Vauxhall’s Corsa VXR is hot-lapping the Nurburgring virtually undisguised, as the clock ticks down to its spring 2007 launch. For the first time, the beefy bodykit and massive 18-inch wheels hiding pumped up brake discs and callipers are visible. Underneath the bonnet is a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine developing a class-topping 200bhp, mated to a a close ratio six-speed gearbox. The production car will be seen for the first time at the Geneva motor show next March; it goes on UK sale around the same time.
Goodbye cute, hello aggressive
The new flagship Corsa almost looks tough enough to kick sand in the face of the hardcore Astra VXR. The front bumper houses a deep airdam framed by further cooling vents and a pair of spotlights. For the production car a new Vauxhall ‘V’ badge will replace the Opel version seen here, although the honeycomb inserts will stay. The rear is dominated by a wide diffuser intersected by a centre exit exhaust, similar to the Astra VXR’s. Fish-like ‘gills’ are slashed into the rear bumper. More subtle are the darkened rear light lenses and a small spoiler just above the rear window.
Watch out Mini…
The new Corsa VXR will be a direct rival to the Mini Cooper S when it goes on sale in spring ’07. Like the Mini, the new Corsa uses a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine mated to a six-speed gearbox. That’s where the similarities end. The new Corsa produces a blistering 200bhp – 25bhp more than the Cooper S manages. It doesn’t end there. Not only is the Corsa more powerful than the £15,995 Mini but, according to insiders, it will cost less too. Expect prices to start at around £15,500 making the Corsa VXR incredible value for money.