New family car takes Vectra’s place, promising new high-tech driver aids and a superb drive.

Watch a video of the Insignia in action

This is the Insignia, Vauxhall’s successor to its top-selling Vectra and the car with which the company will challenge Ford’s acclaimed new-generation Mondeo.

As the pictures show, the Insignia is vividly different from the Vectra – from its bold grille through to its coupe-like roofline. And Vauxhall promises that the inside will look as new as the outside ds. The top of the dash wraps round from the instrument panel to the door, creating what the company describes as an unique wing shape. The cabin will have ambient lighting, creating a soft glow in the cabin at night. The seats are of a new design, improving posture, comfort and safety. Like the Vectra, it will seat five adults.

The Insignia’s wrap-around headlamps offer nine different beam settings that adjust themselves to outside conditions, while the car’s suspension, called IDS Plus, adapts itself to the road. When the car reaches showrooms in October, it will be available with four doors and a boot or as a five-door hatchback. There will be three petrol engines offered initially, from a four-cylinder 140bhp unit to a V6 producing 258bhp. Two new 2.0 diesels will also feature in the starting line-up, producing 130 or 160bhp. All will link to manual or automatic gearboxes, each giving six forward speeds. There will be two- and four-wheel drive variants.

In time, an ‘Ecoflex’ version offering ultra-low CO2 emissions will join the range. The car wil be built in Belgium. Would-be owners get the first chance to see the car in the metal at the British International Motor Show, which opens on July 22.