Vauxhall has always been a very sensible brand, thanks to a very straight-laced range comprising the Corsa, Astra and Insignia.
However, that’s about to change when the brand’s performance-focused GSi label is resurrected and slapped on the usually oh-so-serious Insignia.
What you see above is the first glimpse of the new Insignia GSi, due to be unveiled in full at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
The cranked-up cruiser is powered by a refined 256bhp two-litre turbo petrol engine – mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission – that delivers elevated performance levels with all-wheel drive, a new lightweight chassis and powerful Brembo four-pot calliper front brakes.
Three main driving modes – standard, tour and sport – are available to the driver, while Vauxhall has also developed a fourth setting – competition – exclusively for the Insignia GSi. With a double press of the ESP button, the GSi switches the traction control off and allows more yaw, giving skilled drivers the chance to realise the car’s full potential.
Handling is expected to be more engaging with the car riding on Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres and 18-inch wheels, with 20-inch wheels also available.
Up to 160kg has been shaved off the car’s weight, compared to a regular Insignia, and with its lower centre of gravity, it benefits from more traction and an overall improved driving experience.
Aesthetically, the GSi is identifiable by the chrome air intakes at the front, a downforce-boosting rear spoiler, two chrome-edged exhaust pipes, and of course, the GSi logo.
On the inside, the cabin is defined by full-leather sports seats, a leather sports steering wheel and aluminium pedals.
No word yet on how quickly that engine can get the Insignia up to 62mph, and it’s unlikely we’ll know until Frankfurt. In light of all the other measures incorporated here, it’s sure to be impressive.
Stephen Hasley, brand manager at Petrol News, comments: “It’s great to see the GSi label return after all these years. Could this be the beginning of a new era for Vauxhall? Let’s hope so.”
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