Vauxhall Corsa VXR (2015): the angriest Corsa is back | CAR Magazine

Vauxhall Corsa VXR (2015): the angriest Corsa is back

Published: 04 February 2015 Updated: 01 July 2015

► New hotshot Corsa unveiled
► Target: Ford Fiesta ST
► 202bhp from 1.6 turbo four-cylinder

Underneath those spoilers and vents that’s the new Vauxhall Corsa VXR, bound for the 2015 Geneva motor show in March.

Like the old one, it’s less than subtle to look at, it’s powered by a 1.6-litre petrol four-pot, and it’s really quite quick.

How fast is the new Corsa VXR hot hatch?

It’ll hit 60mph in 6.8 seconds, tops out at 143mph and packs more power than before from its 1.6-litre turbo motor.

There’s now 202bhp and 181lb ft, the latter available from 1900rpm to 5800rpm. That’s a handy improvement, as the old Corsa VXR Nurburgring and Clubsport models reached peak torque at 2250 to 5500rpm, so it promises to be a more flexible, driveable engine that before. An overboost function unlocks an extra 26lb ft when it’s stretched.

It runs through an evolution of the old Corsa’s six-speed manual transmission, with combined fuel consumption claimed at 37.7mpg and CO2 emissions at 174g/km. Quite high that last figure, but it is a performance car after all and it’s a sizeable improvement over the 2007 Corsa VXR’s 190g/km.

What else is new?

Since the Corsa as a whole got an overhaul at the tail-end of 2014, the new VXR benefits from a far less nasty interior than before and a host of new kit, including a heated front screen (the number one thing existing Vauxhall Corsa owners put on their wishlist for the regular new Corsa, says Vauxhall) and the smartphone-compatible Intellilink multimedia system.

The new 2015 Vauxhall Corsa VXR

This being a VXR, there’s also a set of buckety Recaro seats and a flat-bottomed steering wheel.

On the outside, besides that wide vent cut into the bonnet and lots of aluminium dotted about its nose, there’s a roof spoiler that creates ‘meaningful downforce’ says Vauxhall, casting its shadow over twin Remus exhaust outlets.

What about the new Vauxhall Corsa VXR’s chassis?

Biggest news is the dampers. Fruit of a collaboration between Koni and Vauxhall, the new Corsa VXR is fitted with Frequency Selective Damping, or FSD for short. In a nutshell, the damping force is continually adjusted in response to the car’s movement, with the happy result being tighter body control at high speeds and better ride quality at low speeds.

As you’d expect, the ride height’s lower than the regular Corsa, by 10mm, and the power steering’s been recalibrated for improved feel and feedback.

Also new is a two-stage ESP and traction control setting. Putting the system in ‘Competition Mode’ disables the TC and places the ESP in a more liberal setting. If you’re on a track, or feeling particularly macho, you can also turn it off completely.

Michelin 215/45 tyres are standard.

Can you still get that nutty limited-slip diff from the Nurburgring edition?

Oh yes. The uncompromising (and hilariously good fun) Drexler limited-slip diff from the outgoing Nurburgring and Clubsport models is still available as part of the optional Performance Package.

The pack also includes larger 330mm front brake discs and a more uncompromising setting for the Frequency Selective Damping.

UK sales start in May 2015, with pricing yet to be confirmed.

By James Taylor

Former features editor for CAR, occasional racer