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By Ben Barry
31 May 2007 04:23
Don’t let the badge fool you. It reads Vauxhall but underneath that chunky sheetmetal is Holden’s new Commodore Clubsport R8 with a higher spec GTS interior. Re-badged as the VXR8, and wearing a barely believable £35,105 price tag, this 411bhp monster will terrorise British roads come mid-June. The new Commodore is Holden’s first-ever cleansheet-design, and was developed and engineered in Australia at a cost of over £490m. And its four-door rear-wheel chassis architecture is set to underpin a range of future GM products. In fact, its Global Rear-Wheel Drive platform will underpin everything from the forthcoming Pontiac G8 to the Chevrolet Camaro. It’s a hugely important model for Holden and marks the first time the manufacturer has developed a Commodore without GM Europe’s input.
The VXR8 is a 417bhp thug of a car, delivering the kind of brutal acceleration that gives your adrenal gland a thorough workout. It will hit 60mph in just under five seconds, the Corvette-sourced engine spitting out an urgent hammering soundtrack as the big Vauxhall rockets its way towards its as-yet-unproven top speed. We reckon it should top out at 170mph. That’s speed with a capital S. In-gear go is just as vicious, the VXR8 catapulting forward at the slightest hint of throttle. And the brakes – the largest, at 365mm, ever fitted to a production Vauxhall – are well up to the job of matching the engine, delivering instant and reassuringly fade-free deceleration with the lightest brush of the centre pedal. Stand on them hard at 62mph and, claims Vauxhall, you’ll stop in 36 metres – three metres sooner than an M5. (That's not been independently tested by us, we should add.)
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Vauxhall VXR8 (2007) CAR review
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