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Vauxhall Corsa SRi

Published: 08 June 2007

Vauxhall Corsa SRi: the lowdown

Can’t afford the VXR, but want something to spice up your Corsa? Vauxhall, or rather sister company Opel, unwrapped a new junior hot hatch at this week’s Barcelona Motor Show. The new SRi model has many of the VXR’s styling cues, but with a more wallet-friendly, lower-powered turbo engine. It’ll be available in three- and five-door format, and goes on sale in September. It’s not all show and no go, either – in petrol guise, it’ll scuttle to sixty in less than eight seconds.

So is the Corsa SRi tepid, luke warm or scorching hot?

It’s pretty fast for a junior GTi. While the Corsa VXR has a brawny 189bhp, the petrol SRi has a very respectable 148bhp from the same 1.6 turbo. It’s enough for a 7.6sec dash to 60mph and a 130mph top speed. Vauxhall will also offer the SRi model as a warm performance diesel; the 1.7 CDTi has 123bhp and combines honest grunt (9.3sec/121mph) with a thirst bordering on teetotal (58.9mpg average). That’s the whole point of the SRi experience. Vauxhall chairman Jonathan Browning told CAR Online that the newcomer would appeal to young drivers who wanted a taste of the VXR performance experience – and looks – but without the higher purchase and running costs.

So what do I get for my £14,000?

That price is only an estimate for now, remember. But it’ll be usefully cheaper than the £15,495 VXR – and you get a dose of the hot hatch’s attitude. Many of the styling cues are shared, such as the deep front spoiler, side sills, 17-inch alloys, tailgate spoiler and chromed exhaust finisher. Inside is an explosion of red and chrome, with sports seats, leather wheel, alloy pedals and – very 1980s this – red seatbelts. It’s not all cosmetic: the steering is retuned and the chassis is lowered by 18mm at the front and 15mm at the back, for a more ground-hugging stance and more neutral handling.

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, motoring news magnet