Key to the strategy is a comprehensive relaunch of the sporting SRi line up, with three models and lower prices to provide a tempting alternative to more mundane cars in the class. Adding further spice to this new-found sporting presence is the range-topping Vectra GSi, which uses a 195bhp version of the 2.5-litre V6 and a substantially reworked chassis developed by Motor Sport Developments, the company responsible for the Vectra V6 Challenge race cars.
As before, 2.0-litre and V6-powered SRis continue, rebadged SRi 140 and SRi V6, priced at ú17,100 and ú18,100 respectively in 4/5-door form, and ú17,900 and ú18,900 as estates. Those prices are up to ú295 less than the previous models despite raised standard specification, indicating Vauxhall's determination in the sports saloon sector.
Lowering the entry point to SRi ownership is a new 1.8-litre 115bhp model, the SRi 120, priced at ú16,520 on the road in saloon and hatchback form, and ú17,320 as an estate. That pitches it between the 1.8 LS (ú15,870 with A/C) and 1.8 GLS (ú16,850) 4/5-door models, while the estate costs ú180 less than a 1.8 GLS estate.
All SRis have the visual advantage of looking identical: each comes with lowered sports-tuned suspension, 16in alloy wheels, a close-ratio gearbox, sports interior, air conditioning, rear spoiler and a twin-pipe sports exhaust system.
While the bulk of SRi sales is expected to be taken by the 2-litre SRi 140, Vauxhall anticipates the 120 will sit comfortably on company car choice lists, where it will offer a highly desirable alternative to more usual trim levels at a distinctly competitive price.