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A 4.7 metre-diameter orb was suspended by a crane high above Potters Fields Park today before a massive object fell 45 metres to earth - in just six seconds - in a breathtaking stunt. That object was the new Vauxhall Insignia, a car never seen before by the British public.
More than 300 guests were on hand to watch the new car plunge from the orb as it was suspended in the air. Alain Visser, Chief Marketing Officer for GM Europe, who drove the Insignia onto the stage after it landed safely on the ground, said:
“We are very proud of the Insignia and decided that an extraordinary car needed an extraordinary entrance, that’s why we chose to drop in at one of London’s most frequented and iconic locations - Tower Bridge just next to the London Assembly.”
The Insignia debuts tomorrow, 22 July, at the British International Motor Show, where Vauxhall will announce the vehicle’s price in the UK. Sales begin immediately in the UK for both the hatchback and notchback versions and there is a range of five engines. All meet Euro 5 emissions standards and come with six-speed transmissions, either manual or automatic.
The new Insignia also showcases many leading technological innovations. That’s another reason for the car’s dramatic entrance – to highlight Vauxhall’s dedication to exactitude.
On Saturday the 3.2 ton orb “crashed” to earth, then on Sunday a 62 metre-high crane lifted the orb out of its massive crater on Potters Fields in a mock clean-up mission. Today the car dramatically fell 45 metres back to earth where one of the key challenges for organisers was to ensure a safe Insignia landing.
Visser added, “We wanted to highlight the attention to detail and high focus on precision that went into developing the new Vauxhall Insignia. Just like the Insignia, this event had to be meticulously coordinated – right down to the last minute details.”
Using the latest technology, a team of 60 people worked a total of over 7,200 hours to plan, set-up, rehearse and execute the reveal. They worked for 96 consecutive hours on-site at Potters Fields to ensure the success of the car’s high-speed fall, allowing the vehicle to reach a descent speed of 7.6 metres per second.
The machine that made this all possible required roughly 3 kilometres of power and control cables – it also contained 152 metres of air hoses and more than 120 air fittings. Thirteen computer-controlled pneumatic brakes stopped more than 2.7 tons travelling at breakneck speed.
The event, compéred by Kate Thornton – first presenter of The X Factor – was capped by a performance from Bond, the British all-women’s string performers, whose album Classified has sold more than 3 million copies.
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