The European Car of the Year is about to get a whole lot more powerful, as Vauxhall announces the new Insignia VXR.
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With a 320bhp turbocharged petrol V6 and sophisticated four-wheel drive, the VXR sprints to 60mph in just 5.8 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 155mph.
First 4WD VXR
The chassis has been developed at the famous Nürburgring test circuit in Germany. It’s 10mm lower than the standard car, and features a new front suspension design called ‘HiPerStrut’ (High Performance Strut). Combined with an ‘electronic Limited Slip Differential’ (eLSD) this should ensure the VXR maintains maximum traction.
It’s also the first Vauxhall VXR model to use four-wheel drive – in this case an adaptive system intended to transfer power from the 2.8-litre V6 turbo to the tarmac in the most effective possible fashion. High performance Brembo brakes keep the engine in check. Good news since the VXR has 65bhp more than the next most powerful .
Nineteen-inch alloy wheels are standard, and the VXR’s aggressive bodywork pays close homage to the Vauxhall/Opel GTC concept car that was unveiled ahead of the Insignia at the in 2007. Recaro sports seats, VXR steering wheel, gearknob and other trimmings spice up the interior.
Insignia VXR a challenge to Audi?
With no equivalent rival from Ford, Vauxhall claims the Insignia VXR will be a worthy challenger to more premium mid-size performance saloons.
According to Andy Gilson, Vauxhall’s Marketing Director: ‘The Insignia VXR is not just about absolute power, but a combination of usable performance and chassis sophistication which is the match of premium rivals, such as Audi’s new S4.’
Whether the buying public will see Vauxhall as a genuine Audi competitor remains to be seen.
The Vauxhall Insignia VXR will be available as a saloon, hatchback and estate, and goes on sale later this year. Prices are yet to be announced.
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