Icon Buyer: Vauxhall VX220 Turbo, CAR+ November 2015

Published: 27 October 2015

VX220 now within reach at £13k
► CAR's Car of the Year in 2003 
► Lotus tech means light weight 

When it arrived in 2000 the VX220 was a sensational driver-centric revelation. Not since the Lotus Carlton did the Griffin badge look so sexy and desirable. While the torquey nat-asp 145bhp 2.2-litre model was indecently quick, it was the 200bhp turbo that got us all frothy – we crowned it our Car of the Year in 2003. 

Built by Lotus, the VX used the Elise’s basic aluminium tub but only 10% of components were shared. The 875kg VX sat on a 30mm longer wheelbase with 20mm wider rear track, boosting stability and composure.

Don’t think that because it wears a Vauxhall badge, and has anti-lock brakes, airbag and air-con that the VX220 Turbo was a pussycat. It was a visceral beast that cracked 60mph in sub 5sec and delivered mid-range punch to shame bona fide supercars

That searing pace was matched by equally engaging dynamics: the unassisted steering was precise, accurate and feelsome; the ride quality possessed that magic Lotus quality; and the brakes were heroic. So, a Vauxhall-badged supercar-baiter for the price of a new Fiesta… 

One we found 

2004 VX220 Turbo, 35,000 miles, metallic black, black alloys, £12,995