Just a couple of days after teasing us with the resurrected GSi badge, Opel has released the first car that adorns the new performance moniker. The GSi badge makes a comeback on the new Insignia GSi, as a warm version of the standard 5-door Insignia Grand Sport. The new Insignia GSi will also spawn a couple of other cars namely, the 2018 Buick Regal GS and 2018 Holden Commodore VXR, which will cater for the American and Australian markets respectively.
The Insignia GSi looks mostly like the pedestrian version albeit with some sharp touches. The bumpers are chiseled to be more aggressive and they also house larger air intakes. The alloy wheels are now 20-inch units that give a glimpse of the red brake calipers. The side skirts and rear spoiler complete the package.
The interior is also modified a bit to gel with the performance-oriented exterior. A new set of sports seats are offered with adjustable side bolsters to provide improved lateral support. These seats also come with ventilation, heating, and massaging. Customers can choose from two leather upholsteries, each with the GSi emblem etched into them.
Instead of pitting it against the rivals, Opel compares the new Insignia GSi with the existing flagship, the Insignia OPC. The Insignia OPC’s 321 hp, 2.8-liter turbo-V6 is replaced with a smaller, less powerful 4-cylinder turbo that dishes out 260 hp. An 8-speed automatic gearbox handles this power. Though the GSi falls short on paper, Opel claims that it is faster around the Nurburgring. This might be due to the weight savings (GSi weighs 160 kgs less) as well as the new all-wheel drive system that comes with torque vectoring.
The derivatives of the Insignia GSi include the Buick Regal GS which sports almost the same bodywork. But under the hood, it houses a 3.6-litre naturally aspirated V6 that produces 310 hp and 382 Nm of torque. The gearbox is a 9-speed automatic. The other spin-off, the 2018 Holden Commodore VXR, is released as a successor to the much loved Holden SS in Australia. It is powered by the same engine-gearbox combo as the Buick.
The Insignia GSi will go on sale in the European markets by the end of this year after the public reveal at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. The Buick Regal GS will hit the US markets by early-2018. Whether it will be sold in the UAE and other GCC markets remains to be seen.