Vauxhall, the U.K. wing of General Motors' Opel division, has done away with its Insignia VXR sports sedan -- and replaced it with the slightly faster Insignia VXR SuperSport. The key change is that the new SuperSport can now top 170 mph, whereas the previous Vauxhall Insignia VXR only managed 155 mph.
Vauxhall hasn't actually changed much to make the Insignia VXR SuperSport faster. The company removed the car's electronic speed limiter, which was previously set at 155 mph, and subsequently dressed up the sedan with Brembo logos on the front brake calipers and a speedometer that now reads past 170 mph. Vauxhall also managed to drop the car's price £3760 to £29,995 (about $48,000).
Just like the previous VXR, the Insignia VXR SuperSport uses a turbocharged 2.8-liter V-6 engine rated for 321 hp and 321 lb-ft of torque. Power is directed through a six-speed manual transmission to all four wheels, and Vauxhall says the 0-to-62-mph sprint takes just 5.6 seconds.
Those power figures compare well to several German sports sedans. The Audi S4's supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine produces 333 hp, which Audi says is enough to send the sedan to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and on to a limited top speed of 155 mph. The BMW 335i sedan's turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine makes 300 hp and can propel the car to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph.
To celebrate the car's heightened velocity, Vauxhall showed the Insignia VXR SuperSport alongside a 1926 Vauxhall 30-98, the U.K.'s first production car capable of over 100 mph. Cars equipped with a special package that increased the top speed from 85 mph to 100 mph came with a special certificate proving to buyers that car had been tested at 100 mph on the famed Brooklands racing circuit.
Vauxhall also claims the new Insignia VXR SuperSport is the cheapest new car in Britain that can hit 170 mph. Sadly, that's also a sign that the hot sedan won't be exported. Although the bones of the Vauxhall Insignia VXR (and its European equivalent, the Opel Insignia OPC) are used for the Buick Regal, the most powerful Buick sports sedan sold here has just 270 hp. It also has a 2.0-liter turbo-four and front-wheel drive, rather than the V-6 and all-wheel-drive system offered on the European Insignia.
With that in mind, is the Buick brand being shortchanged by GM? Does the American market deserve a faster, more powerful Regal GS that's based on the powertrain of the Insignia VXR SuperSport? Have your say in the comments section below.