Launched last year in both liftback and wagon flavors, the Opel Insignia GSi was never intended to be a replacement for the hardcore OPC version of the midsize model’s previous generation. It may be a sportier offering, but the GSi doesn’t actually have more power than the regular top-spec Insignia with which it’s sharing the turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline engine developing 256 horsepower (191 kilowatts) and 295 pound-feet (400 Newton-meters) of torque. The same goes for the biturbodiesel 2.0-liter, which pushes out the same 207 hp (154 kW) and 354 lb-ft (480 Nm).
Now that that’s taken care of, range-topping derivatives of current models are still on the agenda to keep the “OPC” badge alive and kicking. The announcement was made by Opel’s U.K. branch Vauxhall, where an amped-up version of the Insignia would carry the “VXR” suffix as it is the case with the Corsa VXR. In an interview with Carbuyer, a Vauxhall spokesperson promised “VXR will survive,” adding it will provide a “clear differentiation” compared to the lesser GSi models.
What to expect from a new OPC / VXR? It “will always be a hardcore offering, with a jump in performance as well as very focused dynamics,” Vauxhall’s representative added. But don’t expect big engines as the company is looking for ways to boost performance while downsizing by resorting to “more efficient power sources.” In other words, should there be a new Insignia OPC, don’t expect to see the previous-gen model’s 2.8-liter V6 as it will likely be a hybridized four-cylinder.
Before the arrival of a new OPC/VXR model, whichever that may be, the Corsa will get the GSi treatment later this year by featuring an array of upgrades, including the sport chassis borrowed from the OPC.
Learning that Opel and Vauxhall will keep their most desirable badges alive is certainly good news as there had been concerns the OPC and VXR would get the axe in the aftermath of PSA Group’s takeover and its decision to implement cost-cutting measures.