General Motors' Opel division has been hard at work on a performance version of its hot new Insignia, the reigning European Car of the Year, and the first spy shot – probably snapped on someone's camera phone – has surfaced online. To be sold as the Vauxhall Insignia VXR in the UK and as the Opel Insignia OPC in Europe, the car is reported to have lapped the vaunted Nürburgring Nordschleife in a hair over eight minutes, which is a blistering fast time for a relatively large hatch.

The hot Insignia evidently wears big 20-inch wheels with concave dark spokes and chrome accents, wrapped in 255/35 R20 rubber and capped by bulging wheel arches. All four contact patches are in use to put down the anticipate 320 horsepower from the twin-turbo V6, while big air vents borrowed from the sharp-lookin' Opel GTC Concept help the drivetrain get the wind it needs. Hatchback, sedan and wagon variants are all expected to be part of the mix. We're hoping to see this bad boy in pre-production preview form this March at the Geneva Motor Show, with the full production version to follow in the Spring at the Frankfurt Auto Show. But more than that, we're quietly hoping to see it Stateside as the successor to the V8-powered Buick LaCrosse Super (known as the Allure in Canada due to a certain unsavory Quebecois slang conflict). We can hope, can't we?

[Source: EVO via AutoExpress]