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Vauxhall unveils a dashing diesel
With all the emphasis on economy, there is still some room for power. Vauxhall think so, which is why they’ve brought out their most powerful diesel ever.
This is the Insignia Bi-Turbo, a model which puts paid to the lie that diesels are dull. It’s no ordinary diesel. It’s a six-cylinder 195PS unit which makes it powerful enough to zip the weighty Insignia to 60mph in 8.4 seconds, yet which offers economy to rival a supermini - 65mpg on a run. If that doesn’t please a company car boss, nothing will.
This twin-sequential turbocharged diesel engine is available on a range of Insignias including SRi, SRi Nav, Elite and Elite Nav trims, meaning it costs from £27,180 to £33,320.
As Vauxhall bosses put it, this car offers six-cylinder performance with four-cylinder economy. Known as the Insignia BiTurbo, it’s available with a choice of five-door Hatch and Sports Tourer bodies in SRi, SRi Vx-line and Elite trims and comes with Vauxhall’s new lifetime warranty.
This twin-sequential turbocharged diesel is based on the 1,956cc unit which powers key models in the Insignia, Astra and Zafira Tourer range. But, in BiTurbo form the engine produces up to 35PS more power and extra torque, reducing the 0 to 60mph time by nearly a second to 8.2 seconds. Thanks to a package of economy features – including standard Start/Stop across the range – it achieves a 57.6mpg on a combined route.
What makes it unique in this class is its use of sequential turbocharging, with the smaller turbo accelerating quickly at lower engine speeds to eliminate ‘lag’. In the mid-range, both turbochargers work together. Complementing this power gain, Vauxhall’s clever FlexRide adaptive damping is standard on all Insignia BiTurbos. It is normally a £790 option on front-wheel drive Insignias. The system reacts within miliseconds to driver inputs and can ‘learn’ how the car is being driven and adapt damper settings accordingly. Drivers can also select Tour and Sport buttons, and configure the throttle, steering and damper settings in Sport mode separately.
In common with other models in the Insignia range, the BiTurbo has the option of Vauxhall’s new Front Camera System, with traffic sign recognition and lane departure warning, and Adaptive Cruise Control, which allows the driver to maintain a set distance from the car in front.
Since it was launched in 2008, the Insignia has been a success for Vauxhall, taking the D-sector by storm and building the company’s credibility to retail buyers and fleet sales. Simon Price, product manager for Insignia, said: “Much of the Insignia’s success has been down to its appeal as a car that combines many of the attributes from the ‘premium’ players, like BMW’s 3-series and Mercedes’ C-class, but at a more mainstream price.”
In 2011, 46,000 Insignias were sold in the UK, making it the biggest market for the model in Europe. British retail buyers have taken a shine, making it their fourth most popular in the segment.