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Opel to withdraw loan requests

Opel to withdraw loan requests

Vauxhall andOpel have withdrawn their offers for aid from the European government. They claim the reason for the dropped request is down to long delays.

In a statement, the GM brands said that their request for £1.5 billion in aid has been withdrawn, but money is still needed. Instead of asking for help, GM said it would fund the restructuring itself.

"GM’s recently improved financial strength has been a catalyst for making this decision," the carmaker said in a statement, adding that it expected to return to profitability "shortly".

GM Europe president Nick Reilly said: “"We cannot afford to have uncertain funding plans and new time-consuming complex negotiations at this time when we need to keep investing in new products and technologies."

Just weeks ago, Germany rejected a loan request to Opel, while the UK government is still looking into £275 of loans.

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Next Vauxhall Astra VXR to have 300hp

Next Vauxhall Astra VXR to have 300hp

Autocar is reporting that the new Vauxhall Astra VXR three-door hatch will be going up against the Ford Focus RS and the Renaultsport Megane.

Sources say that Vauxhall wants to make up the ground lost to the Focus RS by making a hot 300 horsepower Astra VXR.

“The VXR brand is about extreme performance. It’s safe to say that the next Astra will build on where the current car is and react to market trends. It’ll be quite a power hike over the current car,” said an insider to Autocar.

Vauxhall engineers believe that they can achieve this 63 horsepower upgrade by tuning the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder motor, rather than using a V6.

Like the Focus RS, the Astra VXR will get front-wheel drive; so expect it to have some sort of electronic differential to help cope with the power and torque.

Yet, despite this big gain, Ford is one step ahead once again. The next RS is said to be a hybrid, which will combine a 250 horsepower motor with an electric motor. Compared to that, the Astra’s power plant seems a bit dull.

The Astra VXR won’t go on sale until next year. The exterior design will likely be close to the Astra Sport Coupe that will be shown in Paris in September, but with bigger wheel arches and a larger rear spoiler.

The Vauxhall VXR brand has been a big hit in Europe, with over 3,000 models sold in 2009.

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2009 Opel Insignia Sports Tourer

2009 Opel Insignia Sports Tourer

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.

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