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Vauxhall GTC coupe

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Vauxhall Vectra

Vectra guns for Mondeo

Out with the old... in with the bold! Check out the new Vauxhall set to rewrite the family car rulebook


07th March 2007

Vauxhall Vectra GTC Coupé

Family cars are battling back - and Vauxhall is leading the fight. The firm is using this week's Geneva Motor Show to reveal a thrilling replacement for the top-selling Vectra - and here are the first official pictures.

The backs of the two rear chairs slide electrically towards the front ones, turning the car into a spacious 755-litre capacity three-seater or a load-lugger with room for two occupants and 1,020 litres of storage room

The car is the ultimate answer to Ford's sleek new Mondeo, which thought it had the headlines at the Geneva expo all sewn up. But this amazing coupé has stolen the limelight from the blue oval - and shows what to expect from the Vectra replacement, which will be called Insignia when it arrives in 18 months.

For now, the show car is badged GTC Coupé. But when it makes production, four and five-door hatchback versions of the Insignia, plus an estate, will be available. And while the GTC shows what's in store for the future family car, it is also likely to inspire other models. Bryan Nesbitt, GM Europe's design boss, explained: "The GTC signals the next chapter in Vauxhall's identity. This style is what to expect of future products."

While the GTC Coupé's dramatic chrome-rimmed air intakes are not likely to make production, the high bonnet line and distinctive lights should, along with the low air intake under the V-branded grille.

At the rear, the newcomer bears a much stronger resemblance to the current Vectra. The lamps and bootlid are unmistakeably Vauxhall, and are likely to change little between the show stand and the showroom.

Inside, much of the GTC's dashboard appears to be ready for the production line. Pay particular attention to the dials which are backlit in red - a break from the norm. The Coupe's cabin also demonstrates the firm's innovative Flex4 seating system. The backs of the two rear chairs slide electrically towards the front ones, turning the car into a spacious 755-litre capacity three-seater or a load-lugger with room for two occupants and 1,020 litres of storage room.

At 4,830mm long, 1,867mm wide and 1,432mm tall, the Coupé is about the same size as an Audi A6. Yet, while the production version of the Insignia will be slightly larger than the Vectra, it is unlikely to stretch to these dimensions.

Under the bonnet, engineers have fitted a 296bhp 2.8-litre V6 petrol engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. The powerplant develops 400Nm of torque between 1,850 and 4,500rpm. Thanks to a sophisticated all-wheel-drive transmission and a limited-slip differential, the Vauxhall should be capable of covering 0-62mph in around six seconds and go on to a top speed of 155mph.

Flagship all-wheel-drive VXR versions of the Insignia will offer similar performance. However, a new 2.8-litre diesel-powered V6 motor will be added to the range to satisfy buyers who want fuel economy to match the torquey performance.

For now, the next step on the Insignia's road to production will come at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. At the German expo, a four-door concept will go on display which will give an even clearer indication of what to expect from the latest Vauxhall model.The In­signia is expected to appear in British showrooms in summer 2008.

My own note:

It is interesting how people "doctor" photos to their own purposes. That was the only point I was making how they changed the photos to make them Vauxhall. I wonder how a Saturn version would look.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The windshield, door glass, and back glass look like they're right off the G6 coupe, not that there's anything wrong with that.

Killing the Vauxhall brand would only alienate the British I'd guess, just like when GMNA killed Olds. I'm not in Britain, I don't know how they feel about Vauxhalls being simple rebadges of Opels.

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