Meet the Vauxhall Astra VXR Extreme – the most hardcore hot hatch ever to wear the Astra badge. Inspired by the Astra Cup racing car, it’s essentially an Astra with ‘Speciale’ or ‘GT3’ treatment applied to it, in the vein of Ferrari and Porsche’s fire-breathing specials.
Expect less weight, less refinement – and a lot more on-track performance. It’s something of a thank you treat to the UK for consistently being VXR’s biggest market since its 2004 debut (PR speak for, ‘We can flog more of these’).
So is the Vauxhall Astra VXR Extreme road-legal, or only for the track?
This super-Astra is road legal. And it should be a monster wherever it’s driven. Vauxhall has dipped into the carbonfibre toy box, treating the VXR Extreme to carbon side skirts with aerodynamic winglets, a carbonfibre roof spoiler and rear wing, and even carbon wheels, wrapped in sticky Hankook rubber.
Meanwhile, there’s a new rear diffuser with what appears to be a high-performance heat-treated exhaust system, sporting four pipes instead of the standard Astra VXR’s trapezoidal twins. The VXR Extreme appears to have a lower ride height than the regular VXR’s, too.
>> Click here for CAR's review of the Vauxhall Astra VXR hot hatch
Inside, there’s a roll-cage, racing seats and six-point harnesses. It’s a proper racetrack-refugee – here’s hoping the planned production run doesn’t go soft and ditch the racey bits.
Any word on power outputs?
Nothing besides a hint that the Extreme’s engine could be even more powerful than the ordinary VXR. Vauxhall’s teasing press material states ‘the Extreme the street-legal race sibling to the current Astra VXR, which in standard form already produces 276bhp and 295lb ft’.