Sports Machine for Connoisseurs: Insignia GSi Makes the Difference
- Sharp: Sporty front and rear design plus eye-catching 20-inch wheels
- Precise: FlexRide chassis and Brembo brakes tuned to optimum at Nürburging
- Efficient: Lightweight, turbocharging and friction optimised eight-speed automatic
- Grippy: All-wheel drive with torque vectoring, strong-performing Michelin sports tires
- Controlled: New Opel performance seat with plenty of lateral support and comfort
- Fast: GSi leaves more powerful OPC-predecessor behind on Nordschleife
- Tailored: Insignia GSi available as Grand Sport and Sports Tourer variant
Sharper, more precise, even more efficient. The new Opel Insignia GSi is a sports machine and a “grip master” for those who appreciate a driver’s car for maximum fun, on all kinds of roads. The chassis with its very dynamic setup and the optional new Michelin performance tyres on 20-inch wheels create a particularly high level of grip. The all-wheel drive system with torque vectoring is unique in this segment – it ensures a rewarding driving experience as well as maximum safety. The new eight-speed automatic transmission can be operated via shift-paddles at the steering wheel – like a racing car – for an even more active driving experience.
Typical of the current Insignia-generation is the combination of lightweight design, low centre of gravity and 2.0-litre turbo power. This results in excellent balance and a very good power to weight ratio. Such internal values deserve a special exterior. With large chrome design elements at the front and a neat rear spoiler for the necessary downforce on the rear axle, the Insignia GSi’s looks perfectly match the performance. The leather upholstered, Opel performance seats (specially developed for the GSi), the leather sports steering wheel and the aluminium pedals add the finishing touches. And families can enjoy the Insignia GSi feeling too without compromising on space and practicality as it is available as a sporty limousine and an even more spacious Sports Tourer variant. Prices for the Insignia GSi Grand Sport start at €49,500, prices for the Sports Tourer variant at €50,700.
On the “Green Hell”: the toughest race track in the world
The new GSi shows a new level of modern sporty efficiency characterised by superb grip and razor-sharp precision – talents that fans of sporty midsize models will appreciate and can also be seen on the stop watch. “The lightweight architecture, the excellent chassis configuration with uprated damper hydraulics and software adjustment, the unique all-wheel drive along with the performance tyres make the GSi as precise and sharp as we wanted it to be,” said Opel Director of Performance Cars, Volkar Strycek, after his test drives. “The results speak for themselves. I can complete a lap of the Nordschleife in the new Insignia GSi up to twelve seconds faster than in the more powerful OPC predecessor – but I obviously push the car every inch of the way. As soon as the course becomes more demanding such as in the corners or stretches with low friction, i.e. when the car needs to react in an especially agile and precise manner, the GSi is definitely faster and easy to control.”
The finishing touches were put to the Insignia GSi on the legendary Nürburgring-Nordschleife. The Opel engineers have developed an all-new chassis for the GSi on the Nürburgring, which triple F1 world champion Jackie Stewart famously described as the “Green Hell”. Shorter springs lower the GSi by 10 millimetres and special sports shock absorbers reduce body movements to a minimum. The powerful Brembo four-piston brakes (diameter 345 millimetre) and the already direct steering were adapted accordingly. The Insignia GSi is equipped as standard with the mechatronic FlexRide chassis. It adapts shock absorbers and steering in fractions of a second; the control unit also changes the calibration of the accelerator pedal and the shift points of the eight-speed automatic. The driver can choose between Standard, Tour and Sport modes. Subject to the chosen mode, steering and throttle-response are softer or even more direct. Exclusive to the GSi is the Competitive mode, which is activated via the ESP button. A double-press allows skilful drivers more yaw and switches off traction control – for a fast lap of the Nordschleife, for example.
The sports-chassis, developed in combination with the high-grip Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyres and big 20-inch wheels, offers almost limpet-like levels of adhesion. A major contribution to the unbridled dynamism of the Insignia GSi comes from interaction of powerful turbocharged engines and the standard all-wheel drive with torque vectoring.
“It is this combination of low weight – especially on the front axle – low centre of gravity, easy handling, high power over a wide rpm-band and best traction which makes the GSi so fast” said an enthusiastic Strycek. “That is pure efficiency. The high grip level is perfect for the Nordschleife and a fun-to-drive as well as a safety advantage on public roads.”
Sporty features: from new Opel performance sport seat to the headlining
The sporty capabilities of the Insignia GSi are matched by design cues, technology-highlights and accessories. At the top of the list is the new sports seat developed by Opel. The AGR-certified Opel performance sport seat comes with all advanced features already known from the top-of-the-range seats available for the Insignia. The integral seat in the GSi also comes with ventilation, heating, a massage function and adjustable side bolsters. These features are complimented by the high backrest with integrated headrest in the sportiest member of the Insignia line-up. In addition, the belt route at shoulder height is exemplary – not a given for integral sports seats. Customers can also choose between two premium leather combinations, while a discreet GSi logo adorns the back rest.
The length, depth, cushion and back angle of the seats, which look like a cobra ready to strike, can all be adjusted electrically. The air cushions of the four-way lumbar support along with the variable side bolsters are also activated electrically. All of these settings can be saved via the memory button – only the seat depth adjustment needs to be done manually. The ventilation and the heating are integrated in the cushion and backrest. In addition, the driver can enjoy a back massage. Overall the sum of sporty side support and comfort features makes the new performance seat a unique offer – developed in the competence centre for healthy seating in Rüsselsheim.
Normally, carmakers buy the extra-sporty integral seats from a specialised supplier. However, this is very different in the case of the Opel Insignia GSi. The R&D Centre in Rüsselsheim draws on a vast amount of expertise when it comes to seat structures. The concept for the second generation of the Insignia always foresaw a modular system with the integral performance seat forming the pinnacle. This enabled all of the comfort features to be maintained in a thoroughbred sport seat. Furthermore, the Opel in-house development also delivers on stylish highlights: the hinted guides for shoulder belts in the back rest look exactly like the air intakes at the front of the Opel Insignia GSi and demonstrate the outstanding attention to detail.
The base structure of the performance seat also stems from Opel. The key steel elements are from the plant in Kaiserslautern. The unified development and production of the new bucket seat also results in significant weight savings. While the sport seat – without any of the comfort features available in the GSi – weighs 28 kilogrammes in the Corsa OPC which has been on the market for some years, the new integral seat with all its functionalities only adds 26 kilogrammes to the Opel Insignia GSi.
The flat-bottom leather sports steering wheel the aluminium pedals and the black headlining enhance the sporty feeling in the cockpit and throughout the interior even more.
Practicality can be hot – as shown by the Opel Insignia GSi
While the Insignia GSi looks like a thoroughbred athlete from the outside with its chrome-edged design elements at the front, distinctive exhaust pipes and – as a Grand Sport variant – with its prominent rear spoiler for the desired level of downforce at the rear axle it maintains a high level of practicality under its sporty dress. Plenty of space and comfort go hand in hand with the Opel typical ultra-modern IntelliLink infotainment and outstanding OnStar connectivity.
Just like its series counterpart, the Insignia GSi Sports Tourer’s luggage compartment offers an exemplary 560 to 1,665 litres load volume and the optional 40/20/40 foldable rear seats enable flexible loading space configurations. In order to make loading as easy as possible, the sensor-controlled tailgate is opened and closed without having to touch the car by a simple kicking motion under the rear bumper. Insignia GSi drivers also benefit from more top technologies ranging from ground-breaking IntelliLux LED® matrix light to Forward Collision Alert with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking. All this makes the Insignia GSi Grand Sport an uncompromising sports limousine and the Sports Tourer a hot, practical and above all safe estate for the whole family.
34-year tradition: the GSi models from Opel
The Insignia GSi continues a long tradition of sporty Opel cars named GSi. The first to stir up excitement were the Manta GSi and the Kadett GSi (115 hp from 1.8-litres) in 1984. Only four years later the 2.0-litre DOHC 16-valve engine in the Kadett 2.0 GSi 16V delivered 150 hp. The first Astra also featured this engine and in 1993 there was a 1.8-litre 125 hp alternative in the Astra GSi. There was also a GSi with various generations of the Corsa, beginning with the 100 hp Corsa A (1988) that has become a much sought-after classic. At the (provisional!) end of the line was the Corsa D in August 2012.
 OnStar Services require activation and account with OnStar Europe Ltd. Wi-Fi Hotspot Services require account with nominated network operator. Charges apply after expiry of applicable trial periods. All services subject to mobile network coverage and availability. Check [LOCAL SITE] for service limitations and charges.