British Motor Show has new model buzz

The British Motor Show used to be one of the leading shows in the world. In recent years, with its move to Birmingham and now back to London, the show has lost its shine.

Even this year there are companies missing from the manufacturers' line up – notably BMW and Audi. However, there are a good number of new models to give the show some of the sparkle from the old days.

The biggest launch is the Vauxhall Insignia, the replacement for the Vauxhall Vectra. As with the Vectra the Insignia will be available in saloon and hatchback styles, to ensure that it has the widest possible market acceptance.

But there the resemblance with the Vectra fades. The Insignia is so different from the Vectra that you can see why Vauxhall (and Opel in other European markets) wanted the car to have the fresh start of a new name. Vauxhall describe the looks as coupé style and say that this has helped in achieving the very low aerodynamic coefficient of 0.27CD.

Vauxhall Insignia

The Vauxhall Insignia - replacement for the Vectra

The Insignia will be in UK dealership late this year, with a range of five engines - three petrol and two diesel. On the technology front, the Insignia follows the new BMW 7 Series with the option of a camera that can read road signs. There is also an optional warning system should drivers veer off the road and a heated windscreen washer for those cold winter days. Also of benefit to winter drivers will be the four-wheel-drive versions of the Insignia.

The Lotus Evora is the first all-new Lotus since the iconic Elise made its debut in 1995. It also scores a world first as the only mid-engined 2+2. Powered by a Lotus-tuned 3.5-litre V6 engine producing 280 PS, Lotus promises breathtaking performance. During preliminary testing around the famous Nürburgring, the Lotus chassis engineers report that it is extremely agile and great fun to drive - even when clad with the full development disguise.

Lotus Evora

The new Lotus Evora – named after a town in Portugal

The Evora is due in showrooms from Spring 2009 onwards.
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