The Opel Insignia is a mid size/large family car engineered and produced by the German car manufacturer Opel. Production of the Insignia began in August 2008, as a replacement for the Vectra and Signum. The vehicle is sold under the Vauxhall marque in the United Kingdom, and sold in North America and China as the Buick Regal.
In Chile, the vehicle was originally due to be marketed as the Chevrolet Vectra, but is now sold as the Opel Insignia. The Insignia made its debut in Australia in August 2012, badged as an Opel but was dropped a year later after the brand was withdrawn from the market. It was again launched in Australia (and New Zealand for the first time) under the Holden marque in 2015.
The Insignia is produced in Opel's plant in Rüsselsheim, Germany.
In the beginning of 2005, it was announced by Opel that this concept car will not be built, because it would be too heavy and too expensive. This vehicle remained therefore a pure concept study. However, this concept car inspired the 2015 Buick Avenir.
In December 2006, What Car? announced that Vauxhall was to ditch the Vectra nameplate from the previous model. Then General Motors Europe president, Carl-Peter Forster, leaked the news to BusinessCar, explaining that the all new car would be "a radical departure" from the current model, and that the "Vectra" name would be dropped to reflect this change.
In September 2007, What Car? produced computer generated images, showing what the replacement would look like. That month, What Car? gave an update, confirming the car would première in London, thanks to the success of the Corsa C. In November 2007, What Car? announced that Vauxhall had confirmed that the successor's name would be Insignia.
The Insignia debuted at the 2008 British International Motor Show in London on 23 July as the Opel/Vauxhall Insignia. This reflected the Vauxhall brand that is unique to the United Kingdom. It then went on sale in European dealerships in October 2008 as a four door fastback / saloon, and five door estate, dubbed Sports Tourer – a departure for Opel which traditionally used the "Caravan" name to denote the estate bodystyle.
The Insignia was the first car to debut new badges for both the Opel and Vauxhall brands, and for Vauxhall, it was the first car to dispense with the characteristic "V" grille that has adorned Vauxhall models since 1994, which differentiated them from the otherwise identical Opel models.
The Insignia was also the first Opel to debut many new and improved safety features, including:
Opel Eye – This uses a camera at the top of the windscreen to monitor the area in front of the vehicle. Information from the camera is continuously analysed to identify road markings and traffic signs. Road markings are used as the basis of the first of Opel Eye’s two functions: lane departure warning. Traffic signs are recognised and indicated to the driver in the second function: traffic sign memory.
At speeds above 60 km/h (37 mph), Opel Eye warns the driver if the car is about to veer inadvertently out of the lane in which it is travelling. The system can detect road markings and, if they are sufficiently distinct, unmarked road edges. The Insignia was the first production car to feature a dual function frontal camera with traffic sign recognition.
Despite its global presence, the Opel Insignia has never been sold in Japan, as Opel had already withdrawn from the Japanese market before launching this model.
Design wise, the Insignia offers 30 mm (1.2 in) more knee room than the Vectra. The saloon and fastback variants have the same 4.83 m (190.2 in) length and wheelbase of 2.73 m (107.5 in). The estate version is slightly longer at 4.91 m (193.3 in) on the same wheelbase.
Opel Insignia saloon (2008–2013)
Opel Insignia fastback (2008–2013)
Opel Insignia Sports Tourer (2008–2013)
Vauxhall Insignia (Britain; pre-facelift)
Holden Insignia VXR (Australia)
Buick Regal (North America)
In the beginning of 2009, Opel revealed the Insignia OPC, a high performance variant of the Insignia. Like the preceding Vectra OPC, it is powered by a 2.8 litre turbocharged V6 (Manufactured in Melbourne, Australia).
The updated engine makes 239 kW (325 PS; 321 hp) and 435 N⋅m (321 lb⋅ft). Of this 435, 400 N⋅m (295 lb⋅ft) are available from 2,000 rpm. It is paired with a six speed manual transmission / six-speed automatic transmission and Saab's (Haldex) active all wheel drive system. The Insignia OPC has a modified MacPherson strut front suspension called HiPerStrut which reduces torque steer.
Also standard is an electronic limited slip differential for the rear wheels and Opel's FlexRideadaptive suspension, which has three settings (OPC, Sport, and Normal). An OPC version of the Insignia Sports Tourer wagon has also been unveiled and is currently on sale. In April 2011, Opel launched the Insignia OPC Unlimited, with no speed limiter.
A major facelift was introduced in June 2013, with new exterior and interior styling, new engines, and new safety features. The car officially premiered at the September 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, before going on sale later in 2013.
The second generation Insignia was revealed in December 2016, and was reported to be renamed Insignia Grand Sport.
Opel Insignia 2.0 Turbo (Chile)
Vauxhall Insignia (facelift)
From launch, the Insignia was offered with four petrol engines – a 1.6 L 115 PS (85 kW; 113 hp), 1.8 L 140 PS (103 kW; 138 hp), 2.0 L Turbo 220 PS (162 kW; 217 hp), and a 2.8 L V6 with 260 PS (191 kW; 256 hp) – and three diesel engines (all derived from the Fiat/GM JTD engine) – all 2.0 litres with 110 PS (81 kW; 108 hp), 130 PS (96 kW; 128 hp) and 160 PS (118 kW; 158 hp). In 2009, a 1.6 L Turbo petrol 180 PS (132 kW; 178 hp), the ecoFLEX diesels, and the OPC versions were introduced.
From September 2010, the 2.0 CDTi diesel engine gained Adaptive 4x4 as an option. A '2.0 BiTurbo' CDTI, with 195 PS (143 kW; 192 hp), in development with Saab, was expected to begin production in 2010, but due to the sale of Saab, production was delayed and began production in 2012, as 2WD (FWD) and 4WD. All engines have a six speed manual transmission as standard, with some engines having an automatic transmission as an option.
Since launch, all diesels have improved their emissions. In 2011, some engines gained Start/Stop, all diesel engines have this option, with more petrol engines expected to gain the technology in the future. A 1.4 Turbo 140 PS (103 kW; 138 hp), with S/S as standard, is available, replacing the 1.8, and the 2.0 Turbo was upgraded to 250 PS (184 kW; 247 hp) only with four wheel drive. The 2.0 Turbo with 220 PS (162 kW; 217 hp) remains as only FWD.
In 2009, a new range of ecoFLEX diesel engine offered same amount of power, but less CO2-emission (g/km) and fuel consumption. The 2.0 CDTI ecoFLEX with 130 PS (96 kW; 128 hp) and 160 PS (118 kW; 158 hp) have emission of only 114 CO2-emission (g/km), as well as a version with 2.0 CDTI 4x4. The 195 PS (143 kW; 192 hp) Bi turbo diesel engine has 129 CO2-emission (g/km).
Alongside the facelift of 2013 came a new range of engines – some existing, some tweaked, and some brand new. Diesel engines available at launch include the 2.0 CDTI ecoFLEX (also with Start/Stop), with outputs of 120 PS, 140 PS, and 163 PS and the existing 195 PS BiTurbo. There is also a non ecoFLEX engine with 130 PS which is only available with automatic transmission.
All engines come with a six speed manual gearbox as standard, with a six speed automatic available as an option on the 1.6 and 2.0 SIDI turbo petrol engines, and the 2.0 CDTI 163 PS and 195 PS diesel engines. All petrol and diesel engines have a Start/Stop system except the 2.0 CDTI with 130 PS.
In September 2014, Opel introduced its all new generation of engines – large diesel engine, starting with 2.0 CDTI engine with 170 PS and 400 Nm, which is a part of new strategy in which Opel will introduce 17 new engines in a period from 2014 to 2018. The new engine became available from the end of 2014/beginning of 2015.
Since making its début, the Opel Insignia has won more than fifty national and international awards, including 'Best Executive Car' in the United Kingdom and Slovenia, 'Best Family Car' in Ireland twice, and best car for fleet customers in the United Kingdom, Austria, Denmark, and Portugal.
Production started at the end of 2008 on all major markets in Europe. At launch, the Vauxhall versions were produced in Exclusiv, S, SE, SRi, Elite, and VXR specification levels. It was a popular choice with British buyers, being the nation's ninth best selling car in 2009 – its first full year on sale, outselling its direct competitor the Ford Mondeo, but just falling short of the sales achieved by the more upmarket BMW 3 Series.
At the beginning several trim levels were available, depending on the market: Essentia, Edition, Sport, Cosmo, OPC. Later on others were added, such as the Business edition, Selection, Active, 150 years of Opel, and Innovation.
By August 2011, over 400,000 Insignias had been sold, and on 26 April 2012, the 500,000th Insignia was produced. The last vehicle rolled off the line in April 2017, in time for the release of the Insignia II.
This version of the Insignia is badged as the ZB Holden Commodore in Australia, and as the sixth generation Buick Regal in the Americas and Asia. It had its public debut at the International Motor Fair in Belgrade in March 2017. The design was based on the 2013 Opel Monza Concept. From this point, the traditional four-door notchbacksaloon version was officially removed. The vehicle was officially revealed on 26 June 2017.
Only one car was run in four rounds – 1 and 2 driven by John Thorne, and 6 and 9 driven by Tony Gilham. Tony's Team HARD bought the two Insignias from Thorney Motorsport, and raced one of them himself in the last round of the 2012 season.
Driving both cars for the season of 2013 were James Cole and Jack Goff, running under the RCIB Insurance Racing team name. RCIB Insurance Racing/Team Hard sold the cars to BMR for the 2014 BTCC season, and would be driven by Jack Goff and Warren Scott. The Insignia was not as competitive as hoped and the cars were replaced mid season with Volkswagen CCs.
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