Here’s the best evidence yet of the forthcoming Vauxhall Insignia VXR. The disguise around the snout of this prototype covers a GTC concept style nose that will front the red-hot Insignia VXR when we finally see it in 2009.
This model is badged as an Opel Insignia V6 – and on the Continent it will wear the OPC tag. And that V6 badge is significant, as the VXR model will use that model’s four-wheel drive system and mechanical package.
Insignia VXR: a turbocharged 2.8-litre V6
The ‘boggo’ Insignia 2.8 V6 turbo develops 256bhp – similar to today's Vectra VXR with 276bhp – so the new VXR will be tweaked up to produce nearer 300bhp, we hear.
Won’t that cause some trouble with the front rubber, steering and chassis manners? Not in the Insignia. Unlike today’s hot Vectra, the newcomer will boast four-wheel drive to tame all that twist.
The new Insignia VXR gets its Swedish cousin’s torque-splitting electronic rear differential to juggle drive between the wheels with the best traction.
Click ‘Next’ for more about our Vauxhall Insignia VXR spy photos
When will we see the new Insignia VXR?
Bank on a 2009 unveiling. GM is showing the Insignia estate at the Paris 2008 show, so we expect the VXR to surface at the Geneva show in March or Frankfurt in September 2009. Showroom sales are slated for late in the year.
This prototype is far from the finished beast. The wheels look to us like 18s and the bonnet profiling, wheelarches and other details are boggo Insignia; even that rear lip spoiler comes on the regular 2.8 V6 turbo.
So what about the GTC inspiration?
Check out our previous stories on the GTC concept to see which direction GM is pursuing with the VXR Insignia. Vauxhall and its chums over at Opel are hardly shy about their VXR/OPC models, so expect a flurry of spoilers and in-yer-face attitude on the hottest Insignia.
Will the performance match the posing? Insiders claim the early prototypes are already beating the 8min 35sec set by a standard Astra VXR at the Nurburgring.
Anoraks will enjoy that detail; for mere mortals, rest assured – the Insignia VXR will be brutally fast.
But we can’t help feeling that the low CO2 versions of the Insignia will be more significant in this zeitgeist…