2008 Opel Insignia
The Opel Insignia is one of the latest models from Opel, which was released in 2008 and replaced Opel Vectra. Even though Insignia supposed to be the next Vectra, only with a different name, it has changed significantly. New design, new engines, much more available options. With both diesel and petrol engines, all meet Euro 5 emissions standards and come with six-speed transmissions, manual or automatic. It has a coupe-like silhouette, along the lines of the Mercedes-Benz CLS and the forthcoming Volkswagen Passat CC. For some people Insignia looks like Mazda 6.
Still, the Insignia is a brand new, most importantly - individual model, which has a lot to offer.
“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.”
These words mean a lot to an average driver, and Mark Adams certainly knows what to say.
Opel’s pioneering role and unique expertise in lighting technology continues in the Insignia with the latest generation AFL Adaptive Forward Lighting system: 9 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 0.
The new 2008 Opel Insignia launches today with a exceptionally broad range of seven engines that all meet Euro 5 emissions standards. The four gasoline engines range from 115 to 260 hp completed with three new 2.0 liter turbo-diesels featuring power outputs of 110,130 and 160 hp. In the coming months, the power train range will be expanded with new, more powerful motors. In addition, an ECO FLEX version with especially lowCO2 emissions will join the lineup. In each of their respective power output category, these engines are among the best or the best in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Together with the option of tailoring the riding experience for added fun, the new Opel Insignia’s chassis concept offers more comfort for all. Drivers can individualize their chassis and suspension setup in one of two ways: Either with a generally stiffer suspension available in combination with the sport equipment package or with the new generation fully-integrated adaptive suspension control, Flex Ride.
The new Flex Ride system enables drivers to choose a chassis setup that matches their own particular driving style. In addition to the comfortable Standard ride setting, Flex Ride enables the driver to select are laxed (Tour) or a firmer, more crisp suspension set-up (Sport) by pressing two buttons on the instrument panel. Deactivating the Sport or Tour mode returns the ride setting to the Standard mode. In all modes, the chassis management system automatically adapts damping in real time to the driving and road conditions.
In Sport mode, for example, Flex Ride provides a spirited driving experience. With the push of a button, the dampers stiffen and the accelerator offers a swifter pedal response. Moreover, it increases Variable Effort Steering (VES), raises the shift-points of the automatic transmission to a higher rpm and adjusts the Adaptive 4X4 system for more rear-wheel drive. In sport mode, the AFL system reacts more quickly. In addition, the lighting on the instrument panel changes from white to red to add to the driving experience.
Another new element in the 2008 Opel Insignia is is the front LED daytime running lights, which use considerably less energy,and thereby fuel, than using normal headlamps. The wing-shaped signature light graphics in the front and the rear give the Insignia a distinctive look both day and night.
Opel installed an interesting feature in Insignia - an ability to read signs. The Insignia can detect road signs and lane markings thanks to a high-resolution wide-angle camera mounted on the windshield, which takes 30 pictures per second. Those images are then filtered by two signal processors with the help of proprietary GM software. If a match occurs, the speed limits and no-passing road signs are displayed as a symbol in the center of the instrument panel between the main round dials. The information can be recalled with the push of a button situated on the steering wheel.
The camera also checks whether drivers stay in their chosen lane on the highway.This helps prevent a dangerous situation such as drivers falling asleep at the wheel by warning them with a gong sound and a blinking signal on the instrument panel. The Lane Departure Warning and Traffic Sign recognition systems can be deactivated via a button on the steering wheel.
Opel really made a great car. As usual, any new model from any car-maker will have some bugs and problems, which need solving, but all the tests tell us one thing - Insignia is a very well made automobile.