Opel Insignia OPC breaks cover

Article by Christian A., on April 15, 2009

The new Insignia VXR from Vauxhall (a.k.a. Opel Insignia OPC), which comes with a total of 325hp, a complex 4-wheel drive chassis and a sprint rate from 0-60mph in under six seconds, is ready to be introduced to the mid-size performance saloon market when it becomes available for sale early this summer.

The high-performing Insignia, based on the successful 2009 European Car of the Year, and which comes in hatch, saloon and Sports Tourer body designs, will be the company's first VXR model to take on a 4X4 technology with the utilization of a custom chassis developed through a wide-ranging test program at the taxing German Nurburgring circuit.

Among the features are High Performance Strut (HiPerStrut) front suspension system, adjustable 4X4 that is equipped with an electronic Limited Slop Differential (eLSD) and a 10mm ride height reduction in contrast to the Insignia Sri. Unique to the VXR is the HiPerStrut system which has to basic roles: one, to assist in reducing torque-steer and two, to maintain negative camber during cornering, thus enhancing final levels of grip in both dry and wet settings.

Harmonizing these elements are regular 19-inch alloys, with a cost option 20-inch lightweight forged alloys, with custom tires, modified bushing and damper settings on both axles, and brakes from Brembo fitted with color-keyed calipers and vented or cross-drilled discs.

At the core of the Insignia VXR is the advanced 2.8-liter V6 Turbo ECOTEC powerplant from Vauxhall, with a crank made from micro-alloy forged steel, typical 60-degree cylinder angle and die-cast alloy oil sump, features that exist in many racing powerplants. The engine can generate 325PS (up by 65PS compared to the Elite V6) utilizing a single, twin-scroll turbocharger and adaptable valve control for speeding throttle reaction, and has a sprint rate of 0-60mph in just 5.8 seconds, and a maximum electronically limited speed of 155mph.

The Insignia VXR's design was inspired by the Vauxhall/Opel GTC with many of it styling cues familiar to those who have seen the groundbreaking concept at the Geneva in 2007.

It comes with a deeper bumper, integrating bold, twin mesh grill on both sides of the main grill, that dominates the front face of the vehicle, and at the back, hatch and saloon versions receive a rear spoiler, while all VXRs have a custom bumper molding integrating an exhaust system in dual matt chrome.

The cabin also receives the same sporting theme with Recaro front seats, a fresh VXR steering wheel, gear knob and special moldings are standard on all cars together with various instrument graphics, sill plats and a black headlining. All VXRs come with a color palette including Arden Blue, Carbon Flash Black, Olympic White, Power Red, Technical Grey and Silver Lake.

The VXR is an important addition to the VXR family and it will be positioned at the top of the Insignia range. The VXR brand, since its launch in 2004, has been supported by the remarkable success of the VX Racing team, which hold all three British Touring Car Championship titles for the 2008 season including Drivers', Manufacturers' and Team.

Press Release

Opel Insignia OPC

The high performance version of the Opel Insignia, Car of the Year 2009, was unveiled on May 7, 2009, when the Opel Insignia OPC premiered at the 2009 Barcelona Motor Show, ten years after the launch of the first OPC model (Opel Performance Center).

The heart of the Opel Insignia OPC is its 2.8 V6 Turbo engine. Derived from the powerful gasoline engine already available on the top-of-the-line Insignia, this version reaches an output of 239 kW/325 hp. The increase in power was obtained by a special engine development and by reworking the exhaust, significantly reducing the counter pressure. And because sound is so important in the appreciation of an engine, the acoustic specialists worked on the exhaust of the V6 by adopting specific center and rear mufflers.

The Opel Insignia OPC is available with a six-speed manual gearbox. The strong torque of 400 Nm ensures abundant pulling power even at lower engine speeds. With this engine performance, the Opel Insignia OPC reaches a top speed of 250 km/h (restricted) and sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in six seconds.

The already very well performing Insignia chassis was further fine tuned for the OPC variant which ride height has been reduced by 10 mm compared to the Insignia (AWD Sport version). The newly developed mechatronic chassis also receives a new front axle. The front suspension architecture of the Opel Insignia OPC retains a so called McPherson strut, however the engineers at the Opel Performance Center came up with an evolution called HiPerStrut (for high performance strut). Benefits are an improved steering feel, reduced steering disturbances due to the high torque and an enhanced feeling in the handling for the driver.

The Opel Insignia OPC also comes with the adaptive FlexRide suspension which not only adapts to driving situation and driving style but also to the driver's preferences. While on the Insignia the system offers the choice between a standard adaptive setting, a more comfortable mode and a sport mode, the OPC is definitely addressing those enjoying a sportier ride. OPC drivers can choose between three different sport modes: the standard mode as the high comfort setting, a special Sport mode and the OPC mode, for optimal performance.

For the first time also in the OPC portfolio, the Adaptive 4x4 system and its electronic rear limited slip differential (eLSD) are standard. The four-wheel drive management unit has been recalibrated to adapt torque distribution to the sporty philosophy of the OPC. Taking the higher performances of the OPC into consideration, significant development efforts were put into further improving the brake system. Connoisseurs will immediately spot the Brembo calipers and the perforated 355 mm disc on the front axle.

"I was personally involved in the development of the Opel Insignia OPC and I very much enjoyed extensive testing on the most demanding race track of the world, the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Our target was to rival the "best of the best"," said Hans Demant, Managing Director Adam Opel GmbH.

Distinctive looks are a clear statement on dynamic ambitions

The top-of-the-line body style dressed in an elegant sports outfit is inspired by the GTC concept car which starred in 2007, but still remains true to the Insignia's design philosophy of sculptural artistry meets German precision.

Compared to less powerful versions of the Insignia, the OPC shows a spectacular new front end with two large vertical intakes and a specific rear bumper with dual integrated exhausts. The 19-inch wheels (tires: 245/40) are standard and give the car the stance it deserves. New 20-inch lightweight forged wheels (with 255/35 tires) are available as an option.

The dynamic sportiness of the exterior is also mirrored in the cockpit. When opening the door, the OPC is immediately impressive, from unique Recaro seats to a flat-bottomed sporty steering wheel and specific gear knob. The OPC also presents distinctive instrument graphics.

"The Opel Insignia OPC marks the beginning of a new era for our OPC portfolio; still bold, but also more mature and refined, and more ambitious than ever. The OPC epitomizes the Insignia experience: dynamic and refined", says Alain Visser, GM Europe Vice President Opel.

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