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Vauxhall Insignia Ecoflex (2009) first pictures

Tue, 21 Apr 2009

By Ben Barry

First Official Pictures

21 April 2009 13:20

Vauxhall has announced its answer to the planet-conscious Volkswagen Passat Bluemotion – the Insignia Ecoflex. Essentially the Ecoflex is a 158bhp 2.0-litre CDTi Insignia, but an army of now-familiar C02-slashing improvements have been swung into action.

These improvements include under-car panelling and a lower ride height to help the Insignia cut through air more cleanly (the drag factor falls from 0.27Cd to 0.26), plus lower rolling resistance Michelin tyres. There’s also a higher first and second gear ratio combined with a longer final drive to help keep the revs down and mpg up.

So, while peak power, the 135mph top speed and 8.9sec dash to 60mph remain apparently unchanged (but can they really be exactly the same with all those alterations, we wonder), the Ecoflex’s C02 tumbles from the CDTi’s 154g/km to 136g/km, while mpg climbs from 48.7mpg to 54.7mpg. That means some decent savings at the pumps, plus £25 in your pocket come tax disc time.

Naturally there’s a downside: the Ecoflex starts at £19,600 in Exclusiv trim, and that’s around £500 more than the equivalent CDTi.

What about that Passat? The cheapest Bluemotion comes in at £17,925, produces just 104bhp and is almost identically dirty to the Vauxhall.

By Ben Barry