New Saturn Aura (US) / Opel Vectra (Europe)

New Saturn Aura (US) / Opel Vectra (Europe)

Shot during secret hot-weather testing in the U.S., these are the best pictures yet of the all-new Opel Vectra which is to replace the current model by the end of next year! The new Epsilon 2 platform will allow a wider and taller body than currently, which should mean more space inside for passengers – something that’s vital in a class where machines such as VW’s Passat have really upped standards. The wider stance should also mean an even more composed driving experience.

Almost undisguised for the first time are details of the new­comer’s styling. Obviously, they will follow the Astra and Antara SUV with a bold front end and a radical fastback profile.

Another first will be the arrival of a 4WD version, while the wider engine range will include a 200bhp 2.7-litre V6 turbodiesel, plus a development of the 2.8 V6 petrol. On sale in late 2008, the new Vectra should debut at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show. The Vectra will be available afterwards in the US as the Saturn Ar in 2010.

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A higher-quality cabin will also be key to keeping the new model on terms with its rivals. And it’s inside that the new Vectra will make the biggest leaps over the existing car. Flag­ship Vectras will get a system called Traf­fic Assist, which has an array of lasers and video cameras that scan the road ahead for warning signs, lane markings and other traffic – meaning the Opel will be the world’s first ‘driverless’ car.

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