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Vauxhall Insignia GSi with 257bhp on show at Frankfurt

evo staff
13 Sep 2017

New Insignia GSi will feature 4WD and a unique suspension setup, plus reduced weight over other Insignia models


Vauxhall premiered the all-new Insignia GSi at the Frankfurt motor show, a 257bhp performance version of its generally more mundane family car. Utilising a 2-litre turbocharged engine connected to an innovative all-wheel drive system, the GSi integrates a torque-vectoring 'twinster' rear-axle that will be able to shift power to individual wheels for the benefit of traction. This is a similar system to that used in the Ford Focus RS so we have high hopes for its effect on the Insignia's handling. 

> 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show preview

Power will be delivered to the wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox with steering wheel-mounted paddles for manual operation. Vauxhall has clearly spent time aiming to drastically improve the way the Insignia drives. A conscious effort has been made to reduce weight and as a result the GSi is 160kg lighter than its V6-powered Insignia VXR predecessor. It also sits lower, thanks to 10mm shorter springs and features Vauxhall's Flexride adaptive dampers. 

So keen has Vauxhall been to ensure the new GSi drives well, it’s developed it at the performance car Mecca – the Nürburgring. It is therefore no surprise that Vauxhall insists that the GSI is a genuinely fun car that can be used on track, too. Four driving modes would back that up – Standard, Tour and Sport remain as seen in other iterations of the Insignia, but the GSi receives a fourth mode titled Competition. Here the traction control is switched off allowing for greater rates of yaw. Whether off really means ‘off’ remains to be seen. 

Tyres are the super-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4S and can be had on either 18- or optional 20-inch wheels. The Pilot Sport 4S won our ultimate tyre test and this bodes well for the Insignia.

Vauxhall has also provided the new GSI with various visual upgrades aimed at making the car look sportier and more aggressive. The air intakes and exhausts are now chrome-lined while the rear end receives a new spoiler aimed at aiding performance and not just looks. Inside the driver benefits from Vauxhall’s own sports seats and a new leather trimmed sports steering wheel. Aluminium pedals also come as standard. 

It’s great to see the GSI name back on a brand new car. Now all that remains is to wait and see if it can live up to its forebears. 

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