GA II Insignia
1 Jun 2015
HOLDEN reintroduced the Opel Insignia OPC into Australia as the VXR in mid-2015, but in facelifted GA Series II guise, with a raft of extra driver-aid technology and a price nearly $10,000 under its predecessor.
The changes are mostly cosmetic, bringing sleeker headlights, different bumpers, front mudguards, bonnet, and air intakes up front, and revamped tail-lights, boot lid, and diffuser out back.
A cleaner centre console design, with fewer buttons and a far larger and more sophisticated centre touchscreen, dominates the facelift inside, though the Insignia’s instrument cluster has also been overhauled with a combination analogue/digital dials and gauges, while fresh trim and materials also proliferate.
Mechanically much carries over from the old OPC, though Holden says some suspension tune tweaking has also occurred. Additionally, an electrical systems overhaul means more advanced driver assistance systems are standard, including Holden-first adaptive cruise control, lane change alert, and auto emergency braking. Blind-spot and rear cross traffic alerts also make the single-grade VXR.
Under the bonnet is a Holden-made and exported 2792cc 2.8-litre double overhead cam 24-valve V6 with a twin-scroll turbocharger, direct injection, delivering 239kW power and 435Nm torque peaks at 5250rpm.
Drive is delivered to all four wheels via a Haldex adaptive part-time all-wheel drive system, shuffling between zero and 100 per cent of torque from the front to the rear wheels as traction needs require, via an electronic limited slip differential.
Assisting grip and control through corners is what Opel/Holden call its HiPerStrut high performance MacPherson strut front suspension system, with a kingpin inclination reduced by nine degrees and spindle length shortened to 44mm compared to the conventional Insignia sedan’s item. The rear features a multi-link arrangement, while the rack and pinion steering is an electro-hydraulic one.
There are also stiffer springs and bushings, thicker anti roll bars, and Flex Ride – a three-mode electronic damper control system offering Normal, Sport and ‘VXR’ modes each progressively works on the engine’s throttle, transmission shift pattern, steering, and AWD system to either sharpen responses, increase steering weight, resist body roll, or harden the ride.
Brembo brakes wash away speed, in the form of an 18-inch booster with larger ventilated and cross-drilled discs (355mm x 32mm) and four-piston callipers up front it also features ‘floating disc’ technology, for reduced unsprung mass.
When it was new