A grander, sportier new Vauxhall Insignia is on its way this spring - and it’s called the, er… Insignia Grand Sport.
While the car has kept the Insignia model name, it’s been given the extra titles to show that it’s got completely new underpinnings, which also mean a bigger interior, while the Insignia Grand Sport also boasts being one of the most aerodynamic cars you can buy.
By using modern, lightweight materials, Vauxhall says it has cut 175kg from the car’s overall weight, which they also claim means drivers can tap the full potential of the all-wheel drive with torque vectoring and eight-speed auto gearbox.
The latest technology, meanwhile, makes itself felt in making the car “safer, more relaxing to drive and more comfortable than ever before.” That includes IntelliLux LED matrix exterior lighting, a head-up display which reflects main running data onto the car’s windscreen, heated front and back seats, and a heated windscreen.
Pedestrian safety is also claimed to be greatly improved, as the new Insignia Grand Sport is the first Vauxhall to feature a bonnet made of lightweight aluminium.
Vauxhall’s existing IntelliLink infotainment and OnStar emergency help functions have also been enhanced to coincide with the launch of the Insignia Grand Sport.
OnStar combines the capabilities of many of the vehicle’s advanced security and on-board monitoring features, to keep you fully informed and in touch while on the move.
It’ll even use the on-board GPS technology to locate the vehicle should it be stolen, and automatically alert Vauxhall control staff should it be involved in an accident, thanks to sensors in the car’s airbags which are activated when they’re deployed.
Meanwhile, the infotainment system, IntelliLink, was called “far better than anything the manufacturer has offered before” by Auto Express. The system was given a maximum five out of five for its cost and connectivity.
The new Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport also features a new head-up driver display, which projects Information on speed, traffic signs, set speed of speed limiter or navigation direction onto the windscreen and in the driver’s direct line of sight, ensuring that their eyes remain on the road. It’s like piloting a fighter plane without leaving the ground!
The narrow headlights, along with a 29mm lower roof than the previous Insignia, give the Insignia Grand Sport a low and purposeful stance, helped by the lower front grille.
A high-mounted LED brakelight integrated into the roofline is also intended to give the car a distinctive appearance from the back. “It looks longer, lower and wider than it actually is,” said Mark Adams, a Brit who’s Vauxhall/Opel’s European Design Vice-President.
The driver sits 3cm lower than in the previous Insignia, while the positioning of all the instruments, says Vauxhall, is intended to mimic the driving experience in a circuit-racing touring car. Back-seat passengers also benefit from more space, achieved by means of the longer wheelbase.
The new Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport will be available with a wide range of turbocharged engines and transmissions, including a new eight-speed auto, when it is officially launched.
This boasts extended gear shifts, which Vauxhall claims are extremely smooth and hardly noticeable. It will initially only be available in combination with all-wheel drive which uses twin electrically controlled multi-plate clutches. For the first time, it will provide an all-wheel drive Vauxhall with torque vectoring – the best way to transmit power to the road, even if it is wet, icy or snowy.
The further improved chassis can adapt the dampers, steering, throttle response and shift points (on automatics) independently or based on the modes ‘Standard’, ‘Sport’ or ‘Tour’, which can be selected by the driver. Depending on the selected mode, steering and throttle response are more direct and the ESP anti-skid system intervenes earlier or later.
Vauxhall is claiming that its new IntelliLux LED lights, making their first appearance on the new Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, are more intelligent than any others. By greatly increasing the number of LED segments in them, it allows light patterns to adapt to traffic conditions more precisely than ever. They can even adjust their angle while the car is being steered around a curve, meaning that the lights ‘follow’ the road, giving the driver a better view of what’s ahead.
Did you know there was such a thing as a ‘Campaign for Healthy Backs’? We can thank the Germans for this - and for their input into helping design the seats in the new Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport.
These let the occupant make a variety of adjustments, including to the side bolsters and ventilation system, while passengers in the two main back seats can also individually control seat heating mechanisms.
A feature lots of us who have to face trudging out to our cars on cold winter mornings will surely appreciate is keyless ‘Open & Start’, which has been offered across the range. Vauxhall’s engineers have also done away with those frustrating waits in freezing conditions for the heating and air-con to kick in and clear the windscreen sufficiently for us to see, by virtue of the new Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport’s heated screen.
As a final trick up its sleeve, the OnStar tech hub mentioned earlier will, for the first time in the Insignia Grand Sport, give access to its on-call staff who can find a book a hotel for the night for driver and passengers.
And there’s no need for anyone travelling well away from Liverpool in their Insignia Grand Sport to worry about staying in touch with home - or the rest of the world for that matter; the car can act as a Wi-Fi hotspot for up to seven devices.
To get yourself updated on the new Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport, contact your nearest 06Vauxhall dealer, and we’ll keep you posted on when you can come and see it at our Ormskirk and Skelmersdale showrooms.