Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer GSi due with 252bhp and all-wheel drive
More practical variant of the new Insignia will get the same torque vectoring driveline as the recently launched hatch
As shown by an Opel estate testing in Germany, the Insignia estate model, badged as a Vauxhall in Britain, will get the same treatment as its hatch sibling, including a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that outputs 252bhp and 295lb ft.
It will come mated to a new eight-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shifters that sends drive to all four wheels. The fronts will distribute torque via an electronic differential lock, but the rears will get a more complex twin-clutch system, developed by British engineering firm GKN.
The system, which is shared with models such as the Range Rover Evoque and Ford Focus RS, is capable of torque vectoring to improve agility. A prototype version of the layout was tested in an old Insignia VXR by Autocar last year.
Vauxhall claims that its Insignia GSi is quicker around the Nürburgring than the previous VXR, despite being down on power by 69bhp. It attributes this to the driveline’s improved agility and the new Insignia’s structure, which is 160kg lighter. The Sports Tourer is expected to benefit from the same improvements.
Vauxhall has yet to confirm details, but the Insignia Sports Tourer GSi will likely get a stiffer four-link rear suspension set-up than the GSi hatch in order to enable a higher load carrying capacity. Aside from that, no other chassis adjustments are expected.
Four drive modes will be included: Standard, Tour, Sport and Competition. The GSi gets four-pot Brembo brakes and 18in wheels (20in ones are optional). It also features bespoke leather upholstered sports seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and metal pedals.
The GSi Grand Sport hatch is due to make its public debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September. Vauxhall has remained tight lipped about the Sport Tourer version’s arrival, but it is likely to arrive alongside the regular car or, if not, at least very soon after.
Prices for most variants of the Sports Tourer start at £1500 above the equivalent Grand Sport, so a similar increase for the GSi estate model over the hatch, which could start at about £25,000, is expected.
Source: Autocar Online