This is the new Vauxhall Insignia VXR, General Motors’ 321bhp turbocharged super-saloon with four-wheel drive.
The Insignia is a Mondeo rival, but with the VXR version Vauxhall wants to take the fight upmarket, to the 328bhp Audi S4 and 295bhp VW Passat R36.
GM is taking this battle extremely seriously too, having spent a considerable amount of time honing the VXR’s chassis at the Nürburgring and packing it with as much technology as it can lay its hands on.
Thanks to a 2.8-litre V6 turbo Ecotec engine — which has the same block as the old Vectra VXR’s unit but gets a new head and camshafts, revised turbo and different mapping — the Insignia is good for 0-60mph in 5.8sec and a limited top speed of 155mph.
The engine features a micro-alloy forged steel crank, 60-degree cylinder angle and die-cast alloy oil sump. It’s fitted with a single twin-scroll turbocharger and variable valve control for improved throttle response.
The Insignia is the first VXR model to feature four-wheel drive; it gets a Haldex system similar to that found in the Saab 9-3 Turbo X, although the settings have been reworked.