In association with Alan Partridge did Lexus no favours, so it’s fair to assume Vauxhall wasn’t impressed when its old insignia was cast as David Brent’s company car in his recent movie. So it’s come out fighting. This is the new Insignia, and, like a post-procedure Captain America, it’s unrecognisably handsome.
Oh, and it’s not called Insignia any more. This is now the Insignia Grand Sport. Grander in terms of size? Nope – dimensions are broadly the same as the old Insignia but the all-new 29mm lower, 11mm wider bodyshell is 60kg lighter. And if you spec light, you’ll end up with a car that’s 175kg lighter than the old car. That’s a couple of Ricky Gervaises.
Whether you keep the spec simple depends on how tempted you are by a smorgasbord of gadgets. There’s optional LED matrix lighting, a head-up display, stacks of driver aids and Vauxhall’s 24hr-manned call centre guardian angel, OnStar.
Inside, the cabin has benefitted from a massive 92mm stretch in wheelbase and borrows new Astra’s dash, blending the IntelliLink touchscreen into a flush glass panel and sitting the driver 30mm lower than in the old Insignia. That’ll be the “Sport” bit of the new name, then.
That’s backed up with a completely new adaptive suspension, steering and powertrain map (think mode-tastic Audi drive select) and a clever-sounding all-wheel-drive system that splits drive not just between each axle, but between which tyre is gripping best at any given moment. Details of the all-turbo petrol and diesel engine line-up is yet to be revealed, but don’t hold your breath for anything wearing a VXR badge.
All the fleet car park ammo is here, though. On sale spring 2017, hopefully not coming to a sitcom near you.