Before we start talking about the Insignia, we have to remember the car that it replaced - the hateful Opel Vectra. I've always wondered why has anyone ever bought one of those. It doesn't matter whether we're talking about the first or the last generation, they're all so incredibly boring and unspiring that they make you simply want to walk everywhere you wanted to go. The Vectra is one of those cars designed by people who couldn't care less about them. The kind of people whose standards are so low that they looked at one of those and said " Yes, today I did good job at work ". Opel have tried to adress its image problem by launching a high performance version of it, namely the Vectra OPC. It had the same turbocharged V6 as the Insignia, but with a lower power figure and worst of all, front-wheel drive. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those people who think of front-wheel drive as " wrong-wheel drive ". Certain cars with certain engines work well in certain configurations. In this case, the combination was horrible. Asking the front wheels not only to steer the car, but to also handle its engine's 227 bhp was just too much. Turning the steering wheel while accelerating would have been less effective than actually trying to talk to the car and ask it nicely whether it would be ok to go right or left.
Good thing it was fast in a straight line so that nobody could see you driving it...
In 2008, Opel decided to replace the Vectra with the Insignia and I can't thank them enough for that. Writing this, I've just realised that it's been quite a long time since it was launched and it still looks modern and very nice, unlike its predecessor, which somehow looks like it's from 1999. That would've been absolutely fine if the car was made in 1999, but it wasn't. A year after the Insignia's launch, the OPC version was launched and although it uses the same engine as the Vectra, it now develops a whopping 321 bhp, and joy of joys, it was available with a 4WD system. Thanks for that, Opel! The great thing about it is that the Insignia was already a very good family car and with the OPC, Opel have only made it better. It had features such as an electronic limited slip differential for the rear wheels, Brembo brakes and adaptive suspension. Mind you, don't expect it to perform like a Lotus through the corners because it's actually quite a heavy car, weighing about 1.8 tons. This doesn't stop it to go from 0 to 100 km/h in just over 6 seconds, and that is quick even by today's standards.
The Insignia OPC is fantastic. Way better to drive than its predecessor, has a much nicer image and it looks great as well. The standard version itself was good enough to be called Car Of The Year 2009 in Europe, but above all, it was good enough to make you comfortable with saying " I drive an Opel ".