What is it?
The Vauxhall Insignia is a car we’re all pretty familiar with by now. Since it came on stream last year, we’ve tried Luton’s handsome flagship out in all manner of flavours: petrol, diesel, fastback, wagon - the list goes on. We’ve also been running one as a long-termer for the best part of a year - of which you can read more about here.
Until very recently, the Insignia GSi - launched earlier this year - was the most powerful model in that comprehensive line-up. However, the implementation of stricter WLTP emissions and fuel economy test procedures at the start of the month, as well as what Vauxhall calls a “rationalisation” of its entire model line-up, has resulted in the petrol-powered GSi being dropped from sale (although you can still buy the 207bhp GSi diesel).
The consequence of this is that the car you see on the page before you is now the most powerful petrol-engined Insignia you can buy, even if those bragging rights are down to a bit of a technicality.
Well, a technicality and a brand new engine. The powerplant in question is a reasonably small turbocharged 1.6-litre unit that develops a zesty 197bhp and 221lb ft of torque - all of which is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. With this new motor at its nose and in practical Sports Tourer (read: estate) guise, the Insignia is capable of hitting 60mph from a standstill in a claimed 7.7sec and continuing to accelerate right up to a top speed of 144mph. That’s not exactly mind-bending performance, but it’s still only sixth-tenths off the GSi estate’s 0-60mph sprint time.