Fancy an Audi S4 on the cheap? Vauxhall and its Continental cousins at Opel are hoping this new Insignia VXR will offer ballistic performance for (relatively) bargain prices. How quick? We're talking 0-60mph in around 5.8 seconds for just over £30,000.
It's not long until we see the finished Insignia VXR – the first pictures are due out in April 2009 – and we've already scooped other bodystyles, including the go-faster VXR estate. All three go on sale in June 2009.
So how fast is the new Insignia VXR?
Vauxhall has taken the regular Elite's 2.8-litre V6 and turned up the wick of the single – not twin, as previously reported – turbo to crank out 320bhp. The turbo uses twin-scroll technology to boost output.
All that thrust is sent to the road through a four-wheel drive system that's tweaked to cope with the additional twist and deliver a sportier drive.
Who's going to buy the VXR in these troubled times?
Good question. The timing might be tricky for Vauxhall – selling a high CO2, rip-rorting lairy family car in the middle of a recession is hardly ideal. But the marketing types are confident they will find a select bunch of buyers who desire a Vauxhall Passat R36 or Audi S4 for a bargain price.
The VXR will be positioned at the top of the Insignia family tree; all three bodystyles are likely to cost more than £30,000, stretching to around £32k for the wagon.