Vauxhall Insignia GSi

The Vauxhall Insignia GSi

16 March 2018

VAUXHALL’S sporting new executive model has finally taken to the roads, with a mission to bring relatively affordable driving pleasure to the premium sector.

Costing from £33,375, the GSi is the latest addition to the Insignia range of Grand Sport and Sports Tourer versions of the Insignia.

In GSi guise it comes with a choice of two-litre turbo petrol and two-litre twin-turbo diesel engine options.

It replaces the former Insignia VXR model and is 160kg lighter together with all-wheel drive.

There is also torque vectoring, a mechatronic FlexRide chassis, Brembo four-cylinder brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres on 20-inch rims. 

These features combine to give the GSi a distinctly sporting flavour, with power outputs of 260bhp for the petrol and 210bhp for the diesel versions.

Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with shift paddles on the steering wheel.

This translates into acceleration to 60mph in about seven seconds with a 155mph top speed in Grand Sport body styles.

The Grand Sport variant, with either engine option, costs from £33,375, with CO2 emissions of 197g/km for the petrol, and 192g/km in the case of the diesel.

The Sports Tourer range starts from £34,875 with either engine. 

Exterior design features include chrome air intakes, front and rear GSi bumpers, side sills and a large GSi rear spoiler on Grand Sport versions.

On the inside, the GSi gets full-leather front sports seats, aluminium pedals, eight-inch colour information display with navigation, plus a Bose sound system and head-up display. 

Four driving modes are available through the GSi’s FlexRide system, allowing damping, steering, gear change-up points and the car’s stability and traction systems to be configured according to a driver’s preference.

Based on the Insignia’s existing 2.0-litre 170bhp single-turbo diesel unit, the BiTurbo uses two turbochargers working sequentially.

The engine produces 480Nm of torque from 1500rpm and accelerates to 60mph in 7.3 seconds with a top speed of 145mph.

The 2.0-litre Turbo Petrol model generates 400Nm of torque between 3,000 and 4,000rpm, and enables the GSi to accelerate from 0-60mph in 6.9 seconds and on to a maximum speed of 155mph, with economy of about 30mpg.

This is the first eight-speed automatic transmission to be fitted to a Vauxhall, yet it is smaller and lighter than the six-speed unit fitted to the former VXR model.

Vauxhall is hoping that the sharper styling of the new Insignia together with just about the most performance for the pound will lure badge-obsessed buyers away from its fellow German rivals of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz in the sporting sector of the executive market.