Opel is introducing its third body type to the 2009 Insigna line-up, a wagon. Known as the Opel Insignia Sports Tourer, this wagon is an important car for Opel considering the popularity of wagons in Europe. While this will be considered a lager family car in Europe, it would be consider a mid-sized wagon in the U.S. There is no confirmation yet that this model will also make the trip to these shores when its sedan sibling replaces the Saturn Aura possibly in 2010.
There are nine total engines expected for the Insigna family. Choices include five gasoline — naturally aspired and turbo charged four cylinders as well as naturally aspired V6s. Also expected are four turbo-diesels. Power over the entire range should be from 110 to 260 hp. The wagon will also get the same optional all-wheel drive system as the rest of the Insignia line.
The Sports Tourer is expected to make its official debut at the Paris Auto Show in October, and it should be in European showrooms along the sedan and hatchback variations by early 2009.
Press release after the jump.
When customers flock to buy a completely new car in hard economic times, then that auto must be a particularly special one. To date some 75,000 Insignias have been ordered in Europe so far. The debut of a third addition to the Insignia line up – the Sports Tourer – gives the public a further reason to own a "Car of the Year 2009."
The Insignia Sports Tourer offers leading technologies wrapped in a sporty, premium body and reflects this in its name. The model boasts the same athletic, powerful and elegant de-sign as its sedan counterparts. Mark Adams, Vice President of GM Europe Design, de-scribes the design of the Insignia as "a combination of sculptural artistry and German pre-cision, bringing together engineering excellence and emotion in perfect harmony." But, he adds, "The Insignia Sports Tourer has its own individual personality and is not simply a wagon version of the sedan.”
The designers of the Insignia have given the rear of the Sports Tourer a sophisticated yet cohesive appearance by pulling the "wraparound" tailgate far into the flanks and accentuat-ing it with large, distinctive, fully integrated tail lights. This dynamic look encloses an interior that offers ample space for five occupants and a highly competitive luggage compartment. The rear offers a volume up to 1,530 liters. The Sports Tourer has retained an identical wheelbase of 2.74 meters as the sedan models and added around 8 cm to its length for an overall 4.91 meters.
To mark the launch of the Insignia Sports Tourer, two new engines will join the seven al-ready available on the sedan models. A 1.6-liter gasoline turbo engine with 180 hp and 230 Nm of torque as well will be available with front wheel drive (FWD). A 2.0 BiTurbo with 190 hp and 400 Nm of torque will first be available with Adaptative 4x4 four-wheel drive, con-firming Insignia’s ambition to be superior among the midsize cars. Those two engines of course also will enrich the sedan family of motors. A FWD variant on the 2.0 CDTI BiTurbo will be added later.
In addition, an ecoFLEX variant with a 2.0 liter CDTI diesel engine developing 118 kW/160 hp and 350 Nm of torque will be introduced to the range in the near future. With remarkably low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions below 140 g/km on the sedans, the Insignia ecoFLEX offers environmentally friendly driving without compromising driving performance.
"Along with leading technologies and high safety standards, the Opel Insignia Sports Tourer expresses Opel’s strategy to make innovations and attractive design accessible," says Alain Visser, GM Europe Vice President Opel.
Its newly developed chassis, designed to offer a high level of safety and comfort, can be enhanced with the innovative FlexRide mechatronic system which raises stability and pro-vides real time, electronically controlled damping. FlexRide also gives the driver the choice between three driving modes. In addition to the standard setting, the driver can either opt for a comfort-oriented "Tour" mode or a stiffer "Sport" ride.
The Sport mode makes the Insignia Sports Tourer driving experience more active, as it changes the set-up of interlinked functions such as the steering, throttle control, and even the ambient lighting of the dashboard. Furthermore, Insignia customers can opt for the new, sophisticated Adaptive 4x4 system with FlexRide chassis and electronic limited slip differential that proactively distributes torque to ensure superb stability while providing op-timal traction and enhancing handling performance on all road conditions.
The introduction of the new Opel Insignia Sports Tourer on the European markets this spring will also feature the innovative Opel Eye camera, which recognizes certain traffic signs and warns drivers when they unintentionally veer out of their lane as well. Other in-novative features are the new-generation AFL+ headlamps that adjust to prevailing traffic conditions with nine different lighting functions and the favorably priced, particularly back-friendly, orthopedically-certified ergonomic sport seats. On light-colored interior fabrics, the Sports Tourer also comes with a new seat material called TopTec which resists staining and prevents liquids from penetrating it.
Pricing of the Sports Tourer starts at 23,990 euros for the 1.6 ECOTEC gasoline version and 25,590 euros for the 2.0 CDTI (110 hp) diesel model, which is only 900 euros more than its hatchback counterpart.
Market & model
Customers have spoken: Across Europe, 75,000 orders for the Opel Insignia already have been received since the brand’s new flagship arrived on the scene in July last year. Follow-ing the successful launch of the notchback and hatchback models, the Insignia Sports Tourer will add a new dimension to the range this spring. As its name suggests, the de-signers of the Opel Insignia Sports Tourer carry forward the dynamic appearance of the new midsize class car to the new station wagon. The station wagon embraces the same creative power and technical precision to produce a harmony of emotion and elegance as the other members of the Insignia range.
At 4.91 meters, the station wagon is 8 cm longer than the sedan, but has an identical wheelbase of 2.74 meters. The storage area to the front seats is 1.91 meters and, when fully loaded, the roomy station wagon has a maximum capacity of 1,530 liters.
With its leading technologies and high safety standards, the sporty and stylish Insignia Sports Tourer also expresses Opel’s strategy to make innovation and attractive design af-fordable. With the “Opel Eye” camera system, AFL+ headlamp system, Adaptive 4x4 four-wheel drive system with FlexRide chassis and electronic limited slip differential (eLSD), the Insignia Sports Tourer offers the same advanced technology as the Insignia sedan and hatchback. It also has a number of station wagon-specific features such as a tailgate that can be opened and shut electrically with programmable opening height, plus an automatic load leveling system and the familiar FlexOrganizer system.
The Insignia Sports Tourer is the ideal choice both for families and active people who need a station wagon for their leisure activities and sports equipment, but do not want to dispense with the elegant style, superb driving characteristics and low fuel consumption of a midsize car.
Particularly strong station wagon markets, in which Opel’s market research team expects this third body variant to attain a particularly high share of the model mix, are Italy (80%) and Germany (70%). Overall though, the market researchers expect all three versions to sell in roughly equal numbers across Europe. Like the sedan models, the Insignia Sports Tourer was developed at the GM Europe Design and Engineering Center in Rüsselsheim, where is will also be built.
Like the sedans, the Insignia Sports Tourer is available with a choice of nine engines and four equipment levels: Essentia, Edition, Sport and Cosmo. The Insignia Sports Tourer, comes with generous standard equipment including air-conditioning with pollen and particle filter as well as air recirculation, CD 300 MPS stereo CD radio with seven speakers, power windows at the front, reading lamps in front and rear, height and tilt-adjustable steering wheel, center armrest at the front, power height-adjustable driver’s seat, green tinted heat-absorbing windows, remote control central locking and a board computer.
Design & Body
The name of Opel’s new Insignia model, the Sports Tourer, reflects the Opel design team’s success in turning the dynamic new midsize into a station wagon. But the Insignia Sports Tourer has its own added value, like a power tailgate with programmable opening height, a load leveling system and the familiar FlexOrganizer cargo management system. The com-pletely flat luggage compartment has a capacity of 540 to 1,530 liters.
While designers carried forward the sporty, elegant design of the Insignia to the Sports Tourer, they spared no effort in giving the most functional Insignia its own unique look. "This vehicle has it’s own individual personality and is not simply a wagon version of the sedan. In fact, all the bodywork aft of the B-pillar is unique to the Sports Tourer. We’ve also ensured that its design combines the sculptural artistry and German precision found in the notchback and hatchback models, where engineering excellence meets emotion," says Mark Adams, Vice President of GM Europe Design.
The result is a dynamic, sporty station wagon that elegantly conceals its high utility value. To achieve this, the designers reinterpreted a number of elements. They pulled the "wrapa-round" tailgate far into the flanks and punctuated it with large, distinctive, fully integrated taillights. The chrome strip holding the prominent Opel logo gives the car a note of added confidence and elegance. The whole tailgate itself visually integrates with the bumper, giv-ing the car a very up-market and classy look.
The roofline and rear cabin taper down dramatically toward the rear end, emphasizing the aerodynamic efficiency that underpins the car’s design. The roof spoiler has the effect of elongating the dynamic sloping roofline and again optimizes the airflow, reducing both drag and rear lift. This is also accentuated by roof rails, ensuring that the Insignia sedan’s sporty proportions are retained in the Sports Tourer. Two vertical fins that bridge the roof spoiler and the rear lights have the same effect. The airflow is sharply cut off which also reduces rear end lift and gives the vehicle added stability. With a cD value of just below 0.30, the Insignia Sports Tourer is the most aerodynamic station wagon Opel has ever built.
It is not only the looks and the aerodynamics that played a key role in the design of the rear section. Safety is paramount. The rear lights have been intentionally mounted relatively high up, protecting it in the event of a minor collision. The plastic cover between the back lights and the bumper can absorb small knocks without problem and is not expensive to replace if it becomes damaged in a more serious incident.
Interior: Plenty of space and practical features like the FlexOrganizer system
The new station wagon’s dynamic look encloses an interior that offers ample space for five occupants. It also gives plenty of headroom for rear seat passengers and a sufficient sto-rage that offers a volume of 540 liters. The Sports Tourer has retained an identical wheel-base of 2.74 meters as the sedan models and added around 8 cm to its rear cargo length for an overall 4.91 meters. The load area length up to the front seats is 1.91 meters and when fully loaded, the sporty station wagon has a maximum capacity of 1,530 liters.
The Insignia Sports Tourer offers just as much room as conventional station wagons but stands out from the rest through its sporty appearance. One particularly stylish detail is the optional large panoramic glass roof that is available for the first time in this class. It provides generous illumination of the interior with sunlight and, for back-seat passengers, gives the impression of spaciousness. Naturally, a sunblind is provided if the interior gets too hot.
The automatic load leveling system (optional) and the closing support for the manual tail-gate, which makes closing the back easier are particularly practical in everyday use. Also available as an option is a tailgate that can be electrically opened and closed via the remote control on the key and features a programmable opening height that helps prevent damage to the tailgate even in garages with low ceilings.
Added to that are clever ideas such as the familiar FlexOrganizer system that separates and secures cargo loads: A flexible system of nets and foldaway dividers can be fixed to two horizontal rails running along each side of the load area. The Insignia Sports Tourer offers additional variability thanks to the many trays and storage areas in the interior, such as the compartments in the front doors (as in the sedans) that can accommodate a 1.5-liter bottle, a large glove compartment and a closed partition for the driver’s valuables. Storage pouches on the backrests of the front seats offer additional space for road maps or other small items.
The all-new seats which the Sports Tourer shares with the Insignia sedans have a beneficial effect on the well-being of passengers and drivers alike. A wide adjustment range on both the seats and the steering wheel enables occupants to find an optimal seating position and their ergonomic design offers superb back support. An active ventilation system is available as an option together with the Ergonomic Sport Seat , giving four-way pneumatic lumbar support, improved tilt adjustment, and ergonomic seat contours, including superior side support and body-supporting foam pads. Because of these improvements, the sport seats have received a much coveted seal of approval from Aktion Gesunder Rücken e.V., an independent panel of ergonomics experts and physicians in Germany.
The new Sports Tourer also comes with a new seat material that is an automotive industry first: It uses TopTec nano-technology to help the textile upholstery resist staining and pre-vent liquids from penetrating it, making it easier to clean than conventional upholstery. TopTec material, available with the beige interior, is as breathable as conventional fabrics and makes it easier for families with small children to choose interior trim with friendly, light-colored upholstery.
Engines & chassis
Two new engines make their premiere in the Insignia Sports Tourer, joining the seven units already available for the sedan models. The new motors – a 2.0-liter BiTurbo diesel with 190 hp and the 1.6-liter gasoline turbo with 180 hp – are also on offer in the entire Insignia range. Both new engines are part of Opel’s downsizing strategy, which aims to achieve higher performance by increasing the efficiency of smaller engines with the help of state-of-the-art technology so that they rival larger engines in performance, torque and drivability but consume considerably less fuel. All engines comply with the Euro 5 standard. An ecoFLEX variant with remarkably low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions will also be in-troduced in the course of this year.
With the Adaptive 4x4 all-wheel drive system and FlexRide chassis, the new station wagon offers the same advanced propulsion technology as the Insignia. If the Sports Tourer is ordered with a trailer hook, the standard ESP system will also feature a Trailer Stability As-sist program. This system counters vehicle instability that may occur when towing a trailer or a caravan by reducing engine torque and applying brake pressure to selected wheels when needed.
The diesel units: Four powerful and efficient engines
The new 2.0-liter CDTI BiTurbo tops the diesel engine family available in the Insignia. With two-stage turbo-charging and Cleantech combustion control, it produces 140 kW/190 hp at 4,000 rpm. The maximum torque is 400 Nm at a low 2,000 rpm. This top-of-the-line diesel accelerates to 100 km/h in 8.8 seconds and allows a top speed of 223 km/h, yet combined fuel consumption is 6.5 l/100 km.
The innovative Cleantech technology that controls combustion via an electronic closed loop system debuts in this common-rail four-cylinder engine. Pressure sensors integrated in the glow plugs are used to measure combustion pressures as high as 180 bar in each individual cylinder up to 300,000 times per minute, within an accuracy of 98 percent. This closed loop system ensures that the engine always operates within an optimum range for maximum power output and minimum exhaust emissions, improving efficiency and lowering combustion noise.
Two turbochargers, one small and one large, are connected in series and controlled by a combined throttle system. The two-phase turbocharging concept ensures a good response at low engine speeds as well as maximum power output values. Up to 1,500 rpm, the ex-haust gases only pass over the turbine in the small, low-inertia turbocharger, which forces air into the cylinders at a pressure of up to 3.2 bars. Between 1,500 and 3,000 rpm, part of the exhaust gas flow is diverted to the large turbine so that both turbochargers become ac-tive. Pre-compressed in the large turbocharger, the air is led into the small turbocharger via an intercooler and then forced into the cylinders in a highly compressed state. At engine speeds above 3,000 rpm, the entire exhaust gas flow is directed to the larger turbo, from where the compressed air is forced into the cylinders via the intercooler.
A third generation, common-rail injection system – working at pressures up to 2,000 bars – is another special feature of this diesel engine. It delivers fuel through high-precision, piezo electrically-controlled injector nozzles that allow up to eight injections per stroke, enabling extremely precise combustion control in terms of noise and exhaust emissions. An oxida-tion catalyst, located close to the engine and a maintenance free particulate filter provide after-treatment of the exhaust gas.
The other diesel units belong to the new diesel generation that made its debut in the Insignia. They feature high performance and torque, as well as excellent fuel economy. All three units come standard with six-speed transmission and have an average consumption of 6.0 liters per 100 km according to MVEG (7.9 liters for urban driving, 4.9 for extra-urban). This results in average CO2 emissions of 159 g/km. In addition, the Insignia ecoFLEX va-riant with the 2.0–liter CDTI diesel engine developing 118 kW/160 hp and 350 Nm of torque will be added to the range in the near future. With remarkably low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions below 140 g/km, the ecoFLEX model offers environmentally friendly driving without making any compromise to performance. All engine versions come with a maintenance-free diesel particulate filter and satisfy the Euro 5 emissions standard.
The engines have twin overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder and common-rail, multiple direct fuel injection and a variable geometry turbocharger for a rapid throttle re-sponse at low rpm. A dual mass flywheel ensures minimum vibration and the weight-optimized intake manifold is made of plastic. The electronically controlled exhaust gas re-circulation has a variable cooling function. Electro-pneumatically operated bypass flaps are controlled by the engine management system to ensure that the re-circulated exhaust gas reaches an optimum temperature for combustion.
The gasoline units: Five alternatives, three with turbo
Three of the five gasoline engines for the Insignia Sports Tourer reflect the consistent im-plementation of Opel’s rightsizing strategy, which aims to achieve higher performance not through higher displacement, but rather to increase the efficiency of smaller engines with the help of state-of-the-art technology to such a point that they at least rival larger engines in terms of performance, torque and drivability while at the same time consuming consider-ably less fuel. The new 1.6-liter, four-cylinder gasoline turbo engine in the ECOTEC series, for example, delivers maximum power of 132 kW/180 hp and generates peak torque of 230 Nm from just 2,200 rpm all the way to 5,500 rpm. On top, the standard overboost sys-tem delivers a temporary 15 percent torque increase, up to 266 Nm, as required.
The integration of the turbocharger housing in the cast exhaust manifold – a typical Opel feature – optimizes weight-saving and ensures a rapid response.
The 2.0 Turbo generates even more power. It is equipped with high-tech features such as gasoline direct injection, twin-scroll turbocharger with intercooler, twin camshaft with varia-ble valve timing and two balance shafts. The all-aluminum four-cylinder unit generates 162 kW/220 hp at 5,300 rpm. The generous torque peak of 350 Nm between 2,000 and 4,000 rpm provides plenty of power in all situations. The Insignia Sports Tourer 2.0 Turbo sprints from 0-100 km/h in just 7.9 sec and has a top speed of 236 km/h. Average con-sumption of the manual transmission version is 8.9 liters of premium-grade lead-free fuel per 100 km (MVEG).
The top-of-the-range gasoline engine for the Insignia Sports Tourer is the 2.8 V6 Turbo, which produces 191 kW/260 hp and reaches its maximum torque of 350 Nm between 1,900 and 4,500 rpm. This unit features a number of high-tech solutions. The 24-valve en-gine not only has a classic cylinder angle of 60° and overhead camshafts driven by double chains, but also variable valve timing and a twin-scroll turbocharger. The charge air-cooled unit, mounted centrally above the transmission, has an integrated boost pressure regulating valve and feeds the engine with a pressure of max. 0.6 bar. Just as impressive as the technical data is the engine’s power development capacity: At just 1,500 rpm, the 2.8-liter power unit produces 90 percent of its maximum torque of 350 Nm. This outstanding per-formance for this capacity engine is available over a wide engine speed range from 1,900 to 4,500 rpm. On top, the standard overboost system delivers a temporary torque increase, up to 400 Nm, as required.
The entry level engines of the Insignia Sport Tourer are closely related. These weight-optimized 1.6 and 1.8 ECOTEC engines develop 85 kW/115 hp at 6,000 rpm and 103 kW/140 hp at 6,300 rpm, as well as maximum torque of 155 Nm at 4,000 rpm and 175 Nm at 3,800 rpm respectively. Technical highlights of the four-valve engines include continuously variable camshaft phasing to optimize the charge cycle, a two-phase intake control pipe which has a roller instead of a switching valve for improved channel formation, and a new magnetic crankshaft sensor. That new crankshaft sensor is one of many exam-ples of intelligent, lightweight construction.
The chassis: FlexRide and Adaptive 4x4 optional
The new chassis developed for front and all-wheel drive with its new front and rear sus-pension systems offers a particularly high level of comfort and safety. On the front axle, the McPherson struts have dual path top mountings, separating the transfer of spring and damper loadings to the body. To optimize unsprung weight and weight distribution, the combined steering knuckle/strut carrier and the control arm are made from aluminum, and the stabilizer bar is in hollow section steel. The steering and lower A-arm are mounted on a stable auxiliary frame attached via four rubber bearings to the front side members of the body to effectively insulate the passengers from noise and vibrations. The rearmost bush-ings of the A-arms are also hydraulically damped to help prevent road shock and vibrations from being transmitted to the steering wheel.
The base four-link rear suspension consists of an upper camber link, two lower and a trail-ing link, plus a hollow section stabilizer bar. To further reduce unsprung weight, the second lower link, carrying the spring, is in aluminum. The suspension is carried on a fabricated steel cross-member, which is bolted directly to the body through four mountings. The all-wheel drive versions feature a lower H-arm link. To improve handling and cushioning com-fort, the geometry of the chassis and the chassis bushes have been designed for optimum absorption of the longitudinal and transversal forces.Self-leveling rear suspension, which maintains a constant rear ride height when load-carrying or towing, is available for the In-signia Sports Tourer.
The basic chassis can be further enhanced with the innovative, integrated FlexRide me-chatronic chassis system, which improves stability and provides real time, electronically controlled damping. FlexRide also gives the driver the choice between three driving modes. In addition to the standard adaptive mode, the driver can either opt for a comfort-oriented "Tour" or a "Sport" setting. The Sport mode makes the Insignia Sports Tourer driving experience more active, as it changes the set-up of interlinked functions such as the steering, throttle control and even the ambient lighting of the dashboard.
Furthermore, Insignia customers who enjoy leisure activities in any weather condition can order the new, sophisticated Adaptive 4x4 system for the two largest turbo gasoline and the TwinTurbo diesel units. This system proactively distributes torque to ensure superb stability while providing optimum traction and enhancing handling performance in all road conditions. Under electronic control, the Haldex hydraulic rear clutch unit continuously ad-justs and optimizes drive torque distribution between the front and rear axles.
The Adaptive 4x4 control unit is fully networked with the Insignia’s other control systems. It processes signals from the ESP sensors, the steering angle sensor and accelerator pedal position to adapt power distribution to the prevailing driving situation. For ultimate stability and performance, the Adaptive 4x4 all-wheel drive system is equipped with an electronical-ly controlled Limited Slip Differential (eLSD). The eLSD electronically controls the distribu-tion of torque between the left and right rear wheels, transferring rear axle torque to the wheel that has most grip. While offering better traction in slippery conditions, the sophisti-cated operation of the Adaptive 4x4 improves stability in all situations.
Equipment & Innovative Technologies
The Insignia Sports Tourer is Opel’s new flagship model. In accordance with this new lead-ing role, the designers of the new Insignia have given it all kinds of innovative technologies to make driving safer and more comfortable than ever before. Some of them are not only new for the Insignia, they are also new for the car market generally.
One such development is Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL+), a light system, in which the car’s headlights automatically adjust to prevailing road and weather conditions. The AFL now has a total of nine light functions (automatic high beam, urban light, playstreet light, country road light, motorway light, bad weather light, static turning light, dynamic cornering light and daytime running light) so that drivers can see the road better while, for example, turning a curve or driving on a country road at night. In addition, daytime running lights, in-cluding automatic light switch-on, are standard, improving the car’s visibility during the day.
The new "Opel Eye" system is also a world first. A camera located between the windshield and the rear-view mirror aids drivers in two different ways. The Traffic Sign Recognition function reads and memorizes speed limit and no-passing signs and displays them on the instrument panel. The Lane Departure Warning alerts drivers when they unintentionally veer out of lane. The wide-angle, high-resolution camera, which detects road signs and lane markings, is not much bigger than a mobile phone. It can shoot 30 pictures per second, which are filtered by two signal processors and evaluated. If a picture matches an image of a road sign in the car’s software, a warning sign is displayed in the instrument panel. The system is active between 60 and 200 km/h in daytime and between 60 and 150 km/h at night.
With its wide range of state-of-the-art infotainment and communications systems, the new Insignia sets particularly high standards in its class. The latest innovations include new user/HMI interface and flash storage for the navigation software. A new addition to the Insignia equipment from model year 9.5 is the basic navigation system CD 500 Navi. It in-cludes a 7-inch color monitor, a 3-D map view and improved scroll and zoom functions. There are also iPod and MP3 USB ports in the center console. The iPod interface offers functions such as track list. The navigation software is saved in the internal flash memory (1GB) and maps for individual countries can be downloaded from the CD. Even more com-fortable is the DVD Navi 800 which has a 2GB flash memory allowing to memorize up to 3 countries. With the DVD system, users also have the opportunity to use a detailed virtual travel guide.
In Insignia models with the DVD 800 Navi system, a multi-function controller with a turn/push selection action is located on the center console between the front seats (in combination with the electric parking brake). This controller is a particularly convenient al-ternative for tall drivers who sit well back in their seats. All the functions are the same as those found on the lower rotary knob in the audio unit.