Vauxhall has had a busy day at the Sunday Times Motor Show Live, launching several new models and concepts.

The new VXR performance brand, inspired by Vauxhall’s VX Racing team, has launched two new models, each with enhancements for driver involvement.

The VXR Monaro is powered by a 382bhp 5.7-litre V8 engine, whose 376lb/ft of torque squirts the Monaro to 60mph in 5.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 170mph.

Brakes have been uprated to stop the beast – 330mm discs at the front and 315mm at the rear – while the interior also gets the VXR treatment with black leather and Alcantara sport seats and extra oil pressure and voltage gauges fitted in a specially designed instrument binnacle.

Externally, the Monaro VXR has a unique front air dam, rear spoiler and side body skirts, with 19-inch alloy wheels, shod with Pirelli P-Zero Rosso 245/35R19 tyres completing the look.

The standard Monaro’s equipment list remains: cruise control, power mirrors, sun roof and windows, ‘intelligent’ wipers, rear park assist, automatic head lamps, trip computer, 10-speaker, six CD sound system, electrically adjustable front seats, dual zone climate control, multiple airbags, quick response LED centre brake light, steering wheel-mounted sound system controls, etc.

The Monaro VXR costs £35,595 and is on sale now.

Second in the VXR line-up is the VXR220, based on the popular VX220.

The VXR220 features the same 2.0-litre turbo engine with a power upgrade to 220bhp, thanks to a free-flow air filter, a hybrid turbo and a reprogrammed ECU. The sprint to 60 mph now takes just 4.2 seconds with a top speed ‘in excess of 150 mph.’

Externally, there’s a set of five-spoke Speedline alloys, finished in satin black and shod with Yokohama A048R tyres – 195/45R16s at the front and 225/35R17s at the back.

The suspension has been uprated and lowered, and the 288mm all-round disc brakes get an uprated pad material.

Available only in Calypso Red with matt black detailing (a theme that continues into the interior, with Alcantara sport seats and carbon fibre-effect trim), the VXR220 is on sale now for £29,995.

Making its UK debut is the new Vauxhall Tigra.

Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, the Tigra goes on sale in September, although orders can be placed from next month.

Vauxhall chairman and managing director Kevin Wale said: “Tigra is a great looking car which we think will appeal to the young and young at heart, and for buyers who are seeking stylish design and driving excitement. The new Tigra also plays an important role in our overall product plans, demonstrating the new direction we’ve taken with our portfolio, 20 per cent of which will soon consist of niche models.”

The electro-hydraulic roof mechanism folds into a space between the the boot and the cabin, and allows for 250 litres of luggage space with the roof stowed, or 440 litres with the roof up. There’s an additional 70 litres of space behind the seats.

Available with a choice of 1.4 or 1.8-litre engines in Tigra or Tigra Sport specification, with pricing starting at £13,750 on the road.

Expect electric windows, electric heated wing mirrors, central locking, front and side airbags, ABS, alloy wheels, sports seats and a CD player as standard, with air conditioning, ESP, leather seats, 17″ alloys as a bunch of ICE gear as options.

Vauxhall’s latest concept, the Insignia, can also be found at the Birmingham Motor Show.

The Insignia has been designed as a ‘driver oriented’, rear-wheel drive concept which can be transformed from a comfortable four-seater for day-to-day business purposes, into a sporty five-seater at the weekend or for family and recreation. It uses short overhangs, a long wheelbase and wide track to emphasise its sporting intentions.

Typical concept car touches include extensive use of LED lighting technology, pantograph-action doors and tailgate and massive 21-inch wheels.

Inside, the centre tunnel that separates the two individual rear seats can be moved back under the boot floor to reveal a folded seat that can be raised electrically to make the Insignia a five-seater. The tunnel, covered with fine leather and exclusive Macassar ebony wood inlays, also conceals an integrated DVD player with folding screen and cool-box.

The dashboard features three-dimensional instruments with the most important functions made of satin-finished and polished aluminium, while all ‘secondary’ control panels such as the infotainment system or the air-conditioning are hidden away under sliding covers in the centre console. The dials themselves are ‘reversed’ – the speedo needle, for instance, is positioned behind the dial face so that the numerals are not obscured.

The Insignia is powered by the Corvette’s 344-hp aluminium V8 engine, producing a maximum speed of 156 mph (electronically controlled) and with acceleration from zero to 62 mph in under six seconds.