Any new car wanting to make a point very often heads to the iconic Nürburgring circuit in a bid to set a new record lap time. We’ve seen it a few times this year (first with the Civic Type R, then the NIO EP9) and it’s happened again, this time with the new Vauxhall Insignia GSi.
The Insignia may be more commonly associated with company car drivers than boy racers, but this performance-focused offshoot has undergone several aggressive changes and was actually developed at the German track by Vauxhall’s top European engineers.
As such, the Insignia GSi has just become the quickest production Vauxhall car to tackle the circuit, completing a lap 12 seconds faster than the previous-gen Insignia VXR.
How did it manage this? Well, the GSi boasts all-wheel drive with torque vectoring, a new mechatronic FlexRide chassis, Brembo four-cylinder brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S performance tyres on 20-inch rims.
Although the car’s power output or 0-62mph sprint time have yet to be confirmed, the car is said to be lighter and quicker than the VXR it replaces.
It uses a refined two-litre turbo petrol engine mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, with shift paddles on the steering wheel to provide an active and responsive driving experience.
Volker Strycek, Vauxhall’s director of performance cars and motor sport, led the development team working on the new Insignia GSi, and used the unique challenges of the track to fine-tune the model to suit performance driving on any circuit.
He said: “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.
“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.”
The new Insignia GSi will be available in either the Grand Sport saloon or Sports Tourer estate bodystyles when it arrives in Vauxhall showrooms in 2018.
Stephen Hasley, brand manager at Petrol News, added: “With the GSi, Vauxhall is proving that the Insignia is more than mile-munching company car.”
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