Given this Insignia Gsi's lack of the throaty V6 powerplant used in its VXR predecessor model, you might be surprised to hear that Vauxhall has timed it as being faster around the industry's benchmark test track, the infamous Nurburgring Nordschleife; 12 seconds faster in fact. That was with a 260PS 2.0-litre petrol turbo plumbed in beneath the bonnet, a unit Vauxhall doesn't now offer. So UK Insignia Gsi buyers must be satisfied with a 210PS CDTi turbo diesel. But of course it's not what you have but how you use it. This Gsi model's sophisticated intelligent all-wheel drive system uses a state-of-the-art rear torque vectoring system. Here, a clever twin-clutch set-up - the so-called 'Twinster diff' - can apply torque to one or both of the rear wheels independently. When cornering quickly, more torque is sent to the outside rear wheel, improving traction and ensuring that there's far more of a feeling of precision when you turn in. That's ideal if, for example, one of your wheels happens to be slightly off the ground, as it might be if you were taking a fast, bumpy turn at speed.
The CDTi engine is mated to a freshly designed, super-slick 8-speed auto gearbox that comes with the requisite steering wheel paddles. It offers 480Nm of torque and a 62mph sprint time of 7.4s. The brand's 'FlexRide' driving modes system is standard, complete with adaptive damping.