Opel Insignia (2009)

Opel Insignia

The Opel Insignia elegant styling can be summed up as sculptural artistry meets German precision - a mantra that will be chanted in Opel models moving forward. With the Insignia, Opel successfully has brought the sporty coupé design to the mid-size sedan class without making any concessions in interior space. The Insignia offers three centimeters more knee room than the Vectra. The car also proves to be particularly efficient aerodynamically with a spectacular Cd of 0.27 which positively influences the economic, dynamic and acoustic qualities of the car. Both body variants have identical 4.830 mm length and share the same wheelbase of 2,737 mm.

The new car will hit dealerships in Germany before the end of 2008 and other markets as of January 2009 with a line-up of seven engines. All meet Euro 5 emissions standards and come with six-speed transmissions, either manual or automatic. The four gasoline engines range from a four-cylinder 115 hp unit to a V6 with 260 hp. The three new direct-injection turbo-diesels exclusively developed for the Opel Insignia feature displacement of 2.0 liters. They offer outputs spanning from 110 to 160 hp and excellent torque values ranging from 260 to 350 Nm. All combinations compare competitively in CO2 emissions.

Powerfully Sculpted Lines Give Opel Insignia its Dynamic Look

The design of the new Opel Insignia signals a paradigm shift for Opel by adding emotion back to the brand. Both the notch and hatchback of Opel's new car feature a flowing, muscular silhouette with a sporty roofline. The designers created a powerfully sculpted shape for the body and used the same design cues in the interior, giving the Insignia a premium feel.

Opel has a long successful tradition of building very aerodynamic cars. Just remember the spectacular 1990 Calibra and its Cd of 0.26. With a drag coefficient of 0.27, the Opel Insignia is more streamlined than competitors with underbody shields. The Insignia's fuel consumption and driving dynamics benefit from its sleek, flowing styling which was optimized during more than 650 hours in the wind tunnel.

In addition to its slipstream body shape and sporty roofline, the Opel Insignia boasts numerous details that were fine-tuned for even better aerodynamic performance. These include the front bumper corners, trunk lid spoiler edge, the exterior mirror's wing form and the profiled rear axle's lower control arm. The future ecoFLEX version designed to produce low CO2 emissions also will benefit from further developments.

Redefined design vocabulary

Like the signature crease on the hood, a blade form has been chiseled into the side, signposting a styling element that becomes another defining characteristic of future Opel cars. Other unmistakable design elements include a distinctive radiator grille with a newly-designed Opel emblem as well as sweeping front and rear light forms. The dynamic tapered shape of the wing lighting signature is another Opel Insignia DNA detail.

"We have redefined our design vocabulary. Our philosophy behind the new Insignia is 'sculptural artistry meets German precision,'" says Mark Adams, Vice President of Design for GM Europe. "We have created beautiful, sculptural, fluid shapes, which are accented by crisp intersecting lines. This makes the Opel Insignia muscular, sporty, yet very elegant and graceful. It was designed to add emotion back into the Opel and Vauxhall brands."

Echoing the exterior design, the shapes and surfaces of the interior also articulate this promise of exciting mobility and are crafted with high quality materials. The new car's dashboard wraps around from the instrument panel to the door in a very sophisticated way, embracing the occupants. The bold exterior "blade" graphic is echoed in the shape of the interior door grab handle, the steering wheel or the central gear-shift lever.

The designers focused on painstakingly refining the surfaces, carving the crisp intersecting lines and colors; testing the textures, feeling the materials and ensuring all the surface finishes were of the highest quality. At the same time, practical needs - such as good ergonomics and numerous storage compartments - also were given top priority. The orangish-red ambient light that warms the interior also will be found in future Opel models.


The new Opel Insignia launches 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 powertrain range will be expanded with new, more powerful motors. In addition, an ecoFLEX version with especially low CO2 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.

The three diesel and four gasoline engines all come with a six-speed manual gearbox. The top diesel and gasoline units also are available with a six-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel-drive (see chassis chapter) versions, too, can be ordered with the 2.0 Turbo and 2.8 V6 Turbo gasoline engines and later with the more powerful diesel engines.

Opel Insignia Gasoline Engines

The 2.0-liter turbo is new in the Opel mid-size class segment. The 220 hp direct-injection engine is closely related to the sporty unit in the Opel GT. The all-aluminum engine is a powerhouse generating 350 Nm of torque from 2000 to 5200 rpm, with twin balancer shafts to ensure smooth running. Offering strong power allied to economic fuel consumption, it makes a perfect partner for the dynamic, comfortable Insignia. This engine also illustrates the downsizing policy at GM as this 2-liter 4 cylinder can compete with the competitors 5- and 6 cylinders in performance but with lower fuel consumption and emissions.

The entry level gasoline engines are the 1.6 ECOTEC (85 kW/115 hp) and 1.8 ECOTEC (103 kW/140 hp) recently introduced on other models of the Opel range. The top of the line gasoline engine is the 2.8 V6 Turbo developing a generous 191 kW (260 hp) and 350 Nm of torque between 1800 and 4500 rpm.

All gasoline engines feature camshaft phasing - on both intake and outlet sides for the four cylinder units, and on the intake side for the V6. Variable valve timing increases torque at low rpm and plays an important role in reducing fuel consumption as well as meeting new Euro 5 emissions standards.

Opel Insignia Diesel Engines

The new-generation Opel diesel engines in the Insignia feature 2.0-liter displacement, more power and torque, as well as excellent fuel economy. The Opel Insignia launches with 3 versions of the 2.0 CDTI engine developing respectively 81 kW/110 hp, 96 kW/130 hp and 118 kW/160 hp. This last engine variant also powers the Opel Insignia ecoFLEX with lower fuel consumptions and CO2 emissions. All versions come with a maintenance-free diesel particulate filter as standard and meet Euro 5 emission levels.

The engines have two overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, and common-rail, multiple fuel direct injection, together with a variable geometry turbocharger for a rapid throttle response at low rpm. Thanks to the large 70-liter tank, the diesel models boast a driving range of over 1200 km between visits to the gas station.

Adaptive Chassis Enhances Driving Dynamics

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, FlexRide.

At the press of a button, FlexRide, developed by GM Europe engineers in Rüsselsheim, Germany, allows the driver to choose a dynamic and sporty ride or a relaxed and soft setup in addition to the standard mode, which adapts itself to all driving styles. This provides optimal stability in all driving conditions. The FlexRide alters the characteristics of the dampers, gas pedal, ESP and steering, and, if applicable, also changes set up of the all-wheel drive set up, the curve light function of the AFL and automatic transmission, adding emotion to the driving experience.

An all-new chassis serves as a platform for this more advanced customization option. The McPherson strut front suspension has dual path top mountings in the body structure turrets, separating the transfer of spring and damper loadings. To reduce unsprung weight, the combined steering knuckle and strut carrier is made from aluminum, and the stabilizer bar in hollow section steel.

Steering and lower suspension A-arms are attached through two mountings to a substantial front sub-frame, which is bolted via four bushings to the front structure's longitudinal members. This isolated mounting technique helps reduce the transfer of road shocks and noise to the cabin. The hydraulic damping of the rear A-arm mounting also adds to ride comfort. The rear suspension consists of an independent, four-link layout, with the second lower link in aluminum. For all-wheel-drive applications, a lower H-arm is used.

To enhance handling characteristics and ride comfort, the suspension geometry and the tuning of the bushings strategically is designed to optimize the different levels of lateral and longitudinal compliance required. The rearmost bushings of the A-arms also are hydraulically damped to help prevent road shocks and vibrations from being transmitted to the steering wheel.

FlexRide: Customizable mechatronic chassis

The new FlexRide system enables drivers to choose a chassis setup that matches their own particular driving style. In addition to the comfortable Standard ride setting, FlexRide enables the driver to select a relaxed (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, FlexRide 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.

In the customization menu, accessible via the infotainment display, the driver can personalize the Sport mode by specifying which functions are activated when the Sport button is pushed. For instance, the electronically controlled dampers, VES, and all-wheel drive can be added or switched off.

The core of the new chassis is the Driving Mode Control (DMC), This unit oversees and executes FlexRide selections allowing the car to react to sudden changes in driving style or emergency situations. For example, if an obstacle must be avoided when the car is in 'Tour' mode, various chassis sensors convey this to the DMC and the dampers are adjusted within a split second. The mode requests are not only based on the driver's selection via the buttons and the customization menu; they can also be automatically optimized according to vehicle state --including accelerating, braking, or cornering -- and driving style which DMC determines from vehicle dynamics information.

With the exception of the entry level gasoline and diesel variants, all Opel Insignia models can be ordered with the new FlexRide system, which comes as standard with the Sport equipment package and the V6 gasoline engine.

Adaptive 4X4: More traction, exciting driving dynamics

Both of the Insignia's turbocharged gasoline engines are available with the newest-generation advanced all-wheel-drive system. The all-wheel drive system also will be available on future, more powerful diesel versions. Called Adaptive 4X4, it is designed to optimize handling and driving stability in all conditions, as well as increase traction at take-off and on slippery surfaces. Under electronic control, the Haldex hydraulic rear clutch unit continuously adjusts 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 consists of a Power Take-off Unit (PTU) in the front final-drive that transmits engine torque through a prop-shaft to the Rear Drive Module (RDM), which includes a Torque Transfer Device (TTD) and the optional rear Limited Slip Differential (eLSD).

Adaptive 4X4 processes signals from the ESP sensors, the steering angle sensor and accelerator pedal position to adapt power distribution to the prevailing driving situation. While offering better traction in low friction conditions, the sophisticated operation of the Adaptive 4X4 improves stability in all situations. In this way, it adds a further dynamic dimension to the driving experience by increasing the scope for closer driver involvement.

In the Sport variant, Adaptive 4X4 is coupled with an electronically-controlled eLSD. Chassis control is taken a step further with the optional rear eLSD. It is installed alongside the RDM and operates via pressurized clutch plates on a principle similar to the larger TTD. In icy or wet split-friction conditions, for example, it uses input from the rear wheel speed sensors and can transfer up to 50% of torque between the drive shafts, to whichever wheel has more grip.

The eLSD also gives the driver enhanced control when cornering hard or completing a high speed maneuver, such as a lane change, by momentarily applying more or less torque to either of the wheels to help the rear of the car more closely follow the direction of the front wheels. That way, the eLSD can keep the Opel Insignia better balanced and more tightly controlled without requiring 'outside' intervention from ESP.

Innovations Increase Safety and Comfort on Opel's Newest Car

Innovative features in the new Opel Insignia are designed to increase safety and comfort as well as enhance driving excitement. The Insignia offers leading technology in driver assistance systems. Moreover, the latest generation of lighting provides nine different light beam settings to help drivers adapt to diverse driving conditions. The re-designed seats are good news for sore backs.

Following the unique knowledge acquired since summer 2003 when the first generation Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL) was introduced on the Signum, Opel now presents in the Insignia, the latest generation AFL system with powerful bi-xenon headlamps. Using sophisticated algorithms developed in Rüsselsheim, the light beam distribution of the headlamps automatically adjusts to the road profile and prevailing visibility conditions. The Opel Insignia offers nine light beam settings -- town, traffic-restricted road, country, highway, adverse weather, static cornering, dynamic curve, high beam and daytime running light - increasing visibility and making driving safer.

Another new element in the Opel Insignia is the front LED daytime running lights, which consume 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 Eye: Reads road signs, warns sleepy drivers and improves safety

Opel offers another leading technology in the Insignia: The Opel Eye, a camera that aids drivers in two different ways. The Traffic Sign Recognition function reads 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 their lane. Together, these two integrated systems improve driving safety, reduce stress and can even prevent costly speeding tickets.

The Opel 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.

These new features enhance driving excitement by informing drivers without intervening in the driving experience.

New Seats: More comfort and optimal ergonomics

GM Europe engineers in Rüsselsheim have used the most up-to-date technology to develop new front seats for the new Opel Insignia, improving safety as well as comfort and posture -- an area often neglected although it plays a major role in the occupant's health. Petite and large drivers alike will find Insignia's seats safe and comfortable thanks to the extended range of settings. They have a height adjustment range of 65 mm. Moreover, at 175 mm, the seat back is two centimeters thicker than previous Opel cars, adding a plushier feel.

On Sport seats, occupants with long legs can extend the length of the front seats cushion up to three centimeters by a pull-out front section. They can also tilt the cushion by three degrees. A four-way lumbar support is standard in the sport seat, while power adjustment and fan ventilation are optional. Engineers have greatly enhanced the ventilation operation helping to lower noise level and improved performance from a suction-based design. The new Opel also features newest-generation active head restraints as standard, providing front occupants with highly effective protection against whiplash injuries.

The orthopedic benefits of the sport seats were awarded a much coveted seal of approval from Aktion Gesunder Rücken e.V - an independent panel of ergonomics experts and doctors in Germany.

The Insignia's heavily contoured rear seats also offer excellent lateral body support. For the first time in an Opel, the outer rear seat backs can be optionally fitted with side airbags for additional passenger protection.

Tailor-made Driving Excitement Easier with Wide Array of Options

With innovative features like the Opel Eye camera system as well as a comprehensive range of state-of-the-art infotainment and communication systems, the new Opel Insignia is designed to bring excitement back to the driving experience. Customers can tailor the new car to their needs and desires with four different trim levels and a wide palette of options.

With its four equipment variants - Essentia, Edition, Sport and Cosmo - the new Opel Insignia meets every comfort level. In addition to extensive standard equipment that concentrates on safe driving, many options are new or represent an Opel "first" in this class.

The new Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL) generation with nine light beam settings allows driving with ease in diverse conditions. Rear side airbags and two driving safety devices - Traffic Sign Detection and Lane Departure Warning - called the Opel Eye make driving safer.

The new infotainment generation includes a seven-inch color monitor, 3-D map view, digital travel guide and improved scroll and zoom functions. In addition, all trim levels include as standard iPod or MP3 USB ports with the navigation system in the center console. The monitor gives improved access to MP3 files and directories and the iPod interface uses iPod functions such as track list.

Accessing these functions is easier through a multi-function controller, also new for the Insignia. In conjunction with the CD 500 Navi and DVD 800 Navi systems, the controller uses a turn/push selection action that is located on the center console between the front seats (in combination with the electric parking brake). It is a particularly convenient alternative for tall drivers who sit well back in their seats. All the functions are the same as those on the lower rotary knob in the audio unit.

Four trim levels to meet every taste

High quality begins with the Essentia entry level trim. Here you will find chrome features with real metal feel. The metallic decor is called Rapid Cool; the Jet Black fabric has a calm, classic labyrinth pattern. The Essentia offers generous standard equipment, including front, side and curtain airbags, Isofix on all three rear seats as well as ABS and ESP. Comfort items include manual air conditioning, an audio CD 300 system, power outside mirrors, split rear seat back (60/40), a board computer, electrical seat height adjuster for the driver as well as reading spots in the front and rear.

The Edition is available in two seat trim colors, Jet Black or Light Neutral. Dune fabric features a pattern inspired by organic graphics in home interiors. Optional leather seats are available in Black or Light Neutral. Metallic decor Rapid Cool contains a subtle pattern that harmonizes with the fabric. This version features additional standard items like single-zone electronic climate control or cruise control. On the Edition execution, the Opel Insignia rests on 17" structure wheels with 225/55 tires, compared with 16" steel wheels and 215/60 tires on the Essentia.

Piano Black decor in the Sport trim level creates a stark, modern Black/Silver contrast for an eye on sophistication. The Vitesse fabric elicits a strong structured impression. Sport seats have adjustable leg extension. A sport steering wheel and alloy-covered pedals are standard. Optional Sport Leather seats with ventilation are stylized, giving a very detailed and tailored look. The Sport version gains a sport chassis that is 15 mm lower than other trim levels, the FlexRide adaptive suspension, 18" alloy wheels with 245/55 tires and speed sensitive steering.

Top level Cosmo is available in two seat trim colors of Jet Back or Light Neutral. Avenue fabric is a soft flock yarn, very tailored and trimmed with Morrocana. The décor is called Kibo Wood and is a modern approach to a sophisticated classic wood. Optional leather seats in Black or Light Neutral are available. User friendly dark carpet interior color lay-out creates a modern look for a non-traditional warm interior. Standard on this top of the line execution are dual-zone electronic climate control, power rear windows, electric park brake, a leather steering wheel and 18" alloy wheels with 245/45 tires.