GM Europe reveals high-performance wagon

  • 04-Jun-2009 05:30 EDT

Deeper bumpers, front mesh air intakes, and dual and matte-chrome exhaust tailpipes visually mark out the VXR version of the Sports Tourer.

­It is ironic that, as a question mark remains over the future of GM Europe (Opel and Vauxhall), the company is announcing new models that could have considerable sales potential and that also incorporate significant technology and design elements.

Following GME’s decision to issue images and basic details of the next-generation Astra, it has now revealed the VXR Sports Tourer (station wagon) variation of the Insignia. One of the aims of GME has been to lift the Insignia toward the premium sector both by its styling, general quality, and mechanical competence.

The new version of the wagon joins VXR versions of the Insignia hatch and sedan but with emphasis on both high performance and load-carrying capability. Its technical specification includes a turbocharged 2.8-L V6 gasoline engine producing 239 kW (320 hp), Adaptive 4x4, and an electronic limited slip differential (eLSD)—the latter two making their first appearance on a production GME wagon.

The suspension is lowered 10 mm (0.4 in) compared to the regular Sports Tourer and incorporates GME’s HiPerStrut system, designed to reduce torque steer and maintain negative camber during cornering. Standard wheels are 19-in alloys, with 20-in lightweight forged alloys available. Revised bushings and damper settings on both axles and Brembo brakes with color-keyed calipers and vented/cross-drilled discs are fitted.

Development of the VXR Sports Tourer has included 10,000 km (6200 mi) at the Nürburgring test track. Performance figures include 0-97 km/h (0-60 mph) in 6.0 s and a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).

Interior trim incorporates Recaro front seats, different instrument graphics to those of a regular Insignia, and black headlining.

Load space totals 540 L (19.1 ft³) with the 40:60 split rear seats up and 1530 L (54.0 ft³) with them lowered. The electronic tailgate can be operated via the driver’s key fob or a rotary knob on the inside of the driver’s door. Using these functions, the opening height of the tailgate can be restricted and preset at a lower level for operation in a low headroom environment.

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