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VXR8: More Motoring Madness - And Don't We Love It.

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The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Vauxhall VXR8

VXR8: More Motoring Madness - And Don't We Love It.

Geoff Maxted
December 11, 2013

Vauxhall VXR8 Vauxhall VXR8
It’s funny, isn’t it? As governments and other agencies devoid of fun try to drive us into health and safety cars, some manufacturers - like a last throw of the dice - continue to offer us craziness on wheels. This time it’s Vauxhall, with their delightfully bonkers VXR8 GTS.

With an extra 150bhp from its new supercharged engine, class-leading chassis technology and a price that will make its closest rivals wince, Vauxhall’s new VXR8 GTS is set to make a surprise debut at the Performance Car Show alongside Autosport International in early January at the NEC.

Based on Vauxhall’s sister company - Holden Special Vehicles’ new GEN-F GTS - the VXR8 GTS is the most powerful production car ever to emerge from Australia. And costing just £54,999 in the UK it allows owners the least expensive membership into the 500bhp+ club. One sad point to note here is that Australia’s legendary Holden brand is in jeopardy as parent company General Motors, it has been reported, looks set to abandon car manufacture Down Under.

‘The Performance Car Show and Autosport International is an ideal location for us to take the wraps off the UK’s first new VXR8 GTS,’ said Stuart Harris, Head of Carline Brand. ‘While this is unashamedly one of the most powerful road cars you can buy in the UK, the GTS was developed by people who have a wealth of experience in motorsport, so putting it in front of thousands of car racing enthusiasts is a no-brainer for Vauxhall.’

In its new GTS form the VXR8 offers colossal power and torque in a package that is more technology-led than ever before, yet still retains a ‘loud and proud’ character that no BMW or Mercedes can match. It also enters the UK market with more power than key rivals, such as the BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG. At the heart of the VXR8 GTS is a new supercharged LSA V8 delivering 576bhp and 545lb/ft of torque, an increase of 150bhp and 140lb/ft respectively over the outgoing, LS3-engined VXR8. The mighty powerplant will allow the GTS to sprint from 0-60mph in 4.2 seconds and up to a limited top speed of 155mph.

To cater for the extra performance, the GTS is fitted with an all-new Brake-Torque Vectoring system that applies braking to the inside rear wheel and transfers torque to the outside rear wheel to reduce understeer during high-speed manoeuvres. The GTS also receives the latest generation Magnetic Ride Control with three independent settings. Hardware and software improvements deliver greater body control, sharper handling and a significantly more pliant ride quality, compared with the outgoing model.

‘In an Ashes year, (I thought we weren’t mentioning that here- editor) it’s quite rare to see England and Australia working together, but the result of this collaboration in the new Vauxhall VXR8 GTS is amazing,’ said Ian France, Performance Car Show Director. ‘With almost 600bhp of raw power and imposing styling, it’s sure to create a lot of interest as part of Vauxhall’s Performance Car Show presence.’

It’s great that car manufacturers continue to put the boot into the constant eco-thinking but how much grunt is enough? The image below shows what a professional driver can do with this car. I put it to you that some buyers may find themselves doing this on an entirely involuntary basis. Never mind. Thanks Vauxhall.

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