I have always found the Corsa VXR to be the most endearing of Vauxhall’s VX range – there’s an honesty about its performance that matches the way it looks on the road, a playful nature that makes a MINI Cooper S seem… well, a bit sensible and a Clio Cup feel like it’s trying too hard. Each has their place in the affections of the hot-hatch enthusiast, so it’s good to see Vauxhall continue developing the Corsa VXR with this new Nürburgring Edition.
At the heart of the VXR Nürburgring is a re-worked version of the Corsa VXR’s existing 1.6-litre turbocharged engine which now produces 202 bhp (on 98-octane fuel) at 5,750rpm (up from 189 bhp) and 250-280Nm of torque (up from 230-266Nm). A modified engine management and turbocharger system, sports exhaust with reduced back pressure – and the ability to run on 98-octane fuel – have all contributed to the rise in power.
To harness the Nürburgring’s new-found power potential, Vauxhall has fitted it with a mechanical, multi-plate limited-slip differential, ensuring that its 202 bhp doesn’t go up in a cloud of tyre smoke, and providing the car with optimum traction at all times. The LSD also reins in understeer caused by excessive throttle loads during cornering, or changes in the texture of the road surface.
But perhaps the icing on the Nürburgring’s cake is its chassis, which received its final sign-off at the Nürburgring’s notorious Nordschleife, or North Loop. Vauxhall commissioned Bilstein to develop bespoke spring and damper units for the new model, allowing drivers an even higher degree of control and involvement. A visual clue of this work is a ride height which is reduced by 20mm at the front and 15mm at the rear.
Complementing this are newly developed Brembo brakes, which are 30 per cent lighter than before, and have high-performance brake linings covering a 10 per cent larger area. In addition, the Corsa VXR’s ABS, Traction Control and Electronic Stability Control systems have all been recalibrated to take into account the Nürburging’s new set-up.
With performance of 0-60mph in just 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 143mph, the Corsa Nürburgring will deliver all the driving thrills you’d expect from a car wearing the legendary track’s name. But just in case anyone was in doubt, the new model gets a raft of visual identifiers: a stainless steel dual exhaust, newly designed forged aluminium wheels in high-gloss grey, and ‘Nürburgring’ logos on the B-Pillars and front spoiler lip. There are also two new colours available – apple green ‘Grasshopper’ and red ‘Henna’.
Inside, black and red ‘Nürburgring’ lettering adorns the sill plates and front Recaro seat backs, with bespoke white stitching on all seats, as well as the handbrake and gearshift console.
The Corsa VXR Nürburgring Edition goes on sale in late May, priced at £22,295.