Is this the future of HSV? Courtesy of Opel, the Holden Insignia VXR is finally caught wearing the Lion insignia ahead of its official launch Down Under
THE image-boosting Holden Insignia VXR has been sprung in as-yet unseen Series II facelift guise, nearly three months out from its late-June Aussie launch. The flying German will be in essence a cut-price Audi S4.
Differing from the short-lived Opel Insignia OPC in styling, specification and dynamic tuning, the Lion-badged version sports reshaped headlights featuring bi-xenon lamps with Advanced Forward Lighting and LED daytime driving lights, a longer and lower grille, a slimmer front air dam wearing a thicker matt silver finish, and L-shaped LED fog lights.
Similar changes occur out back, thanks to new boomerang-like tail-lights with the now-mandatory LEDs, a more pronounced crease line leading to the boot spoiler and repositioned horizontal chrome garnish.
A completely revamped instrument cluster and centre console further separate new Holden from old Opel Insignias, with the latter brandishing a fresh touchscreen infotainment system that is leagues ahead of the fiddly item found in the earlier version.
More importantly, and as the prototype clearly shows, the Insignia VXR gains a slew of driver-aiding tech, including radar and camera-based assistance systems like adaptive cruise control, lane-change assist, cross-traffic alert and automatic parking.
Mods to the MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension run to revised dampers and a new anti-roll bar, while a host of noise, vibration and harshness measures have taken place to make the German-built Insignia quieter than before.
Whether there are any changes to the Holden-built 2.8-litre turbo petrol V6 is as-yet unknown. Delivering 239kW of power and 435Nm of torque in the Opel version, it drives all four wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox and part-time Haldex AWD system, for a 0-100km/h sprint-time of just over six seconds.
No hatch or wagon VXR will be offered in this country for the time being.
The Opel version launched in Australia in early 2013 sold from $59,990 plus on-road costs.
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