The eagerly awaited New Vauxhall VXR will premiere at the Geneva Motor Show next month, alongside a new small SUV called Mokka and Vauxhall’s most powerful diesel, the 192 bhp Insignia BiTurbo.
Based on the latest Astra GTC, the VXR is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged direct injection engine producing 276 bhp and a mighty 400Nm of torque. That’s enough for it to easily achieve an electronically limited top speed of 155mph.
While the Astra VXR is based on the new GTC, it has benefited from a raft of bespoke chassis modifications, transforming it into a focused, high-performance coupe.
Setting it apart from all other current Astras is a specially developed mechanical limited slip differential (LSD), which works on the front wheels. In conjunction with the GTC’s sophisticated HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut) design, the LSD provides the Astra VXR with exceptional lateral grip and traction through bends.
Further changes to the chassis include brakes developed by competition supplier, Brembo, and standard fitment of Vauxhall’s fully adaptive FlexRide system. In the Astra VXR, FlexRide features not only a Sport button, but a VXR button, offering drivers the choice of two, more focused stages of damper, throttle and steering control.
Much of the chassis sign-off was carried out at the Nürburgring, and was overseen by Le Mans 24-hour race winner, “Smokin’ Jo” Winkelhock.
The Astra VXR can be distinguished by a set of specially sculpted front and rear bumpers, side skirts, an aerodynamic roof spoiler and two exhaust tail pipes in a familiar VXR-trapeze shape. Inside, the VXR’s cabin gets bespoke performance seats with embossed logos in the backs, a flat-bottomed VXR steering wheel and upgraded instruments.
Vauxhall’s most powerful diesel engine ever is fitted to the Insignia and will be priced from £27,120 on the road. The twin-sequential turbocharged diesel is based on the existing 1956cc unit which powers key models in the Insignia, Astra and new Zafira Tourer range. However, in BiTurbo form the engine produces up to 35 bhp more power and a significant 50Nm of extra torque, reducing the 0-60mph time by nearly one second to 8.2 seconds for the front-wheel drive Insignia Hatch.
But thanks to a package of eco-efficiency features – including standard Start/Stop across the range – the front-wheel drive Hatch achieves 57.6mpg on the combined cycle, 2.2mpg better than the 158 bhp single-turbo 2.0 CDTi model.