Vauxhall has revealed more details about the hottest hatch in the brand’s history: the track-ready Astra VXR Extreme. The concept, which should see production in 2015, has more than 300PS (296bhp), and has shed 100kg from the standard road car’s kerbweight.
That puts the Astra VXR’s mass at an estimated 1375kg. Sounds serious – read on to find out if the rest of the Extreme is as committed to high performance.
Vauxhall Astra VXR Extreme: the latest spec secrets
You’d think Vauxhall would be shouting from the rooftops about how much grunt its most powerful front-driver ever develops. Yet, the official information promises that the 2.0-litre all-aluminium four-pot will produce ‘over 296bhp’. Nothing specific yet, though the car will be at least 23bhp stronger than a normal Astra VXR, and be more powerful than the VW Golf R and Audi S3, on that basis.
Like all hot Astras, there’s no automatic transmission option. The Astra Extreme employs a six-speed manual gearbox and a limited-slip front differential to marshal power to the 19in, 245-section tyres. Want adjustable dampers for superior on-track handling? The Extreme has those too.
Extreme name, extreme diet
The monster (ahem) extreme aspect of the Astra Extreme’s modifications is the dieting. Aluminium front wings weigh a mere 800g each (versus the standard car’s 2.2kg steel items) – but metal isn’t what the Extreme is all about. Vauxhall’s gone carbonfibre-crazy.
Like a BMW M4, the Extreme uses a carbonfibre roof panel to save weight (6.7kg, in fact) and lower the car’s centre of gravity for greater agility. Other carbonfibre components include the rear wing, rear diffuser and front splitter, plus the bonnet, suspension cross braces, engine cover and even the wheels. Behind the front rims lurk 370mm Brembo disc brakes, taken directly from the Astra Cup endurance racecar.
Junking the rear seats, fitting lightweight buckets up front and even adding a carbonfibre and suede steering wheel shaves yet more weight inside the Extreme. Adding it back in is a reinforced safety cage – though that’s one of the features likely to get the chop should the car make it into limited production.
Without the cage, Vauxhall could put the rear seats back in too, adding some everyday usability to this track-spec extreme machine.
>> Vauxhall says it’ll only put the Astra Extreme into production if public reaction is positive enough. So, over to you in the comments – should Vauxhall build it?