2009 Opel Insignia Revealed, Officially

The General's German brand saw the sign it needed to replace the aged Vectra, so they opened up their eyes — and came up with this — the new 2009 Opel Insignia. It's a new name, a new car and yes, a new badge for the brand preciously misspelled from the name of a gem and it's being revealed in July at the London Motor Show. We're guessing Opel decided to drop this load of shots and details early due to, you know, all the leakage everywhere — both manufactured, silly and otherwise. This new Vectra-replacing four-door will hit the market with a pickup truck-like selection of engine options and powertrains. Buyers of the new Insignia will be able to choose from seven different engines — four gasoline engines ranging from a four-banger 115 HP unit to a V6 with an output of 260 horses and three new direct-injection diesels displacing 2.0 liters and with outputs spanning from 110 to 160 HP. And when you're done choosing your boring engines, you'll have a choice between either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. What else would we expect from a four-door that's 7.9 inches longer than the current Vectra and is built on the General's new globe-spanning Epsilon II platform. Of course we'd expect a variety of available options — this sculpted boat's going to need to play the role of like, every car in GM's multi-brand lineup. And that's why we should care about this new Euro sedan — because everything else with an Opel badge gets sent state-wide as a Saturn, so we're under the impression we'll be seeing this as the 2011 Saturn Aura. But the platform prostitution doesn't end there — the bones underneath will hold the skin and meat of the 2011 Pontiac G6 and the 2012 Chevy Malibu. Rumor is we'll also see it as the 2010 Buick LaCrosse and the 2010 Saab 9-3. Yes, that means the 2010 LaCrosse would actually get an AWD platform — hmm, maybe there's some life in that old brand. Yeah, right. Full press release after the jump.

Opel Insignia: A New Design Language For A New Era

* Sculpted design with a flowing coupé silhouette

* Four-wheel drive, active chassis and seven engines available at launch

* World premiere July 2008 at the London Motor Show

Rüsselsheim. A new name, a new car, a new ambition. With its groundbreaking design and sophisticated technology, the Insignia makes a quantum leap toward rejuvenating the brand and providing the perfect opportunity to discover Opel. The styling of the new 4.83 meter five-seater clearly expresses Opel's strategy to make advanced technology and attractive design affordable.

The Insignia boasts a flowing, powerful silhouette with a coupé-like roofline. The body's sculpted shape is accented by a distinctive radiator grille with a newly-designed Opel emblem. Unmistakable design elements include a sweeping front and rear light "wing" signature and a "blade" side contour that begins directly behind the front wheel and glides through the entire side of the body. Both details give the Insignia's a muscular but graceful allure.

"With Insignia we are introducing an exciting new sophisticated design vocabulary, which combines sculptural artistry with German precision," says Mark Adams, Vice President Design, GM Europe. "Our aim was to develop a confident look which compels the world to experience for themselves the superb driving dynamics the Insignia radiates."

Echoing the exterior, the interior shapes and surfaces, which articulate this promise for exciting mobility, are crafted with high quality materials. The dashboard wraps around from the instrument panel to the door in a very sophisticated way, embracing the occupants. This wing theme will be echoed across all Opels. Red ambient lighting, which also will be featured in future Opel models, vibrate a warm, luxurious aura. A lot of emphasis too has been put into the seating, which set the highest standards in ergonomics, comfort and safety.

Opel's pioneering role and unique expertise in lighting technology continues in the Insignia with the latest generation AFL Adaptive Forward Lighting system: Nine different light beam settings automatically adjust themselves to cater to various driving conditions, simultaneously enhancing safety and driving excitement. Another new element on the AFL system is the LED daytime running lights, which consume considerably less energy than a conventional system featuring halogen lamps, thereby lowering CO2 emissions from 6 g/km to nearly zero.

"As each feature demonstrates, the Insignia is the result of our quest to develop a car that combines striking design, excellent driving dynamics and innovative technology" says Hans H. Demant, Managing Director, Adam Opel GmbH.

The Insignia is offered from the start with front-wheel and all-wheel drive. The "Adaptive 4X4" system's proactive, instantaneous torque distribution not only ensures optimal traction but also enhances driving stability and dynamic handling performance. In the all-wheel drive Insignia, the FlexRide mechatronic chassis system with its Adaptive Stability Technology helps the car adjust to prevailing driving conditions and allows the driver to select settings to match his mood. FlexRide is also available in the front-wheel version.

The Insignia will launch with an exceptionally broad range of seven engines. All meet Euro 5 emissions standards and come with either manual or automatic six-speed transmissions. The four gasoline engines range from a four-cylinder 115 hp unit to a V6 with 260 hp. The three new direct-injection diesels feature a displacement of 2.0 liter and outputs spanning from 110 to 160 hp. Subsequently the Insignia engine line-up will be expanded with an EcoFLEX version offering very low CO2 emissions in addition to other, more powerful variants.

"The Opel Insignia sets new standards in technology and innovation — this will be obvious right from the launch. But we are keeping several cards up our sleeves when it comes to environmental compatibility, excitement and safety, which we will play strategically overtime" says Alain Visser, Chief Marketing Officer, GM Europe.

The Insignia notch- and hatchback will debut July 22, 2008 at the London Motor Show and hit showrooms starting in November. The Insignia was developed at GM Europe's International Technical Development Center in Rüsselsheim, Germany, which also is home to its production. The Rüsselsheim facility is one of the most advanced car plants in the industry.

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Raphael Orlove

@mzs: @yagobal: Much as car designers have sharpened up the blobby lines of the 90s, when even the boxy Volvos looked soft, they don't have the same presence of the cars folks would roll in on an everyday basis without hardly a thought. Old Renault 4s have acres more style than this, even though everything behind the front door is kind of off. What bugs me most is that when they do try to hearken back, the designers make too big a deal of it, and good style becomes a niche, much like how I figure the G8 will do here.