• Apr 15th 2009 at 10:28AM
  • 52
Vauxhall/Opel Insignia VXR/OPC - Click above for a high-resolution gallery

General Motors may be on life support, but the European operations at Opel and Vauxhall are still showing a 325-horsepower pulse. The latest signs of life come in the form of the hotted up Insignia variant shown above. In right-hand drive Vauxhall form, the super Insignia is badged as the VXR, while the left-hand steered continental version gets an OPC suffix. Regardless of the steering wheel position, all of the important Nürburgring-tuned bits are the same, and in this case, it appears to be another derivative of the technology that first appeared last year in the Saab 9-3 Turbo-X.

That means there is a turbocharged 2.8-liter V6 under hood, now with power boosted to 325 horsepower (from the 300 hp in the Saab and the Cadillac SRX). The 295 lb-ft of torque is fed through a six-speed manual gearbox, and out to all four wheels through a Haldex system with an electronic rear limited-slip differential. According to the automaker, acceleration to 62 mph comes up in 5.8 seconds, while an adaptive damping system and retuned suspension that sits 10 mm lower help the Insignia carry the speed through corners. Check out the high-res gallery below and the press release after the jump.

[Source: General Motors]



* Nurburgring-proven chassis with Adaptive 4X4
* Turbocharged V6 engine with race-bred design features
* Unique-to-range front suspension for optimised grip and traction

Luton – Packing 325 horsepower, a sophisticated four-wheel-drive chassis and a sub-six second 0-60 time, Vauxhall's new Insignia VXR is set to take the mid-size performance saloon market by storm when it goes on sale early this summer, with a level of dynamic prowess which aims to raise the bar in its class.

Based on the successful 2009 European Car of the Year, and available in hatch, saloon and Sports Tourer body styles, the high-performance Insignia will be Vauxhall's first VXR model to adopt 4X4 technology, using a bespoke chassis developed through an extensive test programme at the gruelling Nurburgring circuit in Germany.

Highlights are a 'HiPerStrut' (High Performance Strut) front suspension system, Adaptive 4X4 with electronic Limited Slip Differential (eLSD) and a 10 millimetre reduction in ride height over the Insignia SRi.

The HiPerStrut system is unique to the VXR and serves two primary functions: firstly, to reduce torque-steer, but also to maintain negative camber during cornering, thereby improving ultimate grip levels in wet or dry conditions.

Complementing these features are standard 19-inch alloy wheels (20-inch lightweight forged alloys are a cost option) with bespoke tyres, revised bushing and damper settings on both axles, and Brembo brakes with colour-keyed callipers and vented/cross-drilled discs.

'The Insignia VXR is not just about absolute power, but a combination of usable performance and chassis sophistication which is the match of premium rivals, such as Audi's new S4,' said Andy Gilson, Vauxhall's Marketing Director. ' In essence, it's an ultra-fast performance saloon that will appeal to buyers who appreciate subtle yet distinctive styling, but who need to know that there's real substance below the car's metal.'

And substance the VXR has a-plenty. At the heart of the Insignia VXR is Vauxhall's advanced 2.8-litre V6 Turbo ECOTEC engine, with its micro-alloy forged steel crank, classic 60-degree cylinder angle and die-cast alloy oil sump – all features found in many a race engine. Producing 325PS (65PS up on the Elite V6), the engine uses a single, twin-scroll turbocharger and variable valve control for quick throttle response, and accelerates from 0-60mph in 5.8 seconds, achieving an electronically limited top speed of 155mph.

With a design inspired by the Vauxhall/Opel GTC, many of the Insignia VXR's styling cues will be familiar to those who saw this groundbreaking concept at the 2007 Geneva Motor Show. A deeper bumper, incorporating bold, twin mesh grilles either side of the main grille, dominates the front of the car, and at the rear, hatch and saloon models gain a rear spoiler, while all VXRs have a bespoke bumper moulding incorporating dual matt chrome exhausts.

This sporting theme continues in the Insignia VXR's cabin. Recaro front seats, a new VXR steering wheel, VXR gearknob and unique mouldings are standard on all cars, along with different instrument graphics, VXR sill plates and a black headlining.

All VXRs are available with a colour palette comprising Arden Blue, Power Red, Carbon Flash Black, Silver Lake, Olympic White and Technical Grey.

Sitting at the top of the Insignia range, the new model will be an important addition to Vauxhall's performance-bred VXR family, which already includes the Corsa VXR, Astra VXR and 431 horsepower VXR8.

Since its launch in 2004, the VXR brand has been underpinned by the immensely successful VX Racing team, which currently holds all three British Touring Car Championship titles – Drivers', Manufacturers' and Team – for the 2008 season.

Prices for the Vauxhall Insignia VXR will be announced soon.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      The first time GM tried selling Opels in the US was through and as Buicks.

      It failed fast and miserably. Just like EVERY other time GM has tried selling Opels in the US.

      I highly doubt this car is coming here in this form if at all given that GM is going bankrupt on June 1st. Even if it did come here with Buick badge it's not going to sell at all and directly overlap with the LaCrosse.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That's why it IS the LaCrosse. It's not meant to be a competitor to the LaCrosse, the LaCrosse is Buick's version of the Insignia.

        The question is, will we ever see a hotted-up version on the LaCrosse tuned like this Insignia?
      • 6 Years Ago
      As much as I prefer boxer engines, and longitudinal AWD, rather than transverse haldex systems...

      This still has a 6-speed. It still somehow drives all 4 wheels, and aside from the odd front bumper cover on this version, looks fantastic.

      Subaru, if they bring this to the US, Legacy is on notice, and Legacy's new design is not going to help against this car, even if the hardware underneath is more robust.

      Buick used to have performance cars, like GN, GNX and Gran Sport Regals, etc... but I think that is a hard sell right now, as they haven't pushed that in some time. This probably makes the most sense as a Pontiac G7 or replacement for the G6... (or both, a replacement for the G6, named G7)
      • 6 Years Ago
      I really really hope GM brings this car to the US as a Buick Regal. Granted it'll be hard to find a price point under the Lacrosse for the Regal, but this is the one Buick I would actually buy when I return to the states.

      I spent yesterday car shopping in Shanghai and I spent a loooong time at the Buick dealership drooling all over the Regal (don't worry, they have people full time just to clean up the drool). Simply gorgeous inside and out. The interior feels every bit as well appointed as any $30-40k entry luxury car. I can't justify spending the equivalent of $35,000 on this car during my short stay in China with the odd used car market I have no idea how I would move it when I move in a year or two.

      On another note, the Cruze also looked amazing inside and out in person. Why is China getting all this good product before the US?

      • 6 Years Ago
      Sense the INSIGNIA is already coming over as a Buick can anyone see this as a new Grand National?
        • 6 Years Ago

        In Black please.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Aren't the bones of this Insignia and the next Saab 9-5 supposed to be the same? Please say they slot this drivetrain into a new Aero
      • 6 Years Ago
      LQQk at the wheels...................Damn SEXY!. But alas, GM will fail again by not bringing this car over. If we do get it, they will screw it up by dumbing it down for us. I don't understand how a company can have such substantial designs abroad and the home team gets afterthoughts. Head-scratcher indeed.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Because no one here would pay $70,000+ for this car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I've been singing this same song for years now, I'm just glad to see that other people are taking notice. Don't you get bent outta shape when GM deprives us of these sweet designs, saves them strictly for the Euro market, but comes crying/crawling back to us when they need our taxpayer dollars to help them stay afloat financially?!?!?!? Where's you allegance GM??? If it's with the Europeans, go ask them for money to stay afloat, and leave us alone!!! I though GM was an AMERICAN car company!

        Oooh....here's a novel idea! How about you treat you're OWN PEOPLE like you give a d@mn, give us first dibs on the sweet designs, and build cars that the American people are pleading for....THEN, maybe we'll VOLUNTARILY buy GM/American products because we WANT TO, not because we feel OBLIGATED TO!!! Then MAYBE, GM can actually move some product, and stay afloat from what...what are those things called....oh yea....SALES, and not LOANS!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      A six-speed manual in a GM sedan!!!!!!Yea!!!!!!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Is that rare?
        • 6 Years Ago

        Finding a manual transmission on a mainstream midsize GM sedan in NA has been virtually impossible for about the past 30 years. No manual is available for Malibu, Aura, G6 (although it was briefly available on the couple version), G8 (except for the GXP) or any Buick. The fact is, the small minority of people that like driving enough to get an MT sedan were long ago chased away to imports (although props to Ford for making an MT available for the Fusion 4 cylinder).

        • 6 Years Ago
        @Ken Stamper

        As one of those people, I can say Ford is too pathetic, as well. The manual gearbox is only available on the base model engine, base trim. What sort of enthusiast wants an econo-stripped-out model of a car?

        Even the Lincoln LS didn't offer the stick with the V8 engine, only a handfull of V6 models, and they wonder why it didn't chase BMW the way they hoped it would...

        Ford is doing no enthusiast any favors, aside from die-hard mustang fanatics who would buy Mustangs even if they were worse than they are. (just an illustration of blind fanboi-ism)

        The big 3 offer nothing for the everyday enthusiast who can't afford a new Mustang, Camaro, Corvette, or whatever else, on the side, and want their daily driver to be somewhat satisfying to drive every day, rain or shine, or over broken pavement.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Now that looks hot. Too bad I couldn't possibly afford it even if they did bring it to N/A.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sell it as the LaCrosse Super.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Regal is based on the Insignia, and the Regal is being brought to NA, so we could see it as a Regal Super? Maybe?
        • 6 Years Ago
        quote from Jj:
        - "If it comes over as a Buick it would most likely be a Regal" -

        It is coming over as a Buick and it's called the LaCrosse. Granted, it's not coming over as an OPC(at least not right away), but we are absolutely getting the same car(Insignia).
        • 6 Years Ago
        If it comes over as a Buick it would most likely be a Regal.
      • 6 Years Ago
      You people in America always desire every new European car, but the truth is even if you get them, you keep buying the same cars over and over. Say after me, SUV, SUV, SUV, SUV...
        • 6 Years Ago
        True, but although that's a huge part of the country, a few (say 10%) of us would actually buy something like this. That 10% probably also bought new Saturns after begging GM to bring them over.

        so for the most part you're right.
      • 6 Years Ago
      If anyone needs a reason why Rick Wagoner was fired....here's one. This car is better looking than any sedan GM sells here.....period!!! I give it the edge over the CTS.

      This is blatant stupidity. Can somebody give me a reason as to why this car isn't sold here? If a company is trying to compete, doesn't it make sense to offer its best product?

      • 6 Years Ago
      I would buy one if they sold it here. Just hopefully if they do end up selling it here it still comes with the 6-speed manual and (although not a must) have those seats too!
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