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Vauxhall Shows Off New Insignia Country Tourer

By raccars Published

Vauxhall has released images and details about the rugged version of its new Insignia, a soft roader estate car aimed at fans of the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack or more traditional SUVs. The Country Tourer takes its cue from the Insignia Sports Tourer but with four wheel drive, an elevated ride height and chunky body kit.

Apart from that 20mm ground clearance extension, the Country Tourer boasts a bigger front grille and protective cladding to the sides and underbody, to distinguish it from the standard model. Powered by two diesel engines, a 163bhp 2.0 litre CDTi and a 193bhp 2.0 litre BiTurbo CDTi, the entry level model has a choice of six speed manual or automatic transmissions, while the punchy BiTurbo comes with the automatic gearbox only.

The Country Tourer's off road abilities come courtesy of an electronic four wheel drive set up, with automatic variable torque control for optimum traction and a limited slip differential to the rear. The same system also manages on road behaviour by running on front wheel drive only on suitable road conditions, thereby improving fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

While the exterior of the car has been beefed up, the interior is expected to follow the lead of the rest of the recently revealed Insignia range, which means that the cabin will be well appointed, with an eight inch touchscreen infotainment interface, cruise and climate controls, partly electric driver's seat, DAB and a USB port. However, the fascia layout is a little fussy and the boot a bit stingy. Vauxhall has made a point of including up to the minute safety and convenience features in the Insignia range, including LED tail and running lights, adaptive damping and automatic headlight adjustment.

The Insignia Country Tourer expands the new Insignia line up to four bodystyles: saloon, hatchback, estate and now an SUV-estate crossover style. Apart from the aforementioned Passat Alltrack, the Insignia Country Tourer will be in competition with other similar SUV-esque estates, such as the Peugeot 508 RXH, the Skoda Octavia Scout and the Audi A4 Allroad.

After a public debut at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show in September, the Insignia Country Tourer is due to arrive in showrooms along with the rest of the Insignia range by the end of 2013 and more information, including pricing, will be given in due course. However, industry watchers predict the Country Tourer will command a premium over the similar Insignia Sports Tourer models of about £1,500, meaning it should hit the £30,000 mark.

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