Vauxhall’s VXR expansion (2007) | CAR Magazine
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Vauxhall’s VXR expansion (2007)

Published: 04 September 2007 Updated: 26 January 2015

More hot stuff from Vauxhall’s VXR range. Are you sure?

We are, and while other volume manufacturers have just one or two hot models in their ranges, the Luton-based company has bucked the trend and produced a VXR model for nearly its entire range, stretching from Meriva to Zafira, though thankfully with Astra in between. Vauxhall already offers upgrades for the Astra and wants to expand its post-registration dealer-fitted kit to its smallest hot hatch. The power-kitted Corsa VXR will get 220bhp; the aftermarket kit allows Vauxhall to get round Type Approval regulations, but still cater for fans who want something a little more hardcore.

So what are the changes to the Corsa?

The main changes will be a freer-flowing exhaust and revised ECU, helping to lift power by around 30bhp. The standard car’s 0-60mph time should drop from 6.8 to 6.0 seconds, according to the boffins at VXR. In line with the Astra, bigger brakes and stiffer suspension should also be available, though the Corsa VXR is already rather hard riding.

Anything else?

Vauxhall is plotting a VXR for every pocket, and there’s an even hotter VXR8 coming, plus the first diesel VXRs. Expect Vauxhall’s venerable 1.9-litre diesel, but with twin-turbos in the style of BMW’s hot diesels. First derv-powered VXR will be the facelifted Zafira in early 2008, while the next Vectra VXR will run GM’s all-new 2.9-litre V6 diesel. Expect 250bhp and 406lb ft.

What about the VXR8?

At the other end of the scale the VXR8 will get a bolt-on supercharger option taking power and torque up by 30 percent. Walkinshaw Performance (WP), who do the upgrades, don’t quote any exact figures but 30 percent is equivalent to 542bhp and 527lb ft. Yours for £6990 and reminiscent of the Monaro VXR500… And if that’s not quite fast enough for you then an ECU remap, air filter and exhaust system will liberate about 30bhp on their own. The exhaust system can also be bought separately, and comes in ‘tame’ or ‘loud’ spec. Also available are 20-inch wheels (£2938) and lowered suspension (£543). After a bizarre PR-arranged competition in which all the UK car mags entered a 0-60mph contest (and which our road test ed Chris Chilton won), CAR has been granted the exclusive first drive of the blown VXR8 in the next four weeks.

By Ben Pulman

Ex-CAR editor-at-large