-generation advanced all-wheel-drive system. This system will also be available on future, more powerful diesel versions. Called Adaptive 4X4, it is designed to optimise handling and driving stability in all conditions, as well as increase traction at take-off and on slippery surfaces. Under electronic control, the Haldex hydraulic rear clutch unit continuously adjusts and optimises torque distribution between the front and rear axles.The Adaptive 4X4 control unit is fully integrated with Insignia’s other control systems. It consists of a Power Take-off Unit (PTU) in the front final-drive that transmits engine torque through a prop-shaft to the Rear Drive Module (RDM), which includes a Torque Transfer Device (TTD). A rear electronic Limited Slip Differential (eLSD) enhances the system on SRi models.Adaptive 4X4 processes signals from the ESP sensors, the steering angle sensor and accelerator pedal position to adapt power distribution to the prevailing driving conditions. While offering better traction on low friction surfaces, the sophisticated operation of the Adaptive 4X4 improves stability in all situations.In the SRi variant, Adaptive 4X4 is coupled to an electronically-controlled eLSD, which takes chassis control a step further. It is installed alongside the RDM and operates via pressurized clutch plates on a principle similar to the larger TTD. In icy or wet split-friction conditions, for example, it uses input from the rear wheel speed sensors and can transfer up to 50% of torque between the drive shafts, to whichever wheel has more grip.The eLSD also gives the driver enhanced control when cornering hard or completing a high speed manoeuvre, such as a lane change, by momentarily applying more or less torque to either of the wheels to help the rear of the car follow the direction of the front wheels. That way, the eLSD keeps the Insignia better balanced and more tightly controlled without requiring ‘outside’ intervention from ESP.Brakes and wheelsAll Insignias come as standard with disc brakes all round, ventilated at the front. The 2.0T and 2.8 V6 Turbo models also have ventilated discs at the rear. Entry level Insignias come as standard with 16-inch rims and 215/60 R 16 V tyres, while the Exclusiv gets 17-inch Structure rims with 225/55 R17 W tyres. The SE, SRi and Elite all ride on 18-inch alloys as standard, while 19-inch rims with 245/40 R19 Y tyres are optional. For the first time on a mid-size Vauxhall, 20-inch rims with 245/35 R20 Y tyres are also available as an option.SAFETY- Super secure: Insignia one of safest on the road- Innovative systems: AFL lighting, all-wheel drive, Front Camera System- First-class comfort: Ergonomic sports seatsThe new Vauxhall Insignia is designed, engineered and built to make it not just one of the safest cars on the road, but one of the most comfortable, too. The Insignia is built with a stiff body structure to withstand the toughest crashes. Its seats are among the best in class not only in terms of ergonomic comfort but also safety. Moreover, the mid-size car offers an advanced chassis and an Adaptive 4×4 all-wheel drive system that enhances stability even in challenging road conditions. Finally, Vauxhall has added extra assistance and safety systems – like its Front Camera System – to make the driving experience more relaxing, comfortable and secure.In addition, there is a plethora of standard safety equipment on all Insignias, including the following:Anti-lock braking system with electronic brake force distribution, cornering brake control comprehensive brake assistance system, that comprises emergency brake assistance, hydraulic brake-fade assistance, brake disk cleaning and hill start assistance.• Electronic Stability Programme (ESP)• Traction Control with engine and brake intervention (TCPlus)• Three height-adjustable head restraints in the rear• Three-point safety belts all around• Belt-force limiters and pyrotechnic double belt tensioners in front• Seatbelt warning signals in front (on all rear seats)• ISOFIX child seat fixtures in the rear• Comprehensive airbag system, including multi-stage front and side airbags for driver and front passenger, head curtain airbags (front and outer rear seats)• Adaptive brake lights that warn vehicles driving behind the car if it brakes suddenly or if ABS intervenes at speeds above 20mph. All three brake lights then flash at a frequency of five hertz and continue flashing for three seconds after the car comes to a stop• Pedal Release System (PRS)The latest generation active head restraints in front, which provide front occupants with highly effective protection against whiplash injuriesIntelligent AFL, Adaptive 4×4 and Front Camera SystemIn addition to the generous safety equipment available throughout the Insignia range, Vauxhall is offering levels of technology and innovation that is seldom seen in this sector, such as:• Intelligent Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL) cornering light system, in which the car’s headlamp beam automatically adjusts to prevailing road and weather conditions. The AFL now has a total of nine light functions so drivers can see the road better while, for example, turning a curve or driving on a country road at night. In addition, LED daytime running lights, including automatic light switching, are standard, improving the car’s visibility during the day.• Adaptive 4×4 improves the traction on take-off and on slippery surfaces, as well as optimising handling and stability in all conditions. In combination with the Sport trim, the AWD system is enhanced by an electronically controlled Limited Slip Differential (eLSD), which further enhances the traction and improves vehicle stability.• Vauxhall’s Front Camera System has two jobs: it can warn drivers when they unintentionally veer off the road and it can detect and recognize traffic signs. In this way, drivers are given added assistance without interference.• The all-new Insignia seats take occupant comfort and safety to new levels. A wide range of adjustment on both the seats and steering wheel enables occupants to find an optimal seating position, and their ergonomic design offers superb back support. An active ventilation system is available as an option together with the AGR-certified Ergonomic Sport Seat.Extras in the Insignia making driving easier and more comfortableElectronic climate control ensures a stable cabin climate, even under changing external conditions. The electronic climate control’s multi-patented controller does not follow the conventional principle of temperature measurement and re-adjustment. Instead, calculations are based on a mathematical energy balance model, making it possible to prevent disturbance variables such as the heat emission of the audio system from causing control errors. When the vehicle is parked, the system continues to monitor the environmental conditions, outside temperature and solar radiation for a period of two hours. From these parameters, it computes the required response of the electronic climate control for a comfortable continuation of the journey.SUPPLEMENTIntelligent AFL• Wide range of lighting for even the most diverse conditions• Nine different lighting modes• Distinctive daytime LED light designVauxhall has been a pioneer in automotive lighting technology for years. The manufacturer was the first to introduce the dynamic curve light and 90-degree cornering lamp with the innovative Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL) to the mid-size class in 2003. A year later, the dynamic curve light was presented in the compact class for the first time in the Vauxhall Astra, followed two years later by bi-halogen-based curve and cornering lights in the Meriva and Corsa.Now Vauxhall launches its next, even more intelligent AFLsystem in the Insignia, which includes headlamp beam adjustment for the prevailing road profiles. Available as an option on the Insignia, for the first time the system features nine lighting functions as standard on elite models.Vauxhall Insignias with Intelligent AFL headlamps also come with LED daytime running lamps. Compared to conventional low-beam headlamps, these improve fuel consumption because they require considerably less electrical power. The distinctive wing-shaped lighting graphic also makes the Insignia unmistakable at night, as the LEDs become parking lights when the main headlamps are switched on. In addition, LEDs offer an extraordinary service life that is up to 30 times longer than H7 halogen bulbs.New Generation Intelligent AFL: a wide range of functions for the most diverse conditionsThe new generation AFL, jointly developed by GME and Hella, is based on powerful bi-xenon headlamps. With conventional gas-discharge headlamps, the low beam light/dark boundary is provided by a bulb shield. In place of this shield, new sophisticated AFLtechnology now introduces a free-form cylinder automatically rotating in front of the xenon bulb, which has several calculated contours on its surface to produce various light beam patterns. Bi-xenon headlamps project low and high beams from just one xenon bulb per headlamp. The light spectrum and intensity stay the same when switching between modes, reducing eye strain.Vehicle sensors measure speed, yaw rate, steering angle and rain; the high beam assistant’s optical sensor collects information on road profile, driving status and visibility conditions. The two sensors continually feed information to the control electronics. In a split second, the system’s software decides which lighting function is appropriate for the prevailing driving situation and adjusts the headlamps accordingly.It does this by instructing a control motor to rotate the headlamp cylinder to the required contour. This alters the light pattern of the headlamp beam. The module is on a pivot to enable optimal positioning for the curve light. Vauxhall curve and cornering lights are especially effective as the headlamps’ three-dimensional design ensures the light beam is not obstructed.An overview of the nine lighting functions:High Beam with Assist is an innovation in this segment and offers a considerable safety advantage when driving in the dark. The Assistant automatically activates the High Beam Light for better road illumination and improved visibility. With the help of an optical sensor integrated in the interior mirror foot, the system recognizes the headlamps or tail lights of other vehicles and automatically switches the headlamps to low beam to prevent blinding other road users.High Beam Light (already included in the previous AFL generation) provides maximum headlamp beam output and range. The High Beam Light optimally illuminates the full width of the road. The headlamps brighten from 35 to 38 watts.Pedestrian Area Light is activated automatically at speeds of up to 20mph. It is designed especially for zones where the driver must exercise extreme caution, such as residential areas with corresponding traffic restrictions. The function adjusts the cone of light for both headlamps by eight degrees toward each roadside. With this light, pedestrians and children playing next to the road – who often cannot properly judge the speed of a moving vehicle – can be seen earlier, particularly when cars are also parked on the roadside.Town Light at speeds between 20 and 35 mph, provides a wider, symmetrical beam with reduced range, helping drivers see pedestrians at the roadside better. The Town Light’s beam intensity is less than the normal low beam as additional light sources – such as street lighting – are available.Country Road Light provides a brighter and wider light cone to both sides of the road than a conventional low beam. This helps drivers see animals at the sides of the road earlier. It is activated between 30mph and 60mph and projects a beam 70 metres ahead.Motorway Light intensifies and slightly raises the headlamp beam when there is no risk of blinding oncoming traffic and the smoother road surface causes fewer vehicle body movements. Highway Light creates a 140 metre- long beam, improving illumination of the right-hand roadside and brightens the lamps from 35 to 38 watts to improve noticeable visibility. The Highway Light activates automatically above 60mph, but only when the steering angle sensor indicates that the road’s curve radii do not match those of a country road.Adverse Weather Light is activated when the rain sensor detects a certain amount of moisture on the windshield or the wipers are switched on and off in rapid succession. The light output is then distributed asymmetrically; the left headlamp beam intensity increases from 35 to 38 watts so the driver can see the lane markings better, and the right headlamp beam decreases from 35 to 32 watts and shortened slightly to reduce the risk of blinding oncoming drivers, which can often happen on wet, reflective road surfaces.Dynamic Curve Light (already included in the previous AFL generation) ensures improved illumination around bends by swiveling the bi-xenon headlamps up to 15 degrees right and left of the vehicle into the oncoming curve. The Curve Light angle is determined by the car’s speed and steering angle. A new addition is the sport switch on the FlexRide, which, when activated, enables a faster response from AFL.Static Cornering Light (already included in the previous AFL) illuminates an area to the right or left of the vehicle up to a 90 degree angle, improving maneuvering in poorly lit areas, such as on dark access roads. It is activated at speeds below 25mph or when the car is put into reverse gear. A new function is the delayed switch over to normal low beam light, making drive-away manoeuvres easier.FRONT CAMERA SYSTEM• Leading technology available in early ‘09• Reads road sign, improves safety• Warns drivers when they stray from their laneVauxhall introduces a first: a dual-function camera that not only reads speed limit and no-overtaking signs and displays them on the instrument panel, but also alerts drivers when they unintentionally veer out of their lane. Known as Traffic Sign Recognition and Lane Departure Warning, the two systems improve driving safety, reduce stress and can even prevent costly speeding tickets.‘These new features follow Vauxhall’s philosophy of enhancing driving excitement by assisting drivers without reducing their level of control,’ explains Hans Demant, Managing Director of GME Engineering. ‘That means the system gives drivers information, but it doesn’t intervene.’Known as the Front Camera System, the wide-angled, high-resolution camera and processors were jointly developed by Vauxhall/Opel engineers and specialists from supplier Hella. The camera, located between the windscreen and the rear-view mirror, detects road signs and lane markings. It’s not much bigger than a mobile phone, yet can take 30 pictures per second. Two signal processors filter and read the photos.Depending on light conditions, the Traffic Sign Recognition function begins to repeatedly read signs at 100 meters. It starts by focusing on circular patterns then identifies the numbers inside them via contour comparison. When a match is found in the car’s software, the sign is displayed in the instrument panel; it will even prioritise a no-overtaking sign over a speed limit warning sign.When the Lane Departure Warning function is turned on, it uses a second signal processor and software to read traffic lanes and record a driver’s normal lane-changing behaviour, taking into account steering input and indicator usage. If any deviation is detected, an audible and visual warning is sent from the instrument panel, preventing hazardous situations, such as a driver falling asleep at the wheel.The Front Camera System, featuring Traffic Sign Recognition and Lane Departure Warning will be available as an option on the new Insignia, with other Vauxhall models benefiting from the system in future.AWARD-WINNING SEATS• Industry-leading range of seat adjustment• Sports seats receive coveted award from ergonomic experts and doctors• Improved active head restraints and occupant protectionThe Vauxhall Insignia’s seats have the car industry’s widest adjustment ranges, allowing all drivers and passengers to find their ideal seating position.With a height-adjustment range of 65 millimetres and a length -adjustment range of 270 millimetres, the Insignia’s seats use the most up-to-date technology to create new levels of comfort and safety in this class.In addition to the 4 way power lumbar support on all Insignia seats the Ergonomic Sports Seats have improved tilt adjustment and ergonomic seat contours, including superior side support.Acknowledging this achievement, Aktion Gesunder Rücken e.V (AGR), an independent panel of ergonomics experts and doctors in Germany, has awarded the Insignia’s Sport seats its coveted seal of approval. The AGR seal is a guarantee of quality only awarded to ergonomic products that comply with strict medical requirements; in this case the Insignia’s seats effectively prevent the back pain and tension suffered by some occupants on car journeys.AGR was also impressed by the Ergonomic Sport Seat’s thigh support, which features a cushion that can be extended by up to 60 millimetres for taller drivers.‘Everyone, small and large, will find our seats safe and comfortable because they can adjust the height and length of the seats to their own body,’ says Andrew Leuchtmann, Engineering Group Manager of Seats.Active head restraints prevent whiplashAccording to the European Traffic Safety Council, whiplash accounts for around 65 per cent of all injuries to people in road accidents each year. For that reason, the Insignia features the latest generation active head restraints, which are adjustable in four directions as standard, and designed to restrict rearward movement in the event of a rearward collision.The system, which sends the restraint forward when the occupant’s lower back is pressed against the seat back if the car is struck from behind, reacts milliseconds before the head snaps backwards. The latest generation is operated by a Bowden cable, instead of a lever, and is therefore lighter and operates with more precision than the previous system.Stronger seats for greater protectionThe Vauxhall Insignia’s seats provide front occupants with the best possible protection against objects flying forward from the rear of the cabin. The front seats are reinforced by a protection shield in their backrests made from high-strength steel, which is both lighter and more rigid than that used in the Vectra.To ensure that the seat stays locked in place if struck from behind by a heavy object, the seat mounting rails have a secure adjustment with spring-loaded pins, providing a permanent locking track so that regardless of where the seat is positioned, it is securely locked in place.ENVIRONMENT• Insignia: all Euro 5-certified engines, low 0.27 CD drag co-efficient• Progress: greater proportion of recycled materials used in construction• Production: high global GM standard, ISO certifiedConcern for the environment spans a broad range of areas. When designing a new car, GM Europe engineers focus on the careful and responsible use of resources and the achievement of low exhaust emissions. It also is important that the plant in which a car is built is mindful of how resources are used.The Insignia was designed to be a sleek, aerodynamic car with all of its engines certified to meet Euro 5 emissions – proof that a car can be environmentally efficient, yet still look great and offer excellent performance.More than 250 components in the Insignia are made from recycled materials and it is designed to be 85 per cent recyclable at the end of its life. Equally significant is that the Rüsselsheim plant, where the Insignia is built, is one of only a few automotive plants in Germany that certifiably meets tough environmental standards.With a Cd value of 0.27 for the base model, the new Insignia is one of the most aerodynamic models in the mid-size class. Optimised during more than 650 hours in the wind tunnel, the car’s slippery shape plays a decisive role in achieving good fuel efficiency. The ecoFLEX version of the Insignia betters this with an excellent Cd value of 0.26, offering even lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.The Insignia has all its engines certified to Euro 5 emissions standards, which only come into effect on September 1, 2009. Compared with Euro 4, permitted nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions for petrol engines are reduced by 25 percent from 80 to 60 milligrams per kilometer. The NOx limit for Euro 5 diesel engines is cut by 22 per cent from 250 milligrams per kilometer to 180mg. All Insignia diesel engines are fitted with a diesel particulate filter.More than 250 components are made from recycled materialsThe intelligent use of plastic resins reduces the weight and the emissions of a car. Vauxhall uses more than 170 kilograms of plastic materials in the hundreds of components that make up the Insignia. The content of recycled plastic materials has increased to a total of 250 components. This means, each year, up to 35,000 tons of recycled material will be used in the building of the Insignia.‘Intelligently developed components made of recycled materials are often even better than those made from new material,’ says Uwe Ruster, Project Engineer in ‘Design for Environment Recycled Materials’ at GME. ‘Recycled materials are easier to process and offer high surface quality as well as more homogenous colours, which our designers really appreciate.’This is because GME’s material experts can exercise greater influence on the composition of materials when they are recycled. Processing granules recovered from recycled plastic components also saves energy because it is possible to work with lower pressure. There is a further benefit in the fibre structure, according to Ruster: ‘We use recycled materials for the engine covers – called beauty covers – and the timing belt covers, because they reduce shrinkage and do not warp.’Just how important recycling is to GME is also illustrated by a change in philosophy: while material engineers once had to demonstrate that the use of recycled materials is possible and sensible, the burden of proof has now been reversed. Today, design release engineers have to justify why recycled materials are not used. Such justification is increasingly difficult, given that 136 different recycled materials are approved for the use in Vauxhall cars.High Global Standards: environmental protection in the production systemVauxhall and its parent company General Motors take a holistic approach to environmental compatibility. All GM plants are certified according to the Environment Management System ISO 14001. This means that production in the Insignia plant in Rüsselsheim, Germany meets the same environmental standards as the plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where the Corvette is manufactured, or in Gliwice, Poland, where the Astra and Zafira roll off the assembly line.ISO 14001 ensures that companies and organisations develop and establish environmental standards. They must continuously monitor and evaluate progress with an eye on improvement. The Rüsselsheim plant was certified as meeting all these tough environmental standards this year by German regulatory authorities, known as TÜVThe environmental management plan that is used in Rüsselsheim sets specific targets in reducing energy consumption, waste and the handling of waste water and hazardous materials. One example of how environmental protection is integrated in the GM Global Manufacturing System (GMS) is the paint shop K 115 in the Rüsselsheim plant. When it opened in 1982, it was the world’s first to use water-based paint in series production. This year, three new spray stations were installed for the production of the new Insignia that improve the paint quality and further lower the environmental impact.Programmable robots can vary the depth of the paint coating according to the requirements of the particular part, rather than indiscriminately using the same volume of paint for everything. This improves quality as well as reducing waste and emissions.GM engineers do not rest on their laurels. They continue to monitor manufacturing to search for further ways to reduce waste and pollution without compromising the quality of the product.EQUIPMENT & RANGE• Large selection of options to meet driver’s needs• New infotainment system• Comprehensive range with five levels of trimComplementing the Insignia’s Intelligent AFL and Front Camera System is a list of standard and optional equipment that allows drivers to personalise their car to a high degree across the five model range.InfotainmentAn all-new satellite navigation system, operated through a centrally mounted multi-function controller is available on all Insignias as a cost option. The system includes a seven-inch monitor, 3-D map view and improved scroll and zoom functions. It also incorporates a port for either iPod or MP3 USB functions. In MP3 mode, the system allows improved access to files and directories, and in iPod mode, the interface uses functions such as track and list.Accessing these functions is easier through the Insignia’s new multi-function controller. In conjunction with the satellite navigation system, the controller uses a turn/push selection action that is located on the centre console between the front seats (in combination with an electric handbrake). This control benefits tall drivers who sit well back in their seats, and another rotary knob, operating the same functions, can also be found below the monitor.RangeAll Insignias come with high levels of equipment as standard, including ESP, passenger airbag deactivation, automatic headlights, electric driver’s seat height adjuster and electrically adjustable four way lumbar support. Cruise control is also standard across the range, along with front, side and curtain airbags, Isofix on all 3 rear seats, and ABS.SHigh quality begins with the S entry level, which features chrome highlights with a real metal feel. The interior has metallic trim on the instrument panel, centre console and doors, while the charcoal fabric has a classic ‘labyrinth’ pattern. The S offers generous standard equipment, including comfort items such as manual air conditioning, a CD 300 audio system with seven speakers, power outside mirrors, split rear seat back (60:40), on-board computer, cruise control, steering wheel mounted audio controls and leather trimmed steering wheel. The S comes on 16′ steel wheels with 215/60 tyres.ExclusivThe Exclusiv will be available in two seat trim colours, charcoal or beige. ‘Dune’ fabric features a pattern inspired by organic graphics in home interiors. As with the S trim, the interior again has metallic inserts on the instrument panel, centre console and doors. Specification over and above the S trim includes single zone climate control, 17′ structure wheels with 225/55 tyres, a front centre armrest with storage facility, and interior ambient lighting.SEThe SE is also available with a choice of interior seat trim, charcoal or beige, and comes with part leather effect seat bolsters. Standard on the SE are 18′ alloy wheels with 245/45 tyres, an electronic handbrake, rain sensitive windscreen wipers, electric rear windows, electric passenger’s seat height adjuster and electrically adjustable four way lumbar support. In addition the SE receives an audio upgrade to the CDC400 system with integral six-disc autochanger, MP3 format and DAB digital radio. Flexride is also standard on the 2.0 Turbo petrol engine.EliteThe Elite model builds on the SE, adding full leather seat trim, available in either charcoal or beige, eight way electrically adjustable drivers seat, dual zone climate control, front and rear parking distance sensors, Intelligent Adaptive Forward Lighting, front fog lights and electrically foldable door mirrors. Flexride (Adaptive Stability Technology) is standard on the 2.0 Turbo and 2.8 V6 petrol engines, while 4X4 is also standard on the 2.8 V6 model.SRiThe Piano Black décor in the SRi contrasts with silver highlights to create a highly modern and sporting cabin. This is enhanced by the charcoal ‘Vitesse’ fabric found on the SRi’s ergonomic sports seats, and front occupants also benefit from an extendable squab section, the angle of which can be adjusted. A perforated leather sports steering wheel, CD 300 audio and alloy covered pedals are all standard, along with 18′ alloy wheels with 245/45 tyres, single zone climate control, electric rear windows, front fog lights and a sports chassis 15mm lower than on other trim levels. Ventilated Sport Leather seats are available as an option, which includes an upgrade to dual zone climate control. FlexRide (Adaptive Stability Technology) is again standard on the 2.0 Turbo petrol engine, but is also available as an option on all other SRi engines.

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MSRP: £22,360

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Source: Vauxhall Press Release

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