NEW 280PS Tricked-up Astra VXR Most Powerful Ever
Maybe pinching more than a tad of the VW Scirocco look... but offering enough punch to out-gun even VW's rival 'R' version, this is the new 280PS, 400Nm, limited slip differential-equipped, bespoke chassis, Brembo-braked Vauxhall Astra VXR – the most powerful production Astra ever built, on sale in 2012. Likey? Vauxhall say: "Hot on the heels of the recently launched GTC... the new Astra VXR is set to become one of the most powerful cars in its class and the fastest production Astra in Vauxhall’s history. Based on the GTC’s platform and powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged direct injection engine, the Astra VXR produces 280hp of power and a mighty 400Nm of torque, enough for it to achieve a top speed of 155mph. But while the Astra VXR is based on the new GTC, it has benefited from a raft of bespoke chassis modifications, transforming it into a focused, high-performance coupe. Setting it apart from all other current Astras is a specially developed mechanical limited slip differential, which works on the front wheels. In conjunction with the GTC’s sophisticated HiPerStrut (High Performance Strut), the LSD provides the Astra VXR with exceptional lateral grip and traction through bends. Further changes to the chassis include brakes developed by competition supplier, Brembo, and standard fitment of Vauxhall’s fully adaptive FlexRide system. In the Astra VXR, FlexRide features not only a Sport button, but a VXR button, offering drivers the choice of two, more focused stages of damper, throttle and steering control." A large bulk of the R&D was done on the Green Hell, signed off by none other than Le Mans 24-hour race winner, “Smokin’ Jo” Winkelhock, who sad: "We have devised a great package that will convince even the most experienced and enthusiastic drivers – and not just on the Nürburgring!" That bodes very well indeed, for fans of driver's cars. And it does look good too, with its specially sculpted front and rear bumpers, side skirts, an aerodynamic roof spoiler and two exhaust tail pipes in a trapeze shape. Meanwhile, inside, the VXR’s cabin gets bespoke performance seats with embossed logos in the backs, a flat-bottomed VXR steering wheel and upgraded instruments. More details, including pricing and on-sale dates, will be revealed early next year. We like it, on paper... but what do you think?