The new Vauxhall Insignia will morph into a crossover in a bid boost sales, and our exclusive images preview how it could look
You could be in for a shock when you see the new Vauxhall Insignia. Although sales of family hatch and saloon models have been falling rapidly due to the onslaught of the SUV, Vauxhall is taking a new approach which it thinks could reignite interest in the Insignia.
“The industry is asking what happens after the SUV,” Stephen Norman told us. “And we think the new Insignia will be it. It’s the biggest metamorphosis of what we’ve seen so far from Vauxhall.”
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Although Norman wouldn’t be drawn on any more details, Auto Express understands that the current, low-slung Insignia Grand Sport – which has only just been facelifted – will be replaced by a crossover that’s somewhere between an SUV and an MPV. That doesn’t necessarily mean seven seats, but a more premium and spacious high-riding model, along similar lines to the latest Renault Espace, a car that isn’t currently sold in the UK. Our exclusive images preview how the new Insignia could look.
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Image 2 of 4
As with the next Astra, the Insignia will switch from its current platform and engine tech, which come from previous owner GM, and take advantage of the latest systems from the PSA group. That means EMP2 platform technology that promises lower weights and associated efficiency gains, plus the latest infotainment and driver-assistance systems.
EMP2 already underpins a range of Peugeots from the 308 to the 5008, as well as the Citroen C5 Aircross SUV and the premium DS 7 Crossback, while Vauxhall uses the same platform for the Grandland X SUV, which has just added a plug-in hybrid variant to its line-up.
The new Insignia will stretch the EMP2 platform to its extreme – possibly beyond the 4,778mm length and 2,793mm wheelbase of the Peugeot 508 SW. We’re unlikely to see the new Insignia until 2022 at the earliest, but it’s safe to assume that it will mirror other models in the PSA group with its choice of engines and technology.
At least one plug-in hybrid version is likely, possibly more. In a bigger car than Astra, larger petrol and diesel engines will be a challenge without pushing the CO2 average up, hence a focus on plug-in tech. The 128bhp 1.5 diesel is a possibility, though, as is PSA’s 1.6 PureTech petrol.
Vauxhall is not alone in thinking of a radical way to replace its family hatch. It’s rumoured that Ford is thinking along similar lines with the replacement for its Mondeo, which has suffered a similar decline to the Insignia in recent years. Sales of the Insignia across Europe have dropped by around a third year on year in 2019, with the whole category down nearly 20 per cent.
What do you think of the Vauxhall Insignia’s new look? Let us know your thoughts below…