We recently drove Opel’s new Astra OPC, it impressed us on a number of fronts. Now we have driven its larger sibling, the Insignia OPC. The regular Insignia is a fine car, offering high levels of refinement and practicality. This OPC variant adds a healthy dose of power and excitement to the mix.
The Insignia OPC is available across three body styles, saloon, hatchback and sports tourer. All are powered by the same 2.8-litre V6 turbo-charged petrol engine that produces a stern 325hp and 435Nm of torque, which enable it to accelerate to 100km/h from a standstill in just 5.6 seconds. Key to the car’s performance is its adaptive four-wheel-drive system and electronic limited slip differential. Its exterior has been beefed-up over the regular Insignia models, with the addition of large air intakes sculpted into the front bumper. The rear bumper houses outsized twin exhaust pipes which hint at the car’s performance. Our test car was equipped with the optional colossal 20-inch five-spoke alloy wheels shrouded with 255/35 tyres, they sit neatly in front of drilled brake discs with Brembo high-performance callipers to complete this car’s immense stopping power.
The interior is one of the Insignia OPC’s highlights, front seat occupants are treated to a pair of figure-hugging Recaro sports seats that are functional as well as stylish. They offer superb comfort and support for long and short journeys. Opel’s latest IntelliLink navigation system is excellent to view and navigate your way through the various menus and options. There is an 8-inch colour touchscreen and a mouse located between the front seats for ease of use. The driver’s instrument binnacle houses an 8” colour screen that displays all the necessary information. Opel’s functionality of their infotainment systems has come in for some criticism in the past for been over complex with a multitude of buttons on the centre console. Since the introduction of the new Insignia, along with their new IntelliLink system users can utilise all the functions with ease. The large 8-inch colour screens display all the key information in a clear easy to read format, the centre console is uncluttered now as a result of the touchscreen and mouse. The fit and finish to the Insignia’s interior is excellent with a quality feel throughout.
The standard level of equipment on the Insignia OPC is commendable, just some of these items include, OPC sports instruments with 8-inch colour information display, OPC sports leather steering wheel, satellite navigation, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, climate control, rain-sensitive windscreen wipers, cruise control, Flexride Chassis, tyre pressure monitoring system and automatic lighting.
On the road the Insignia OPC feels reassuringly planted at all times. The four-wheel-drive system provides immense grip in all conditions. On a wet country road with an abundance of twisty corners and climbs the Insignia OPC never put a foot wrong. The acceleration is deceptively fast, the engine’s tone is slightly too hushed for our liking, it’s only when you look at the speedometer that you realise how quick this car progresses and with such ease. The six-speed manual transmission doesn’t require much use as the 2.8-litre V6 pulls like a train from low revs thanks to its high torque output. In order to safely explore the car’s true performance credentials we took to the track. Around Mondello Park’s technical National Circuit the Insignia OPC handled with the precision and poise of a car half its size. It’s easy to forget that this is a five-seat family hatch. Opel’s FlexRide damping system with HiPerStrut front suspension is key to car’s composed ride. You can drive the car in three drive modes, normal, sport and OPC. Each mode offers a different response from the car’s steering, suspension and power delivery. Once OPC mode is selected the instrument dials glow red and the Insignia surges forward with intent.
The Opel Insignia OPC is undoubtedly impressive and a real-world high-performance family car that’s useable all-year-round thanks to its high tech all-wheel-drive system. Its largest hurdle is its annual road tax, seated in band G it attracts an eye-watering €2,350 tax fee. If you can get past this snag then you’re in for a real treat.
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