Returning from the cold, fans of Vauxhall have finally got something to shout about with the return of the GSi moniker, a badge not seen on anything since the 1999 Vectra 2.5 GSi. And now we have received news up on the top floor of MotorMartin Towers that Vauxhall’s all-new Insignia GSi has already demonstrated its exceptional performance levels at one of the world’s most challenging race circuits, Germany’s Nürburgring. Vauxhall having confirmed to MotorMartin that, sitting 10mm closer to the road than the rest of the Insignia range, and taking 160kg off the previous Insignia VXR, the GSi is the quickest Vauxhall production car to take on the iconic German track.
The superior performance of the new Insignia GSi is down to advances across the vehicle, which include all-wheel drive with torque vectoring, a new mechatronic FlexRide chassis, Brembo four-cylinder brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres on 20-inch rims. Power is delivered by a refined 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine supported by an eight-speed automatic gearbox, offering shift-paddles on the steering wheel to provide an active and responsive driving experience.
Vauxhall have shared with MotorMartin that having undergone extensive testing at the Nürburgring, nicknamed “The Green Hell” by legendary Formula 1 driver Sir Jackie Stewart, the Insignia GSi took 12 seconds off the time set by the outgoing VXR model. Vauxhall’s Director of Performance Cars and Motor Sport, Volker Strycek led the development team working on the new Insignia GSi, and used the unique challenges of the track to fine-tune the model to suit performance driving on any circuit.
“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,” said Strycek after his test drives.
“The results speak for themselves, and the new Insignia GSi can lap the Nürburgring up to 12 seconds faster than its more powerful VXR predecessor. Where the course becomes more demanding and requires the car to react with more agility and precision, such as in the corners or stretches with low friction, the GSi is definitely faster and easy to control.”
Drivers can choose from three key driving modes, Standard, Tour and Sport, while Vauxhall has also developed a fourth setting exclusively for the Insignia GSi, ‘Competition’. With a double press of the ESP button, the GSi switches the traction control off and allows more yaw, giving skilled drivers the chance to excel when on the track. Elsewhere, the fine-tuned engine creates the most efficient Insignia ever, with refined dynamics when compared to the already agile Insignia Grand Sport, and generating 400Nm of torque.
The new Insignia GSi will be available in either Grand Sport or Sports Tourer bodystyles when it arrives in Vauxhall showrooms next year and could see Vauxhall rejoining the fast, family car dogfight. MotorMartin can’t wait.
Where will you go?