2008 Opel Insignia Preview

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2008 Opel Insignia

2008 Opel Insignia

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Official images and details of Opel’s all-new Insignia sedan have finally been revealed and as predicted the car picks up a number of design cues from last year’s Opel GTC concept. There’s a lot of significance riding on this model because this is the car that will be sold in the U.S. as the next-gen Saturn Aura and it may even make it to other markets where GM cars are sold such as Australia and South America.

The car replaces the Vectra sedan and is set to go on sale in Europe this October. It will be available with five engines at launch. All meet Euro 5 emissions standards and come with either manual or automatic six-speed transmissions. The three petrol engines range from a four-cylinder 140hp unit to a V6 with 260hp. Two new 2.0L direct-injection diesel engines will be offered with power outputs of either 130hp or 160hp. In time, the Insignia engine lineup will be extended with an EcoFLEX version offering ultra-low CO2 emissions in addition to other, more powerful variants.

The car can seat five adults all up and is available in both hatchback and saloon variants. The highlight of the cabin is a back-lit instrument panel and center console, with ample room for the optional built-in navigation unit. Shiny piano-black plastic and matte aluminum-look trim offsets the otherwise dark grey interior. Night-time driving is enhanced with an amber ambient lighting system for a unique touch. The instruments themselves are 'chronometer inspired', and the white-face dials appear to be easy to read with the contrasting black background and white lighting.

A number of space-saving design features have been implemented to maximize the room and comfort of the front-seat occupants. The e-brake has been tucked away to save space and the 'infotainment' center has been tipped back 30 degrees to improve visual flow with the rest of the center console, making the car feel more spacious.

The new Insignia is set to make its world debut on July 22 at the London Motor Show.

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