2013 Vauxhall Insignia VXR Supersport
* Fastest Vauxhall Insignia driven * Almost 4000 cheaper than regular VXR * 170mph for 30,000...
The Vauxhall Insignia VXR has always been a bit of a performance car curio it's not as aggressive to drive or look at as the smaller Corsa and Astra VXR models, so instead has to rely on its straight-line pace and impressive comfort to win you over.
Vauxhall is hoping that this new Supersport model will do that even better, helped chiefly by a 3760 price cut over the regular VXR it replaces. There's also no speed-limiter, so the top speed rises from 155mph to 170mph.
That's an impressive set of figures but, as we'll discover later, not all the VXR Supersport's numbers are good ones.
What's the Vauxhall Insignia VXR Supersport like to drive?
The Supersport is certainly fast, but the engine is a lazy revver and the gearing is long, so put your foot down at low revs and you'll wonder where all the power is. Let the engine rev harder, though, and the big Vauxhall really shifts.
The standard four-wheel-drive system means that traction is never an issue, and body control is also good through corners. However, possibly the most impressive thing about the VXR is the way it rides. Despite the huge wheels and ultra-low-profile tyres, you're rarely bothered by the state of the roads.
There's a bit too much road noise on coarse surfaces, but otherwise the VXR Supersport is pretty quiet for a performance car, too.
It's not particularly exciting to drive, though. The light steering, vague gearchange and spongy brake pedal mean you feel removed from the action, while the VXR feels heavy, especially under hard braking.
What's the Vauxhall Insignia VXR Supersport like inside?
You sit in superbly supportive Recaro sports seats and look out on VXR-branded instruments, plus there's a unique steering wheel and gearlever, and metal pedals to help make the cabin more interesting than a standard Insignia's.
There are the same packaging issues, though. While there's good space up front, a six-foot adult sitting behind a similarly sized driver will feel a little cramped, especially for headroom.
The boot is big, so there'll be no worries about taking everyone's luggage.
You also gets lots of equipment. Climate and cruise controls, adaptive xenon headlights and a sophisticated suspension and four-wheel-drive set-up are all standard. It's just a shame there are so many buttons on the dashboard.
Should I buy one?
The VXR Supersport is an easy car to like, but it's a totally different story when it comes to recommending one.
No matter how fast, comfortable or refined it is, it's still a 30,000 Vauxhall Insignia. It'll also cost a bomb to run; expect low 20s to the gallon and high tax bills.
The biggest issue, though, is depreciation. Our experts reckon the VXR will be worth just a quarter of its list price after three years, adding a whopping 7500 a year to the annual cost of running one.
It's the numbers that are the real killer for the VXR Supersport, then. If you're one of the few people who really want one, we'd suggest waiting until second-hand prices start with a '1'.
What Car? says
Engine size 2.8-litre V6 turbo petrol
Price from 30,020
Torque 321lb ft
0-62mph 5.6 seconds
Top speed 170mph
Fuel economy 26.6mpg