Vauxhall Insignia (2008) | CAR Magazine

Vauxhall Insignia (2008)

Published: 19 March 2008 Updated: 26 January 2015

These are the first spy photos of the new Vauxhall Insignia with undisguised production-spec front and rear lights. CAR Online also has exclusive shots under the bonnet of the Insignia, and the best interior shots yet.

Vauxhall Insignia: the looks

With only black tape covering the Vauxhall’s nose we can now clearly see the lights and prominent grille. In fact, while the Insignia bears a strong resemblance to the GTC concept that previewed it, it is the production car that is more outlandish. The Insignia has a much larger, four-bar, chrome-effect grille. Beneath that sits a small intake which is flanked by twin strakes that will feature fog lights on some models.

From the wing mirror – which will feature an indicator on the underside – one line sweeps down through the front door to give the impression of more pronounced wheel arch. A crease line also runs from the front wheel arch to the rear light cluster. It cuts above the door handles, which are at markedly different heights.

The huge rear bootlip spoiler on some of the prototypes is mere disguise. But the boot lid will still stand quite proud of the bodywork, as will the rear light clusters. The cars in our pictures are four-door saloons, but both five-door hatch and estate bodies will follow.

Click ‘Next’ below to read about the Vauxhall Insignia’s interior

Vauxhall Insignia: the interior

Clear to see is the three-spoke steering wheel, though expect the (rather obvious) warning label to be absent from production cars. Chrome-effect trim highlights the dials, door handles and door pulls.

The quad dials surround a trip computer screen, while the main infotainment screen is integrated into the top of the dashboard. Vauxhall doesn’t seem following the less-is-more philosophy, as the cabin looks fairly packed with buttons.

The prototype in our pictures doesn’t feature keyless go, but this is a base model car, hence the lack of front fog lights. The system will be available.

Vauxhall Insignia: the engines

Earlier this week Vauxhall issued its own spy photos of the Insignia (bottom right). But when CAR’s spy photographer got near these Insignias out on test, Vauxhall’s test drivers seem less than amused to see him. Funny that.

While they chased him down he managed to get the first shots under the Insignia’s bonnet. When the car goes on sale in the UK towards the end of 2008 expect the range to start with a 1.8-litre petrol and a 1.9-litre diesel, with prices from £16,500.

To top the line-up CAR expects two VXR models: one petrol and one diesel. The former is expected to be a near-300bhp V6, while the oil-burner will be GM’s 2.9-litre V6 with 250bhp and 405lb ft. GM’s upgraded Epsilon 2 architecture underpins the Insignia so a four-wheel drive system will also feature.

Click ‘Next’ below to read about the Vauxhall Insignia’s global sales amibitions

Vauxhall Insignia: Saturn, Holden et al

The Insignia will also be sold as a Saturn in America, and as a Holden in Australia. The architecture will also underpin the next Saab 9-3 and 9-5 so the Insignia is a crucial car for GM. If the Insignia can’t deliver dynamically then not only will it remind us of the Vectra, but the next generation of Saab product could be as uninspiring as the current range. The covers come off the Vauxhall Insignia at the British motor show on 22 July 2008. CAR Online will be reporting live and bring you the first pictures.

By Ben Pulman

Ex-CAR editor-at-large