2017 Vauxhall Insignia will feature four-wheel-drive and torque vectoring option
Coming later this year, the upcoming Vauxhall Insignia range will get more features and technology than ever before, with the new flagship model sitting above a new line-up of SUVs that are also due out over the coming months.
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The new Insignia Grand Sport isn’t just aiming at taking on its age-old rival, the Ford Mondeo, but also the likes of entry-level premium models such as the Jaguar XE, Mercedes C-Class and BMW 3 Series. So just how is it going to do it?
Well, despite being a five-door hatchback, its its silhouette is more akin to a coupe. It gets an all-new upmarket look too, which will help it look the part sat next to the more expensive pickings of the saloon market.
At the front, the headlights are much slimmer than before, while the grille is lower and thinner than the current Insignia. There are large creases along the bottom of the body that run right up to the wheel arch, while split LED tail lights give the rear a completely new look, too.
On the inside
It’s larger than the current model, and as such is around 10cm longer. This translates into more legroom for rear passengers, and a generally more airy cabin. The dashboard houses a large touchscreen which operates Vauxhall’s latest IntelliLink infotainment software.
No exact specification has been confirmed yet, but the usual accoutrements such as climate control, satnav, parking sensors and rear-view camera will all be there.
There’s also a plethora of additional safety kit available such as a head-up display, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist and Rear Cross Assist.
Changes are just as drastic underneath, where you’ll find an all-new platform that means the new car is around 170kg lighter than its forebear.
As for engines, no exact line up has been confirmed, but Vauxhall’s punchy 1.4 and 2.0-litre turbocharged petrols are likely to feature, while the usual 1.6 and 2.0-litre diesels will offer the best economy figures.
New all-wheel-drive option with torque vectoring
In the hope of taking on the German executives, the Grand Sport will be offered with an all-wheel-drive system touted as a “class-leader” that will offer “huge driver appeal”, according to Vauxhall. Opting for the system will also see the six-speed manual give way to an eight-speed automatic gearbox that’ll be available with the range-topping petrol offering.
What’s more, Vauxhall has confirmed that new Insignias will be available with a clever torque-vectoring system too, which controls the distribution of torque according to changes in throttle position, steering angle and the quality of road surface.
Combined with the four-wheel-drive system, this should make the Insignia immensely capable in adverse conditions, proving more stable and steerable all of the time.
The Grand Sport will be joined by an estate soon after launch, aptly named the Country Tourer. Like the saloon, it gets a new all-wheel-drive system.
However, a jacked up suspension and a chunky body will give it genuine off road ability, too. Vauxhall is clearly following the likes of Volkswagen’s Passat Alltrack and Mercedes’ new E-Class 4x4 with this model.
Elsewhere in the range, Vauxhall is obviously feeling the pressure up against rivals’ crossovers and SUVs, and has announced a Qashqai-sized crossover, the Crossland X, will be available sometime next year.
No official release date has been revealed yet, but we reckon the order books for the new Insignia Grand Sport should open in February. If you can’t wait until next year, here’s all our personal lease deals on the current Vauxhall Insignia.