Vauxhall takes wraps off new VXR8

VXR8 prices are set at £49,500 including the new 20 per cent rate of VAT, signalling Vauxhall’s intention to significantly undercut the £60,000-plus performance saloons such as the Audi RS6 and Mercedes C63 AMG.

In terms of performance, the traditional V8 engine delivers 431PS. The VXR8 is good for an electronically limited 155mph and can hit 60mph in 4.9 seconds.

The engine is matched to a choice of six-speed manual or automatic gearbox depending on the driver’s preference, while acceleration is boosted by a launch control which controls the level of torque to the rear wheels.

A small dashboard screen delivers information on the car’s performance through an Enhanced Driver Interface (EDI), allowing the driver to view G-force data, power, torque and lap times.

The high-performance Vauxhall has also been given a cosmetic upgrade for 2011 with all new leather upholstery and adjustable ‘performance seats’.

The exterior has been redesigned to house a new distinctive grille, and new LED daytime running lights and wing-vents complete the more track-ready look for the VXR8.

Front vents, rear spoiler and striking alloy wheels attest to the performance-orientation of the Vauxhall, but inside there is a touch of practicality with USB and Bluetooth connectivity, phone book display and touch-screen dialling.

Vauxhall has also included iPod support in the entertainment system as standard.

Vauxhall will only sell the performance model through a dedicated network of six VXR dealers in the UK, with a further 34 dealerships able to maintain and service the model.

The VXR8 is Vauxhall’s flagship performance car, and uses technology from General Motor’s Corvette ZR1 supercar, such as the Magnetic Ride Control function, which adapts the suspension to the road conditions automatically.