Insignia grows horns

Posted by Paul Horrell at 10:31 am on Wednesday February 11, 2009

GTC conceptVXR Vauxhalls have been a bit patchy in the past. Astra and Corsa – hairy fun. Meriva and Vectra – clunky overpowered pointlessness. But this summer’s 300bhp 4WD Insignia VXR could be a bit of a belter. Dunno if anyone will have the cash to buy it, but fun anyway.

Vauxhall isn’t releasing official details yet, but here’s what intel has come Foreman’s way. The engine is a turbo V6. To tame the traditional VXR waywardness, it gets a sophisticated 4WD system, and the option of 20-inch wheels with Brembo brakes. Inside, there are huge semi-racing Recaro seats.

The front and rear styling is surprisingly close to the Opel GTC Concept car (pictured), which is pretty horny. The wheels are exactly the same, too.

And underneath it all, the Insignia is a good car. Yes, a hot version goes right against the spirit of the age, and it’ll probably depreciate like a rock lobbed down a mineshaft. But what the heck, we’re secretly looking forward to it.

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  1. Steve said...
    Wednesday February 11, 2009 at 11:23 am Link to comment Report comment

    Why does it only have 300 bhp? It should be a rival for the M5, RS6, XFR e.t.c.
    It should at least have 500bhp!

  2. Steve said...
    Wednesday February 11, 2009 at 11:23 am Link to comment Report comment

    Yeah! I got the first comment!

  3. Paul Horrell said...
    Wednesday February 11, 2009 at 12:01 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Steve – I expect this Vectra VXR to cost about the same as a four-cylinder Audi A4 Quattro, match it for spec, and go a lot faster.
    Vauxhall has the VXR8 to take on the 500bhp cars. They just announced a supercharged VXR8 today, with a 560bhp V8 for £45,000.

  4. Paul Horrell said...
    Wednesday February 11, 2009 at 12:28 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Here’s the link to that supercharged VXR8
    http://www.topgear.com/uk  /car-news/vauxhall-vxr8- bathurst-s-2009-02-11

  5. Kuang said...
    Wednesday February 11, 2009 at 3:06 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Looking like that I really want it to work but I’m not sure Vauxhall have the experience of jazzing up cars from that segment. Fast Astras and Corsas are fun – even the original Nova could be entertaining and the Chevette HS was a blast – but the hotter Vectras were always very disappointing to drive. Going further back the Cavalier SRi had its moments but apart from the Lotus Carlton I can’t think of a rep car that Vauxhall have made better by making it faster.

    I think the problem might come if they try to hedge their bets by striking too much of a balance between the base car and the performance variants. The rebadged Holdens are looneytunes from the ground up and so work well – you’re prepare to overlook the quirks fo the sake of the fun to be had – but the Vectra VXR was a complete pig when it came to pressing on.. and it wasn’t that great in plain clothers to start with.

    :ets hope that Vauxhall take note of Ford’s RS ethic, by starting with a decent car and then aiming for what they want rather than negotiating compromises.

  6. skul said...
    Wednesday February 11, 2009 at 4:03 pm Link to comment Report comment

    oh dear if it looks anything like the picture im afraid only people who have no street cred will even consider buying it

  7. american idol said...
    Wednesday February 11, 2009 at 6:07 pm Link to comment Report comment

    miles more exciting than the rival audi which is the most boring great drive ever, as for street cred.. dunno, it IS a vauxhall :D

  8. Steve said...
    Wednesday February 11, 2009 at 7:16 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Oh Yeah! Of Course! How silly of me! How could I forget?! The VXR8!

  9. simonsays said...
    Thursday February 12, 2009 at 10:50 am Link to comment Report comment

    ok yes! The Bathurst is the dogs nuts no questions but this is what my missues is stepping out of our moter in: http://www.bornrich.org/e ntry/limited-edition-lamb orghini-superleggera-carb on-fiber-heels/

  10. I said...
    Thursday February 12, 2009 at 11:03 am Link to comment Report comment

    the VXR8 is nothing on an m5 and all the german stuff, yes it has good value for money and so on but it dose not have the fines of the Germans, both in quality and in steering.

  11. I said...
    Thursday February 12, 2009 at 11:05 am Link to comment Report comment

    why did i enter that at that point?
    continuing, the VXR above looks like it will be more like what the RS Cosworth started, which is a good thing. a very good thing… except it won’t be as unique, ridiculous and rare.

  12. Gus said...
    Thursday February 12, 2009 at 5:56 pm Link to comment Report comment

    In any event, we pay only $35,000 USD for the equivalent Pontiac here. Oh, and $2 per gallon…
    Much love from bankrupt California… :)

  13. aussie boi said...
    Thursday February 12, 2009 at 7:00 pm Link to comment Report comment

    us aussies have out done the m5 now with our holden hsv

    W427

    have fun with ye new vxr8s guys cos we have the real things and they are better then the vxr8′s

  14. american idol said...
    Thursday February 12, 2009 at 7:55 pm Link to comment Report comment

    yup an m5 with a roo-bar would suck.. have fun in the hsv down under, that´s where it belongs.. on the barby :D

  15. american idol said...
    Thursday February 12, 2009 at 7:57 pm Link to comment Report comment

    oz boi, sorry m8 it´s hard to out do an m5…

  16. american idol said...
    Thursday February 12, 2009 at 7:59 pm Link to comment Report comment

    bhp alone doesn´t do it…

  17. Omaxem said...
    Thursday February 12, 2009 at 8:12 pm Link to comment Report comment

    @Kuang – Hummm… Lotus Carlton … ( drool )

  18. Mikeado said...
    Thursday February 12, 2009 at 9:50 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Mmmm, Lotus Carlton……..

    !

    Wha? Oh yeah, the Insignia VXR. When you said turbo V6 & 4WD, I started thinking GT-R. But with a meagre 300bhp, it’s more a rival to S4 than RS6.

    They should make a 4-Door version. I know it would be similar to the VXR8, but that’s really just a brutish drift monkey – not a bad thing, that, but, as previously discussed, it’s no M5 – whereas the Insignia VXR could be the more serious one.

  19. american idol said...
    Thursday February 12, 2009 at 10:10 pm Link to comment Report comment

    the insignia vxr 4wd could be a brute, bankrobber´s choice no.1.,proper streed cred v-hall.. could make tail-gating a totally new game hahaha bring it on !

  20. Average Joe said...
    Thursday February 12, 2009 at 10:17 pm Link to comment Report comment

    The reports say it puts out 320 bhp
    http://www.autoblog.com/2 009/01/28/320hp-twin-turb o-opel-insignia-spied-ahe ad-of-geneva-debut/

    but What Car put the figure closer to 360 bhp
    http://www.whatcar.com/ne ws-article.aspx?NA=235194 &EL=3258232

    and they recon there’s a 250 bhp diesel on its way to!?!?

  21. Vision said...
    Thursday February 12, 2009 at 11:50 pm Link to comment Report comment

    It is interesting that most slander the VXR against an M5. Bang for buck, it is unbeatable, but it is unreasonable to expect a cheap large sports saloon better in every way than a very expensive large sports saloon. The fact the VXR is considered in the same company as an M5 & AMG should suggest it is a Very Good Thing.

    PS. Gus, the Pontiac is a watered down version of the UK or Australian versions. Less power, soggier suspension.

  22. Kuang said...
    Friday February 13, 2009 at 1:03 am Link to comment Report comment

    I think the VXR8 is a stormer, especially in white with the right wheels. I had a good look over the one at the motor show, and the only thing I didn’t like was that the side bolsters of the seats seemed to be made of cheese. I had no confidence they’d stop you bouncing off the door in a tight corner, or ending up with a gearstick inserted inconveniently in you.. AKA ‘doing a Clarkson’ ;)

  23. Tak said...
    Friday February 13, 2009 at 11:49 am Link to comment Report comment

    Bathurst, nice track. I wouldn’t go there with that VXR thingy tho’, this 4wd seems the better way to try ‘n survive.

  24. Snowman said...
    Friday February 13, 2009 at 4:48 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Insignia, dont think it’l cut the mustard. I’ve had my VXR8 since August. 19,000 miles of fun except last nights ice. Wow! Supercharger – no thanks – frankly 415 hp is plenty enough.

  25. Ciaran said...
    Friday February 13, 2009 at 5:03 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Lets hope it handles better than the old Vectra VXR. Looks great anyways.

  26. dom4291 said...
    Tuesday February 17, 2009 at 6:44 pm Link to comment Report comment

    that is awsome if only the real thing will look like that!! is it enough to beat the rs4 and m3 ???

  27. Shane said...
    Tuesday February 24, 2009 at 9:08 am Link to comment Report comment

    Just how much does the Vauxhall brand cost GM? It must be cheaper to have just the one ‘Opel’ brand for the whole of the EU area. Can the vauxhall badge be worth so much?

  28. gogo said...
    Tuesday February 24, 2009 at 12:41 pm Link to comment Report comment

    thath will be good vauxhall (opel)

  29. Mikeado said...
    Tuesday February 24, 2009 at 5:44 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Shane, I’m not sure killing Vauxhall would go down awfully well. Besides, I think they just change the badge when they make RHD versions of Opels.

  30. RichT said...
    Tuesday March 3, 2009 at 6:59 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Ok – The real issue here is that Opel / Vauxhall call it what you will have largely built complete crap for the past few years, think Vectra!

    There are two reasons for this: GM cost cutting and cars being built for accountants not drivers.

    Back to the Insignia: Seen a few on the road and they look cheap and nasty, if you de-badged it most people would guess it was a Daewoo or whatever they are calling it this week. The quick Vectra was dreadful so I wouldn’t hold up hope this will be any better but 4wd may help as GM just don’t build good front wheel drive cars.

    I work in the motor trade and I know of Vauxhall mechanics and service managers that will not buy Vauxhalls – enough said.

  31. F(92+obs)1l0z0f said...
    Thursday March 5, 2009 at 11:16 am Link to comment Report comment

    In rest of Europe Vauxhall is called Opel…
    And this car could be new Opel Calibra,and that would be very cool.New Audi A5,Laguna Coupe,407 Coupe,Brera,Vauxhall should have a car in that class.With Insignia quality,2.0 turbo,and sporty handling,it would be Vauxhall’s ticket to the top…
    Belive me,I know.

  32. DaniiDBR9 said...
    Sunday March 8, 2009 at 7:31 pm Link to comment Report comment

    That Cars Good Lookin :) Wouldnt Mind That On My Drive…When I Get A House! Haha x

  33. Ballymoss said...
    Monday April 13, 2009 at 5:13 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Looks the business in White .
    I just hope it goes like stink and that it handles great.
    Maybe a performance upgrade may be avialable in time to take it over 400bhp, id like to see an engine from the VXR8 dropped in it with 500bhp plus and the 4wd !!

    As long as Vauxhall keep it affordable then it will sell if it is overpriced in the present financial climate then it will struggle, this is why it must be an outstanding car and be worth the outlay in cash that GM will probably be asking for it.

    Its a pity that GM have decided to drop the 3 door GTC that car was a sexy looker and in my eyes looked like a toned down Bentley GT Coupe.

    I just hope they realise that that would sell and become a modern day Opel Monza and in time an Icon Coupe.

  34. fab1 said...
    Tuesday June 2, 2009 at 4:11 pm Link to comment Report comment

    the whole point of the car I think is that for the person who wants a very fast, good looking car for a high but reasonable price is silly they need a car which can compete with the 250 MPH cars that are on sale now and for a high price for the million airs out there

  35. Greece guy said...
    Saturday June 6, 2009 at 1:36 pm Link to comment Report comment

    i think that insignia is so cool:)it combines beauty with technology and speed. i think it’s one of the best cars ever made in Human history but as some guys said it should have been faster.But if you are not a F1 driver it’s fast enough for you to enjoy!!!!!:)

  36. Used Landcruiser said...
    Thursday September 3, 2009 at 12:04 pm Link to comment Report comment

    In my point of view this all articles are very appreciable
    Sara
    Used Landcruiser

  37. Christian Louboutin said...
    Wednesday June 9, 2010 at 10:40 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Good article Thank you so much

  38. Preabillela said...
    Tuesday December 20, 2011 at 10:28 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I do not agree …

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