This is an early mule for Vauxhall's Sport Tourer version of the Insignia VXR, snapped testing at the Nurburgring. The prototype's body might look fairly mundane, but under the skin is a four-wheel drive chassis mated to a twin-turbo V6 that'll produce over 300bhp.
Is it really the Vauxhall Insignia VXR?
No, the car in our pictures is actually an OPC (Opel Performance Centre) Insignia – but that's just the name for VXR on the Continent. You can see the OPC badge on the wing, but the other giveways are the Brembo brake callipers and drilled discs.
The rest of this prototype is fairly standard though (bar the twin pipes at the back), but the full-fat OPC/VXR cars will have a split chrome bar across the upper grille and a rectangular lower intake. There will also be two upright and chrome-trimmed intakes inspired by the GTC Concept, and two further, smaller vents. They're not on this prototype, but we've seen hatch versions of the VXR running at the 'Ring with the intakes taped over, suggesting they're purely cosmetic.
And what about this engine?
The Insignia VXR will use a 2.8-litre V6 with twin turbos helping to produce around 320bhp. The old Vectra VXR had 251bhp, but it was all channelled through the front wheels – the new Insignia VXR has a four-wheel drive system with an electronic rear differential, plus Vauxhall's FlexRide system that has three settings for the damping, steering and four-wheel drive system. It'll even (wait for it) switch the dials from white to red backlighting in Sport mode...
We'll see the Insignia VXR unveiled in the next few months, but don't expect the Sport Tourer version to appear until early 2010, priced from around £32,000.
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