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Holden Insignia VXR pricing revealed

Class of one: When it comes to price, power and drivetrain, the Insignia VXR has no direct competitors in the Australian market.

Holden’s AWD turbo hotrod to come to Australia far cheaper than Opel OPC version

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Holden logo8 May 2015

By TIM ROBSON

HOLDEN is trumpeting the arrival of the Insignia VXR as its first ever all-wheel-drive turbocharged sedan – but technically speaking, the Insignia has been here before.

To be priced from $51,990, plus on-road costs, the VXR comes in almost $10,000 cheaper than the short-lived Opel Insignia OPC, which exited the country in August 2013 after a stay of less than one year.

The price applies only to white VXRs the other three colours in the range attract a $550 charge. No other options are offered.

Holden’s take on the Insignia incorporates the mild mid-life facelift revealed by Opel at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2013 by the then-beleaguered German brand, and not seen here in Opel Australia form.

To arrive in Australia in late June, the Insignia VXR four-door sedan is powered by a 2.8-litre turbocharged V6 petrol engine that is – somewhat ironically – made by Holden at its Port Melbourne plant, before being sent to Russelsheim, Germany.

Its power output of 239kW at 5250rpm and 435Nm at 2250rpm mimics that of the OPC, while its Haldex AWD system also remains unchanged. A six-speed automatic transmission provides the drive, which can be operated via paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.

The facelift brought tweaks to the front and rear bumpers, new headlights and an interior tidy-up. Mild revisions were also made to the suspension tune, according to Opel engineers.

An upgraded active safety electronics suite also means that the VXR will be the first Holden to have adaptive cruise control, lane change alert and auto emergency braking as standard. The suite also incorporates rear cross traffic alert and side blind spot alert.

Holden is also making standard the 20-inch rims that were a $1000 upcharge on the Opel.

The VXR ships with a long standard equipment list that includes heated Recaro leather-appointed front seats, front and rear park assist, reversing camera, rain-sensing wipers, auto headlights, dual-zone climate control, satellite navigation and adaptive forward lighting with bi-Xenon headlamps and LED daytime running lamps.

It’s also equipped with in-cabin adjustable dampers, with a centre console switch firming up the ride, while also sharpening throttle and shift maps.

A new digital cluster with 8.0-inch display complements Holden’s latest MyLink touchscreen infotainment system.

GM Holden executive director of sales Peter Keley talked up the exciting performance of the Insignia VXR.

“Performance and great to drive have always been part of Holden’s DNA,” he said. “Add to this a German designed and engineered AWD performance sedan, loaded with equipment, and you have one very exciting vehicle.”

The Insignia has no real logical competitors in its space. Subaru’s WRX STi comes closest in terms of price ($54,990) and philosophy (turbocharged AWD four-door), while the next similarly sized AWD turbocharged rival is Audi’s S4 at $105,000 plus on-road costs).

While Holden is yet to confirm its plan for a Commodore replacement, the next-generation Insignia – which will be based on GM's E2XX platform – is firming as a contender to carry the Commodore badge beyond the closure of Holden's local operations in late 2017.

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