Insignia VXR Supersport: 170mph for sub £30K


Yes, that standfirst does perhaps smack a little of advertorial. But the bare facts of Vauxhall's size 10 to the backside of the Insignia VXR in an attempt to shift a few more out of the showroom door does bear consideration.

As it stands the Insignia VXR is, sadly, one of those cars that's a whole lot more impressive on the spec sheet than it is at the wheel. And proof of how many buying decisions are based on brand snobbery as much as actual ability. Vauxhall's shrug of the shoulders and 'sod it then, price to sell' is an admission as such but does create one of the performance bargains of the age.

Time to head off to an autobahn methinks
Time to head off to an autobahn methinks
Just look at what underpins it too. You've got the independent steering axis HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut) front suspension, a 325hp twin-scroll turbo V6, adaptive dampers, four-wheel drive and a 5.6-second 0-62mph. Without the limiter it now hits 170mph, just 6mph shy of the old Lotus Carlton, a car that famously prompted calls for it to be banned for being irresponsibly fast.

That's a hell of a lot of car for £29,995.

OK, so the driving experience doesn't quite live up to the promise and even with all that 'ring fettled fancy suspension and other trickery the Insignia's inherent rubberiness and lack of feel is carried through into the VXR version. Capable rather than fun, the hot Insignia remains astonishing value compared with the equivalent German metal, the comparable Audi S4 nearly 10 grand more (£38,665) before you've even troubled the options list.

Inevitably one's eye is drawn to the classifieds to see how much VXRs are making secondhand and there are a couple of privately advertised ones in the high teens here and here. Tempting indeed.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (287) Join the discussion on the forum

  • JREwing 14 Nov 2012

    The point made is that a BMW M5, Jaguar XFR or whatever else is better. We'd all admit that. However you're comparing a £30,000 car to a £60,000 car so you would expect it to be better. Of course I'd rather spend £30,000 on one of those, but the point made is that it's remarkable that something like this is available brand new at that price.

  • Mr Whippy 13 Nov 2012

    Obviously there are people who don't care about money, even when they have a budget (eek!)

    So these will sell.

    But I think a lot of people who do buy them will wish they hadn't a few years down the line!

    Dave

  • vz-r_dave 13 Nov 2012

    Mr Whippy said:
    It's important because people DO make that comparison.

    I go out to buy cars and I look at new ones and think "I can't afford that, I'm buying used"

    Clio Cup, or an old used Z4? Erm, Z4 please for my pence per mile budget!


    So new car manufacturers HAVE to think long and hard about that if they are targeting a demographic that actually think about their car purchase for the bang per buck they are getting...

    Plenty of manufacturers DO consider that, so their halo models perhaps have a lower profit margin, their residuals are higher, they make a limited run, they DON'T offer huge discounts. They protect the buyers by making the halo model seriously desirable.

    Vauxhall have hurt the 1st/2nd gear performance to save £££ on the gearbox, then they offer a huge discount, making it 'look' cheaper still. Why is the old Lotus Carlton still so valuable today? Rare, it's Lotus tuned, in the day it was a class leader in many metrics.


    The end result is that this Vauxhall isn't cheap, it's going to be terribly expensive 'for what it is'

    Why with a £6000 all up a year for 12k miles budget of motoring would you settle for this? A three year old V8 M3 with BMW warranty *might* cost the same, and yet be twice as desirable if the buyer considered it... if they took that leap and considered that a used car might be better value AND a better car for them to own as a petrol head.



    We should ALWAYS look at the price when considering cars. Both purchase and running cost.

    This car will be expensive.


    Unless you have a phobia of used cars then why not consider them?


    I like the idea of a new BRZ, as much as I like the idea of a 996 C4S, as much as I like the idea of an E39 M5 for a bit. A big range of ages, prices but pretty similar overall ppm running costs all considered!

    Pence per mile you say. Thrills per mile you say.

    Yes, good old bang per buck, it's the fairest comparison there is for a consumer in the market for a petrol-head car!


    Dave
    Thanks for the break down on this one, however I do doubt that the majority are not using your sense and logic when shouting about new vs old comparisons.

  • Mr Whippy 13 Nov 2012

    vz-r_dave said:
    For 30K you can go and buy an M5, RS4, RS6 etc but why is it used to slate a new offering when its fking obvious. Why do people need to bring this up when it's logical that you can get more for your money in a used car. It should not always come down to this comparison, we should look at this car without that in mind. Unless we are going to buy it and lets say 90% of posters will never do so nor will they buy the cheaper option either. Trolls.
    It's important because people DO make that comparison.

    I go out to buy cars and I look at new ones and think "I can't afford that, I'm buying used"

    Clio Cup, or an old used Z4? Erm, Z4 please for my pence per mile budget!


    So new car manufacturers HAVE to think long and hard about that if they are targeting a demographic that actually think about their car purchase for the bang per buck they are getting...

    Plenty of manufacturers DO consider that, so their halo models perhaps have a lower profit margin, their residuals are higher, they make a limited run, they DON'T offer huge discounts. They protect the buyers by making the halo model seriously desirable.

    Vauxhall have hurt the 1st/2nd gear performance to save £££ on the gearbox, then they offer a huge discount, making it 'look' cheaper still. Why is the old Lotus Carlton still so valuable today? Rare, it's Lotus tuned, in the day it was a class leader in many metrics.


    The end result is that this Vauxhall isn't cheap, it's going to be terribly expensive 'for what it is'

    Why with a £6000 all up a year for 12k miles budget of motoring would you settle for this? A three year old V8 M3 with BMW warranty *might* cost the same, and yet be twice as desirable if the buyer considered it... if they took that leap and considered that a used car might be better value AND a better car for them to own as a petrol head.



    We should ALWAYS look at the price when considering cars. Both purchase and running cost.

    This car will be expensive.


    Unless you have a phobia of used cars then why not consider them?


    I like the idea of a new BRZ, as much as I like the idea of a 996 C4S, as much as I like the idea of an E39 M5 for a bit. A big range of ages, prices but pretty similar overall ppm running costs all considered!

    Pence per mile you say. Thrills per mile you say.

    Yes, good old bang per buck, it's the fairest comparison there is for a consumer in the market for a petrol-head car!


    Dave

  • bobberz 13 Nov 2012

    Really like these. Makes me wish we got the full-fat turbo V6 version over on this side of the pond. Sadly, our "hot" version (Buick GS) only has a turbo four-pot. frown


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