Vauxhall is set to add a rugged SUV-inspired all-purpose estate to its New Insignia range later this year.
Known as the Insignia Country Tourer, and based on the Sports Tourer model, but with all-wheel drive, higher ground clearance and tougher styling, the new car will be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September.
With its signature griffin grille, now wider and deeper, the front styling is distinctively Vauxhall. The grille’s horizontal chrome bar carries the central brand emblem and is sculpted in a wing form, with its outer tips turned upwards alongside the headlamps. A protective panel, in a gleaming silver finish, sweeps out from under the engine compartment; a prominent design theme echoed at the rear.
Another feature is the anthracite-coloured protective cladding on the side sills and lower body sections, which gives the wheel-arches a more pronounced, flared look.
A final visual flourish is provided by distinctive front and rear light units. The headlamps, with embedded chrome accents, incorporate wing-style LED daytime running lights. This theme is repeated at the rear, with LED brake and taillights.
State-of-the-art all-wheel drive is combined with two powerful turbo-diesel engines: a 2.0-litre BiTurbo CDTi, producing 195PS and 400Nm of torque, and a 2.0-litre CDTi with 165PS and up to 380Nm torque available. A choice of six-speed manual or a low-friction, six-speed automatic transmission is available on the 2.0-litre (165PS) diesel engine. The 2.0-litre (195PS) BiTurbo diesel engine is available in automatic only.
The electronically controlled 4x4 drivetrain incorporates a high-quality clutch, operating on Haldex principles, and an electronic limited-slip differential to ensure superb traction on both paved and unpaved surfaces. It constantly adapts to the prevailing road conditions, and can vary torque distribution seamlessly between the front and rear axles, as well as between the rear wheels, even before a wheel begins to slip.
When necessary, the clutch controlling drive distribution immediately sends more torque to the rear axle. The 4x4 system’s sensors constantly feed individual control modules with information on yaw rate, acceleration, steering angle, wheel speed, throttle pedal position, engine speed and torque. The front/rear power distribution is constantly adapted to the driving situation based on this information.
Ultimate stability and higher dynamics are ensured by the electronically-controlled rear-axle Limited Slip Differential (eLSD). The eLSD controls the distribution of torque between the rear wheels, transferring drive torque to the wheel that has the most grip. While offering better traction in slippery conditions, the sophisticated operation of this adaptive 4x4 drive system guarantees the highest levels of driver control and active safety in all situations. The Insignia Country Tourer can even provide propulsion when three wheels are on loose or slippery ground and only one rear wheel has traction.
The adaptive all-wheel system also supports drivers in non-critical situations. To reduce frictional losses and save fuel, the system automatically reverts to front-wheel drive whenever it senses that no adaptive interventions are required.
Off road, the new Insignia Country Tourer also benefits from larger tyres and a raised ride height, in addition to its four-wheel drive traction. Ground clearance is 20mm higher than on a standard model, a major advantage when encountering loose, uneven terrain.
“The Insignia Country Tourer is perfect for a winter holiday, on snowy roads, or simply when the going gets tough,” said Stuart Harris, Vauxhall’s Head of Carline Brand. “Even on urban roads its robust looks give it strong stand-out appeal.”
Prices and full equipment details will coincide with the vehicle’s world premiere on the 10th September at the Frankfurt Motor Show.