Opel has unwrapped its new weekender toy, the Insignia Country Tourer, just weeks after unveiling the newly facelifted 2014 Insignia range.
Taking on the likes of Volkswagen's Passat Alltrack and Subaru's Outback, the Country Tourer enters as a jacked-up and ruggedised version of the familiar Sports Tourer wagon.Importantly, the Country Tourer plugs a gaping hole in Opel's line-up, at last giving the company a full-sized competitor in the hugely popular SUV market.
Among the Country Tourer's key attributes is a 20mm higher ground clearance, and while that's not true SUV territory, the taller hip point should prove appealing for families and older buyers.A Haldex all-wheel-drive system and electronic limited-slip differential is also featured, varying torque distribution from 0-100 percent between the axles and rear wheels.Three engine options will be offered, all familiar fare. There's a 184kW turbocharged 2.0 litre petrol engine, along with a pair of 143kW and 120kW diesel units. Six-speed manual and automatic transmissions will be offered.Styling tweaks include the usual assortment of off-road design elements, including prominent unpainted wheel arches and cladding.
There's also some underbody guards for protection on uneven terrain and, at the rear end, a set of dual-exhaust tips.
In the cabin, the Country Tourer gets all the 2014 updates, including an eight-inch touchscreen display.
Speaking with TMR today, Opel Australia's Michelle Lang said that while a local debut has not been confirmed, the Country Tourer would not be unwelcome in the Insignia range.
"Aussies love their SUVs to such an extent that variations on the SUV are something we would consider," Ms Lang said.
"We have our stylish Insignia Tourer now and the Mokka coming but this Country Tourer would complement that line up nicely."
She added that, with the Country Tourer's world premiere scheduled for the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, it won't be here this year - and possibly not even next year.
Published: Thursday, July 4, 2013