Just like any other Insignia, the GSi is available in either Grand Sport or Sports Tourer guises, and the choice of a petrol or diesel engine increases the number of possible model variations to four.
The quickest? That’s the Grand Sport with the 256bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol motor – the same car that bettered the old Insignia VXR’s Nürburgring lap time despite having 65bhp less power. Being 160kg lighter than the older car was likely a key factor.
The Insignia GSi Sports Tourer we opted to test, however, is powered by Vauxhall’s diesel engine. It’s the same 2.0-litre four-cylinder biturbo unit you’ll find in the Insignia Elite Nav and Country Tourer models – and so, a touch disappointingly, perhaps not what you’d consider a dedicated ‘performance’ engine – but it makes a pretty healthy 207bhp at 4000rpm and 354lb ft from 1500rpm.
This is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission – the first to be fitted to a Vauxhall – while a GKN Twinster e-diff aids traction by managing the distribution of torque actively between the rear wheels.