The mention of Vauxhall does little to raise the pulse. Sure, they pump out some solid, hugely popular cars like the Corsa and Astra, which have been two of the biggest selling cars in 2017, but when it comes to performance, they don’t bring much to the table.
That is all about to change in early 2018 with the arrival of the Insignia GSi, which resurrects the brand’s long-defunct GTI-esque GSi label.
The Insignia is a well-established company car staple with a massive fanbase in the fleet sector, but so is the Ford Focus, and that hasn’t held back the ST and RS spin-offs from being huge successes.
Vauxhall has drip-fed details on the super saloon most of this year, ever since revealing it at the Frankfurt Motor Show and with a March 2018 launch date confirmed, we now know enough to write a news article of a respectable length about it.
How quick is it?
Buyers will be able to choose between a two-litre turbo-petrol – with 256bhp and 400Nm of torque – or a 198bhp two-litre BiTurbo diesel engine, while body style options comprise the grand sport and sports tourer, which is a fancy way of saying saloon and estate.
Some performance figures are still being held back but we do know that the petrol saloon Insignia GSi will be able to race to 62mph from a standstill in 6.9 seconds, with a top speed of 155mph.
Vauxhall revealed in October that the Insignia GSi became the quickest Vauxhall production car to tackle the iconic Nürburgring circuit, completing a lap 12 seconds faster than the previous generation Insignia VXR.
All Insignia GSi models will come linked to an eight-speed automatic gearbox with shift paddles on the steering wheel to deliver a more engaging driving experience. In saloon form, the petrol emits 197g/km of CO2, dropping to 192g/km with the diesel.
What else is different?
As with other performance-focused models, the Insignia GSi will boast four driving modes through the GSi’s FlexRide system. These mean the driver can modify the damping, steering, gear change-up points and the car’s stability and traction systems to their liking.
You’ll be able to recognise the Insignia GSi by its chrome air intakes, front and rear GSi bumpers, side sills and a large GSi rear spoiler (saloon only), and LED matrix headlamps.
The cabin has been kitted out with full-leather front sports seats, aluminium pedals, an eight-inch colour information display with navigation plus a Bose sound system and head-up display.
Prices start from £33,375 for the saloon shape, rising to £34,875 for the estate.