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Frankfurt debut for potent Vauxhall Insignia GSi

Less power but better chassis makes new car faster.

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First pictures of the Vauxhall Insignia GSi have been released – a range-topping performance model set to be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show on 12th September.

The GSi, restoring a trim level last seen on the Vectra C not made since 2008, is powered by a new 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine of 260hp and with 400Nm of torque. This is matched to a new eight-speed auto gearbox with steering wheel paddle shifts.

Power output of the new car is some 70hp less than the previous Insignia VXR performance model, but the GSi is said to be able to lap the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany – regarded as today’s performance car barometer – faster than the VXR. The pace is said to be due to all-wheel drive, a new version of Vauxhall’s FlexRide adaptive damper chassis, and Brembo performance brakes.

Lower and lighter

A 10mm lower ride height is key to the setup of the Flexride chassis, which also includes a fourth bespoke driving mode setting alongside Standard, Tour and Sport, dubbed Competition. Drivers can also switch off the car’s traction control system.

Torque vectoring replaces the conventional rear axle differential in the drivetrain. This uses two clutches to accelerate each rear wheel individually as required by the driving situation and prevent understeer.

Visual differences to the stock Insignia include chrome air intakes at the front and a rear spoiler, while the interior gains full-leather sports seats, a leather sports steering wheel and aluminium pedals. The car is also 160kg lighter than a stock Insignia.

Vauxhall Insignia GSi rear

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.