Opel reveals big new estate
It's the expected estate version of the Opel Insignia, and once again it's called the Sports Tourer. Bigger, lighter and more tech-savvy than before, the Opel Insignia Sports Tourer will make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show early next month.
Physical growth of its dimensions does not equal weight gain for the Insignia Sports Tourer - in fact, Opel has shaved up to 200kg from the mass of the vehicle, model-for-model, compared to its predecessor. This is wholly good news. At 4,986mm, the longer body means the wheelbase is up by 92mm to 2,829mm in total, although the front overhang is reduced by 30mm to help keep the lines tidy.
Two big 'blades', one in the lower doors and the other a chrome highlight that runs over the windows and into the rear light clusters (we've seen something similar on the Astra Sports Tourer, with a line that bisects the D-pillar), provide some visual interest and of course this bigger wagon is, in some ways, more practical. The load bed has grown in length by 97mm to 2,005mm in total, while the width between the wheel arches is also greater, but, sadly, the rakish roofline (the new Sports Tourer is low at 1,483mm) cuts back on load space; yes, the new Insignia estate can carry an additional 110 litres (1,638 litres in total) with all the seats folded, but, with a full complement of passengers on board, the cargo area is no larger than the old car at 540 litres. Also, 40:20:40 split rear seats are only an option, not standard equipment.
Expect most of the toys as already announced for the Grand Sport model. So, standard and optional equipment includes things like LED IntelliLux headlights, Lane Keep Assist, an active bonnet (which springs up in milliseconds in the event of an impact to offer greater pedestrian protection), AGR-certified seats with massaging, ventilation and memory functions, heating in the outermost chairs of the rear pew, a heated windscreen, a panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, a 360-degree camera and more.
Connectivity-wise, the IntelliLink infotainment is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while it of course comes with OnStar as well, which means the Insignia Sports Tourer can be turned into a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.
Passengers should be comfy, too, given (compared to the old model) headroom is up by 31mm, shoulder-room increases by 25mm and hip space is boosted by 27mm.
Opel pledges to offer the 'latest generation' turbocharged petrol and diesel engines and transmissions, in the wagon, as well as all-wheel drive (AWD) with torque-vectoring and the FlexRide chassis - this includes adaptive dampers and a software package called Drive Mode Control, which analyses individual driving styles and then sorts the shocks, steering, throttle and auto gearbox shift points to best suit. Oh, talking of that automatic, it's a new eight-speed unit, but, at first, it will only be offered on AWD variants of the Insignia Sports Tourer.
Opel's CEO, Dr Karl-Thomas Neumann, said: "Our new flagship is packed with 'high-tech' for everyone, with affordable technologies that make driving safer and more comfortable. Then there is the interior space. Whether for business or recreation, the new Insignia Sports Tourer meets just about every kind of transport requirement. Finally, the driving experience - really dynamic! The car is much leaner than before and features the newest generation FlexRide chassis."
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