Vauxhall’s family car is taking a walk on the wild side! After endless spy shots and numerous rumours the white-hot Insignia VXR is here. And we have the first official pictures of the model that’s leaving more premium rivals shaking in their boots.
Beneath the pumped-up bodywork sits a 2.8-litre turbocharged V6 unleashing 321bhp to all four wheels – 69bhp more than the Vectra VXR it replaces. It’s also the first 4x4 ever to wear the famous VXR badge.
With all that power on tap, 0-60mph is dispatched in 5.8 seconds – just four tenths down on the 328bhp supercharged Audi S4 – while the top speed is limited to 155mph.
But it’s not just the engine that’s received a through going over – sitting behind the standard 19’s or optional 20-inch alloys are uprated Brembo brakes with colour-matched callipers larger cross-drilled discs.
To counteract torque steer and maximise grip in all road conditions a new ‘HiPerStrut’ front suspension configuration has been devised.
To boost traction out of corners the adaptive 4x4 system, which juggles torque between the front and rear axles, is hooked up to an electronic Limited Slip Differential.
And if anyone needed proof that it should be just as sharp to drive as it sounds - Vauxhall’s team of test drivers honed the bespoke chassis at the gruelling Nurburgring test track in Germany.
Available in all three bodystyles – hatch, saloon and Sport Tourer, the exterior styling has been taken up a notch in line with the other three models in the VXR range – the Corsa, Astra and 431bhp VXR8.
At the front of the car a deeper, more prominent spoiler is dominated by a pair of enormous matte-chrome nostrils, which not only create a snarling face, but help with engine and brake cooling too.
Extended side sills give the car a ground-hugging appearance, while the unique VXR rear bumper is unmistakeable thanks to the twin trapezoidal exhausts. Both the hatch and saloon variants also get a boot lip spoiler for added visual drama.
The paint colour palette includes the striking Olympic white shown here, as well as Arden Blue, Power Red, Carbon Flash Black, Silver Lake and Technical Grey.
It’s all change in the interior too, where a host of sporty additions mark the VXR out from lesser models in the range. Up-front you’ll find hip-hugging Recaro seats to stop you bouncing off the doors under hard cornering.
The driver is presented with an all-new flat-bottomed VXR steering wheel, as well as a branded six-speed manual gear lever and sill plates, plus unique VXR graphics on the central display.
Considering Vauxhall’s unrivalled reputation for turning ordinary saloon cars into fully-fledged racers in the British Touring Car Championship, with no little success, you wouldn’t bet against this tyre-smoking Insignia from surprising a few people when it’s pitched against more premium competitors.
Vauxhall’s super-saloon will hit showrooms before the end of the year, with prices likely to start from around £25,000.