Saturday 12 June 2010

Vauxhall introduces Insignia 4x4 diesel (UK)

The Vauxhall Insignia estate is now available as a 4WD diesel for the first time. The Insignia Estate 4x4 will go on sale in September, combining the company’s adaptive 4x4 system (previously available with the 2.0 and 2.8 litre petrol engines) with the 2.0 CDTi 160 engine.

As well as automatically dispensing power between the front and rear axles to maximise traction, the 4x4 system also comes with an electronically controlled limited-slip differential. This controls the distribution of torque between the rear wheels, transferring it to the wheel that has the most grip and allowing the car to keep moving even when just one wheel has traction.

For safety reasons, the system is able to recognise potential danger quickly and can cut the power to a wheel even before it starts to spin. At the same time, when four-wheel drive is not needed – in town, for example – the car reverts to two-wheel drive to improve fuel economy.

In the new model, four-wheel drive also comes with the company’s FlexRide electronic suspension system. This gives the driver the choice of three modes: standard, Sport or Tour.

In addition, if buyers order a 4x4 estate with a towbar, the standard stability control system comes with a Trailer Stability Assist programme.

With the standard 6 speed manual gearbox CO2 emissions are 159g/km with a combined fuel economy of 47.1mpg. The Insignia diesel 4x4 can sprint from 0-60mph in 9.8 seconds. However, specify the optional 6 speed automatic gearbox and fuel economy drops to 41.7mpg, while CO2 emissions rise to 179g/km.

Correct prices will be announced nearer to the on-sale date in September, but we expect the new 4x4 models to cost about £1,500 more than the equivalent two-wheel-drive car.

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