Yesterday we brought you spy video footage of the new Vauxhall Insignia VXR. Today we have the first official photographs of Luton’s new cut-price M3 four-door. Vauxhall will have the sporting family car segment almost to itself – Ford no longer builds a Mondeo ST and most European rivals no longer bother with high-horspower saloons (excepting VW’s equally crazed Passat R36).
The ice-white VXR paint job marks out this as the high-performance Insignia, powered – as we correctly identified in our scoops – a single-turbo 2.8-litre 60-deg V6. The twin-scroll blower and variable valvegear send power north to the tune of 321bhp, up by 64bhp over the regular Elite V6.
New Vauxhall Insignia VXR: how quick?
Are those BMW M3 comparisons valid? The VXR isn’t quite as powerful as the latest E90 M3, but it’s not far off earlier iterations. The hot Insignia powers to 60mph in just 5.8sec and on to a restricted 155mph. Top whack is believed to be nearer 170mph without electro-nannies.
Those horses are sent to all four wheels, and a new electronic LSD is claimed to reduce wheelspin. There’s also Vauxhall/Opel’s new HiPerStrut suspension geometry – a system that’s similar to Ford’s RevoKnuckle and the front suspension on Renault’s go-faster Meganes – and revised bushing and dampers to tame the VXR hooligan instinct.
How to spot the Vauxhall Insignia VXR
A whistlestop anorak’s guide to the VXR:
• 10mm drop in ride height
• 19in alloy wheels (20s are an option)
• Brembo vented and cross-drilled discs with colour-keyed callipers
• Deep front bumper with GTC concept style air scoops
• Vestigial rear spoiler
• Twin matt chrome exhausts
Inside, the top-dog Insignia sports Recaro buckets, a new VXR steering wheel, gearknob and sill plates and a matt black headlining.
‘The Insignia VXR is not just about absolute power, but a combination of usable performance and chassis sophistication which is the match of premium rivals, such as Audi’s new S4,’ said Andy Gilson, Vauxhall’s marketing director.
The Insignia VXR goes on sale in summer 2009, priced from around £30,000. We reckon it looks rather good in an attainable, beefcake type way…