The GSi has a responsive new eight-speed automatic gearbox, operated via a paddle-shift on the steering wheel. A state-of-the-art all-wheel-drive system, incorporating a sophisticated twin-clutch differential which provides torque vectoring in the most demanding conditions, turns the GSi into a first-class driver’s car.
Like other models in the Insignia’s range, the GSi has shed weight – in this case, 160 kilograms versus the first-generation VXR which preceded it. Combined with a 10 millimetre lower ride height, the difference in the Insignia GSi’s steering, body control and overall agility can be felt immediately. Significantly, the GSi is the fastest Vauxhall yet around Germany’s Nürburgring, where much of its chassis development was carried out, and is a full 12 seconds quicker than the outgoing, and more powerful Insignia VXR.
Exterior design updates include chrome air intakes at the front and a rear spoiler for improved levels of downforce, while on the inside full-leather sports seats, a leather sports steering wheel and aluminium pedals complete the package.
The launch of the 2018 Insignia GSi also marks 25 years since the first GSi badge was seen on a Vauxhall (in 1993 on the then new Corsa).
TESTING TIMES: FASTEST-EVER VAUXHALL AT ‘RING
Vauxhall’s all-new Insignia GSi has demonstrated its exceptional performance levels at one of the world’s most challenging race circuits, Germany’s Nürburgring. 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.
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.”