The first generation Insignia was, it has to be said, not the most exciting car on Vauxhall’s roster.
In fact, motoring journalists privately dubbed it the “Vauxhall Insomnia.”
The second iteration family car is much more appealing to drive, however, and the “hot” version of the car has pulled off quite a feat.
The Insignia GSI has become the brand’s fastest car around the legendary Nürburgring circuit.
The Vauxhall Insignia GSI lapped the infamous track no less than 12 seconds faster than the previous Insignia VXR – a far more powerful car.
While it had 321bhp, the latest GSI took the Nurburgring on with just 256bhp, but set a faster time.
Along with its 160kg weight advantage over the previous Insignia, though, the GSI also has the advantage of four-wheel drive, which incorporates torque-vectoring technology to ensure that power is distributed to whichever wheels are best able to deploy it in demanding corners. Michelin Pilot Sport tyres and Brembo brakes help with cornering and stopping.
Fitted with a 2.0-litre, turbocharged petrol engine, it is paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox to provide speedy changes and drivers can choose from four driving modes – Standard, Tour, Sport and Competition, which is exclusive to the GSi model.
You’re even able to turn the traction control off to allow more slip and have more fun on the track.
The GSI also features Vauxhall’s FlexRide chassis, which continually adjusts the car’s steering and suspension settings, and sits 10mm lower than other Insignia models.
Vauxhall hasn’t forgotten about dog owners who like fast cars– an estate model will join the range soon.
The GSI was put together by a team led by ex-racer Volker Strycek, who said: “The lightweight architecture, excellent chassis configuration and unique all-wheel drive system, along with the performance tyres make the GSi as precise and sharp as we wanted it to be.”