New Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer diesel 4×4

Scheduled for release in September 2010, the new powertrain will be the first time a diesel engine has been matched with Vauxhall’s Adaptive 4×4 system in the Insignia.

Previously, the Adaptive 4×4 system was only available as standard in the 2.8-litre V6 petrol and VXR model, and as an optional extra on the 2.0-litre petrol version.

Vauxhall will offer the four-wheel drive technology as an option on the new, cleaner 2.0-litre CDTi diesel engine from September and the manufacturer expects it to be a popular choice.

All-wheel drive is often seen as a feature of more premium cars and Vauxhall hopes to take advantage of customers looking for a cheaper alternative to the likes of BMW and Audi.

The Adaptive 4×4 system and adaptive chassis offer better grip and towing capacity in poor weather and sensors can recognise dry and clear roads and can turn revert to front-wheel drive to save fuel.

The four-wheel drive option has proved popular with buyers as latest sales figures show 21 per cent took up the option on the 2.0-litre petrol.

Total Vauxhall Insignia sales have reached 55,000 in the 18 months since its release and the manufacturer has reported an increase in higher level trims such as the SRi, SE and Elite models of around 60 per cent in recent months.

The Insignia has been a revelation for Vauxhall in the mid-size car sector, selling 16 per cent more than the Vectra and picking up 40 awards including the European Car of the Year 2009.

Although the UK is its biggest market, the Insignia hatchback, saloon and Sports Tourer versions are best- or second-best sellers in ten different European markets.