Vauxhall Insignia

The new Vauxhall Insignia (UK name, also called the Opel Insignia in Europe and Buick Regal in China) has been voted as the 2009 Car of the Year (Europe)!

The Insignia won by the tiniest 1 point margin – 321 points, beating the first runner up, the Ford Fiesta to the pole. Trailing behind in third place is the new Volkswagen Golf Mark 6 with 223 points. The last time a car won by 1 point was in the 2001 awards where the Alfa 147 beat the Mondeo by one point.

Other finalists included the Alfa Romeo MiTo with 148 points, the Citroen C5 with 198 points, the Skoda Superb with 144 points, and the Renault Megane with 121 points. To quality for the awards, a car must be launched within the past 12 months and must be available in at least five European countries.

There has been much fuss about the new Insignia from the European motoring press and this news should be a slight bit of music to GM’s ears during the difficult times they’re facing now. There is speculation that the Insignia will bring back the Lotus Carlton in spirit form. The old Carlton was also a Vauxhall/Opel, and the top of the line Insignia’s 260 PS 2.8 litre turbocharged V6 would be quite tuner-friendly, making the job easier.

The COTY awards jury is made up of 50 senior motoring journos from 23 countries, and the UK jury includes Steve Cropley of Autocar, Andrew English of the Daily Telegraph, Ray Hutton of the Sunday Times, Paul Horrell of Top Gear UK, John Simister of The Indepedent and Phil McNamara of Car Magazine.

Look after the jump for more photos and a video of the Insignia

PHOTO GALLERY: Vauxhall Insignia
Click thumbnails to view high resolution photo

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VIDEO: Vauxhall Insignia Promotional TVC