GM's European divisions finally have an answer to that pesky AWD hot-rod Audi S4. Say hello to the new turbo, AWD, 325-HP 2010 Opel Insignia OPC and brother-from-another-mother, 2010 Vauxhall Insignia VXR. That's a Saturn?!
We're absolutely pleased to see this newest performance sedan from GM's European performance studios. Aiming, with no excuses, directly at the Audi S4, is a 2.8-liter V6 turbo ECOTEC engine. That engine's a derivative of the top-of-the-line Insignia model, producing a fairly stout 325 HP and 295 lb-ft of torque thanks to such features as a micro-alloy forged steel crank, die-cast alloy oil sump, twin-scroll turbocharger and variable valve control. Enthusiasts will get to row through a six-speed manual gearbox helping the new performance Insignia reach 60 MPH in 5.8 seconds and with an electronically limited 155 MPH terminal velocity.
The Insignia OPC/VXR receives a performance-tuned chassis as well as a 10mm lower and stiffer suspension featuring new HiPerStruts, all-wheel-drive and a new electronic limited slip differential (eLSD). Helping to stop the new sport sedan is a set of color-matched Brembo calipers and vented/cross-drilled discs that sit behind a bespoke set of 19- or 20-inch lightweight, forged alloy wheels wrapped in sport rubbers...you know, to be safe.
Vauxhall's Marketing Director, Andy Gilson, had this to say about the Vauxhall Insignia VXR (same goes for the Opel):
'The Vauxhall 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 the new Audi S4. In essence, it's an ultra-fast performance saloon that will appeal to buyers who appreciate subtle yet distinctive styling, but who need to know that there's real substance below the car's metal.'
Those of you lucky enough to live on the other side of the pond, will be able to check out the new 2010 Opel Insignia OPC and 2010 Vauxhall Insignia VXR on May 7th at the 2009 Barcelona Motor Show, which coincidentally is the ten year anniversary of the first OPC model.
The high performance version of the Opel Insignia, Car of the Year 2009, will be unveiled on May 7, when the Opel Insignia OPC premieres at the 2009 Barcelona Motor Show, ten years after the launch of the first OPC model (Opel Performance Center).
The heart of the Opel Insignia OPC is its 2.8 V6 Turbo engine. Derived from the powerful gasoline engine already available on the top-of-the-line Insignia, this version reaches an output of 239 kW/325 hp. The increase in power was obtained by a special engine development and by reworking the exhaust, significantly reducing the counter pressure. And because sound is so important in the appreciation of an engine, the acoustic specialists worked on the exhaust of the V6 by adopting specific center and rear mufflers.
The Opel Insignia OPC is available with a six-speed manual gearbox. The strong torque of 400 Nm ensures abundant pulling power even at lower engine speeds. With this engine performance, the Opel Insignia OPC reaches a top speed of 250 km/h (restricted) and sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in six seconds.
The already very well performing Insignia chassis was further fine tuned for the OPC variant which ride height has been reduced by 10 mm compared to the Insignia (AWD Sport version). The newly developed mechatronic chassis also receives a new front axle. The front suspension architecture of the Opel Insignia OPC retains a so called McPherson strut, however the engineers at the Opel Performance Center came up with an evolution called HiPerStrut (for high performance strut). Benefits are an improved steering feel, reduced steering disturbances due to the high torque and an enhanced feeling in the handling for the driver.
The Opel Insignia OPC also comes with the adaptive FlexRide suspension which not only adapts to driving situation and driving style but also to the driver's preferences. While on the Insignia the system offers the choice between a standard adaptive setting, a more comfortable mode and a sport mode, the OPC is definitely addressing those enjoying a sportier ride. OPC drivers can choose between three different sport modes: the standard mode as the high comfort setting, a special Sport mode and the OPC mode, for optimal performance.
For the first time also in the OPC portfolio, the Adaptive 4x4 system and its electronic rear limited slip differential (eLSD) are standard. The four-wheel drive management unit has been recalibrated to adapt torque distribution to the sporty philosophy of the OPC. Taking the higher performances of the OPC into consideration, significant development efforts were put into further improving the brake system. Connoisseurs will immediately spot the Brembo calipers and the perforated 355 mm disc on the front axle.
"I was personally involved in the development of the Opel Insignia OPC and I very much enjoyed extensive testing on the most demanding race track of the world, the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Our target was to rival the "best of the best"," said Hans Demant, Managing Director Adam Opel GmbH.
Distinctive looks are a clear statement on dynamic ambitions
The top-of-the-line body style dressed in an elegant sports outfit is inspired by the GTC concept car which starred in 2007, but still remains true to the Insignia's design philosophy of sculptural artistry meets German precision.
Compared to less powerful versions of the Insignia, the OPC shows a spectacular new front end with two large vertical intakes and a specific rear bumper with dual integrated exhausts. The 19-inch wheels (tires: 245/40) are standard and give the car the stance it deserves. New 20-inch lightweight forged wheels (with 255/35 tires) are available as an option.
The dynamic sportiness of the exterior is also mirrored in the cockpit. When opening the door, the OPC is immediately impressive, from unique Recaro seats to a flat-bottomed sporty steering wheel and specific gear knob. The OPC also presents distinctive instrument graphics.
"The Opel Insignia OPC marks the beginning of a new era for our OPC portfolio; still bold, but also more mature and refined, and more ambitious than ever. The OPC epitomizes the Insignia experience: dynamic and refined", says Alain Visser, GM Europe Vice President Opel.
Vauxhall Insignia VXR:
Packing 325 horsepower, a sophisticated four-wheel-drive chassis and a sub-six second 0-60 time, Vauxhall Insignia VXR is set to take the mid-size performance saloon market by storm when it goes on sale early this summer, with a level of dynamic prowess which aims to raise the bar in its class.
Based on the successful 2009 European Car of the Year, and available in hatch, saloon and Sports Tourer body styles, the high-performance Insignia will be Vauxhall's first VXR model to adopt 4X4 technology, using a bespoke chassis developed through an extensive test programme at the gruelling Nurburgring circuit in Germany.
Highlights are a 'HiPerStrut' (High Performance Strut) front suspension system, Adaptive 4X4 with electronic Limited Slip Differential (eLSD) and a 10 millimetre reduction in ride height over the Insignia SRi.
The HiPerStrut system is unique to the VXR and serves two primary functions: firstly, to reduce torque-steer, but also to maintain negative camber during cornering, thereby improving ultimate grip levels in wet or dry conditions.
Complementing these features are standard 19-inch alloy wheels (20-inch lightweight forged alloys are a cost option) with bespoke tyres, revised bushing and damper settings on both axles, and Brembo brakes with colour-keyed callipers and vented/cross-drilled discs.
'The Vauxhall 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 the new Audi S4,' said Andy Gilson, Vauxhall's Marketing Director. ' In essence, it's an ultra-fast performance saloon that will appeal to buyers who appreciate subtle yet distinctive styling, but who need to know that there's real substance below the car's metal.'
And substance the VXR has a-plenty. At the heart of the Vauxhall Insignia VXR is a advanced 2.8-litre V6 Turbo ECOTEC engine, with its micro-alloy forged steel crank, classic 60-degree cylinder angle and die-cast alloy oil sump - all features found in many a race engine. Producing 325PS (65PS up on the Elite V6), the engine uses a single, twin-scroll turbocharger and variable valve control for quick throttle response, and accelerates from 0-60mph in 5.8 seconds, achieving an electronically limited top speed of 155mph.
With a design inspired by the Vauxhall/Opel GTC, many of the Insignia VXR's styling cues will be familiar to those who saw this groundbreaking concept at the 2007 Geneva Motor Show. A deeper bumper, incorporating bold, twin mesh grilles either side of the main grille, dominates the front of the car, and at the rear, hatch and saloon models gain a rear spoiler, while all VXRs have a bespoke bumper moulding incorporating dual matt chrome exhausts.
This sporting theme continues in the Vauxhall Insignia VXR's cabin. Recaro front seats, a new VXR steering wheel, VXR gearknob and unique mouldings are standard on all cars, along with different instrument graphics, VXR sill plates and a black headlining.
All VXRs are available with a colour palette comprising Arden Blue, Power Red, Carbon Flash Black, Silver Lake, Olympic White and Technical Grey.
Sitting at the top of the Insignia range, the new model will be an important addition to Vauxhall's performance-bred VXR family, which already includes the Corsa VXR, Astra VXR and 431 horsepower VXR8.
Since its launch in 2004, the VXR brand has been underpinned by the immensely successful VX Racing team, which currently holds all three British Touring Car Championship titles - Drivers', Manufacturers' and Team - for the 2008 season.