Make / Model Search

Future models - Opel - Insignia - OPC sedan

First look: HSV’s turbocharged Insignia mid-sizer

VXR vroom: The Euro Insignia VXR might be destined for Australia under HSV badges.

Holden-powered all-wheel-drive Insignia VXR turbo could wear HSV badges

16 Apr 2009

YOU’RE looking at what could become the Holden Special Vehicles Insignia VXR.

Revealed simultaneously yesterday in Germany as the Opel Insignia OPC and in Britain as the Vauxhall Insignia VXR ahead of the latter’s global debut at the Barcelona motor show on May 7, the hottest version of General Motors’ new mid-sized European model packs all-wheel drive and a Holden-built turbocharged V6.

HSV managing director Phil Harding told GoAuto last December it was negotiating with GM in Europe to import the hottest versions of both the Insignia and Corsa, the previous generation of which was sold here as the Holden Barina.

HSV spokesman Simon Frost today said that situation had not changed, meaning the company still hoped to slot the Insignia VXR into its range below the ClubSport at about $55,000. It would be the second non-V8 model to grace the Holden hot-shop’s current line-up, alongside the turbocharged Astra VXR.

“We’re very interested in both the Corsa and Insignia (VXRs), but the business case and the price point for the Australian market needs to stack up,” said Mr Frost.

It’s understood the unavailability of base versions of both the Corsa and Insignia in Australia is a key hurdle for the prospect of the Corsa VXR or Insignia VXR being sold here. However, Holden is now understood to have plans to import the Vectra-replacing Insignia, which would be sold alongside the GM Daewoo-built Epica in its medium car stable.

52 center imageIf sold here, Holden’s Insignia range could comprise up to three body styles and six engines, while the HSV version will be based on the top-shelf 2.8-litre petrol V6-powered Insignia flagship, which is known as the Sport in Germany and the SRi in the UK.

The Insignia VXR/OPC adds to this a twin-scroll turbocharger and fully reworked exhaust system that increases peak power to 239kW and maximum torque to some 400Nm.

According to Vauxhall and Opel, which will launch the most powerful Insignia in the European summer and autumn respectively, that’s enough to propel the six-speed manual vehicle to 100km/h in six seconds dead, and on to an electronically-limited top speed of 250km/h.

The hot mid-sizer’s pace comes despite the fitment of an all-wheel-drive “mechatronic” chassis, lowered by 10mm compared to the Insignia AWD Sport/SRi, and also features a modified version of the standard car’s MacPherson strut front suspension, dubbed HiPerStrut (for high-performance strut).

Comprising a new front axle developed by the Opel Performance Center in Rüsselsheim, it is said to improve steering feel and precision while reducing torque steer.

The VXR/OPC version also gains additions to the standard Insignia’s adaptive FlexRide suspension, which in this guise offers standard, sport and an optimum OPC-specific damping setting.

The Insignia OPC is the first model in the 10-year history of the European GM subsidiary’s performance division to feature an adaptive AWD system with electronic limited-slip rear differential (eLSD) as standard. Brembo brake callipers with 355mm perforated front brake discs are also fitted.

Previewed by the GTC concept car of 2007, the hottest Insignia’s bodykit features a bold-new front-end with two large vertical air intakes. At the back, dual exhaust outlets are integrated into its specific rear bumper. A 20-inch alloy wheel will be an option over the standard 19-inch items, which run 245/40-section rubber.

Inside, the piping-hot Insignia offers unique Recaro front sports seats, a flat-bottomed three-spoke leather steering wheel and a specific gearshifter and instruments.

Adam Opel GmbH managing director Hans Demant said the Insignia OPC would be aimed directly at the world’s best mid-sized sports sedans. Given its significantly lower pricetag, however, that presumably means the highest-performing non-R, M and AMG-badged versions of the A4, 3 series and C-class from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz respectively.

“I was personally involved in the development of the Insignia OPC and I very much enjoyed extensive testing on the most demanding race track of the world, the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Our target was to rival the ‘best of the best’,” he said.

The Insignia VXR will join the Corsa VXR, Astra VXR and HSV GTS-based VXR8 in Vauxhall’s range by mid-year.

The five-door Sports Tourer wagon joined the four-door sedan and five-door hatchback as the third Insignia to be available from Vauxhall in the UK on April 10.

Holden’s potential Insignia range could comprise up to four petrol and two diesel engines, all of them Euro 5 emissions-rated, ranging between $35,000 and $50,000. They include 100kW and 120kW versions of the 2.0 CDTi turbo-diesel, plus 1.8-litre, 2.0-litre turbo, 2.8-litre V6 and the new 1.6-litre turbo petrol engines.

Read more:

Pipped at the post

First look: Insignia wagon joins sedan, hatch

Insignia set for Oz

British show: GM signals Insignia

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Opel models

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here