Insignia Moves GM Forward, Will be the Basis for the Next Saturn Aura

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Julian Rendell from AutoWeek drove the new Opel Insignia and drew direct comparisons between his experience with the Insignia and what he expects from the next-generation Aura, which is due to arrive in a couple of years. While GM has said that the new Aura will have unique styling that will differentiate it from the Insignia, the two cars will be based on the same architecture and are expected to share chassis components.

The link between Saturn and Opel moves into new territory with the launch in Europe of the Insignia, the replacement for the Vectra and the first model on General Motors' second-gen Epsilon platform. It will be the basis for at least a dozen new models, including the Aura and several Buicks. No doubt the Insignia's styling is a hit. From several angles, the chiseled sheetmetal of the Insignia has overtones of the best bits of the BMW 5-series. When GM reskins the underpinnings, a plan Bob Lutz outlined previously to AutoWeek, it's going to have to do a great job to improve on the Insignia. Inside is where GM has really wrought revolution, outdoing the Mondeo decisively in style and quality. The Insignia has a soft-molded fascia that flows across the cabin, its four-dial instrument cluster focused head-on toward the driver.

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Cast Your Vote for Saturn Today

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AutoBlogGreen is running a poll asking readers to choose their "Green Car of the Year", based on the Green Car Journal's five finalists already selected. GCJ will announce their best pick, and will present the chosen manufacturer with the coveted 2009 Green Car of the Year trophy during the LA Auto Show later this month. For now, the '09 Saturn Vue 2-Mode Hybrid could use your help battling it out with the other finalists - the Ford Fusion hybrid, the BMW 335d, the VW Jetta TDI and the Smart ForTwo - in ABG's poll.