New Vauxhall Insignia GSi is faster than old VXR

Vauxhall’s hot new Insignia GSi has been tested at the Nurburgring, lapping the infamous ‘Green Hell’ faster than any other production car to wear the Griffin badge.

What makes this really impressive, in Insignia terms, is that the new GSi is down on power by 65hp compared to its fiery VXR predecessor – yet it still managed to lap the Nurburgring a whole 12 seconds quicker. Exactly how fast that is, we don’t know, as Vauxhall is remaining tight lipped about an exact figure.

The new model, which is set to arrive at Vauxhall dealerships next year, sits 10mm lower than the rest of the Insignia range and is 160kg lighter than the previous Insignia VXR. The GSi’s impressive performance at the ‘Ring can be attributed to its four-wheel-drive system, featuring a mechanical twin-clutch differential at the rear and an e-diff divvying up power at the front.

Combine trick four-wheel drive with focused Michelin Pilot Sport tyres and Brembo brakes, and you’ve got a repmobile that makes the Nurburgring look like a pootle around the M25.

“The lightweight architecture, excellent chassis configuration and unique all-wheel drive system, along with the performance tyres make the GSi as precise and sharp as we wanted it to be,” said Vauxhall’s director of performance cars and motor sport, Volker Strycek, who led the development team working on the Insignia GSi.

“The results speak for themselves, and the new Insignia GSi can lap the Nürburgring up to 12 seconds faster than its more powerful VXR predecessor. Where the course becomes more demanding and requires the car to react with more agility and precision, such as in the corners or stretches with low friction, the GSi is definitely faster and easy to control.”

Vauxhall Insignia GSi drivers will be able to choose form three key driving modes: Standard, Tour and Sport, as well as a fourth ‘Competition’ setting developed exclusively for the Insignia GSi. With a double press of the ESP button, this switches off traction control and allows more extreme sideways angles during enthusiastic driving. Yes, this hot new Insignia features its own take on Ford’s Drift Mode.

Power comes from a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine, combining 260hp with 295lb ft torque. Exact performance figures, including a 0-62mph time, as well as pricing details, are yet to be announced.

>NEXT: Ford vs. Vauxhall: retro hot hatch showdown

2018 Vauxhall Insignia GSi prototype testing

[soliloquy id=”1106446″]