Thursday, 5 July 2012

The Vauxhall Astra VXR

The new Vauxhall Astra VXR, Vauxhall’s latest contender into the performance hatchback arena, is set to take on many of its biggest rivals, including the all-new Ford Focus ST, the Renaultsport Megane 265 and the Volkswagen Golf GTI Edition 35. The Astra VXR appears to be the most promising of all of these models, boasting more power, more torque and more performance-boosting technology.

The base of the car is from the curvy three door Astra GTC, and the VXR adds a colour coded front grille, a more aggressive front spoiler, LED tail-lights and 19 inch alloy wheels as standard, making it sure to be a head turner. An additional option is the VXR Aero Pack, which adds 20 inch alloy wheels, a biplane rear spoiler and muscular side skirts for £995. Vauxhall predicts that eighty five per cent of customers will opt for the attention-seeking Aero Pack.

In addition to looks, the Astra VXR certainly packs a punch as well. The 2.0 litre turbocharged engine is capable of producing 276bhp and can accelerate from 0-62 miles per hour in 5.9 seconds, faster than the Focus ST, Golf GTI Edition 35 and the Megane 265. In terms of performance, the Astra VXR has a clever front suspension set up borrowed from the Insignia VXR, which makes the performance more accessible than ever. Plus, the VXR’s electro-hydraulic set-up on the steering helps the driver really feel the steering, which then feeds back exactly what is on the road, something that is becoming less common as manufacturers switch to less talkative electric power-steering systems. This can only be a good thing when it is considered how capable the VXR is in taking corners. It takes a lot of speed in bendy roads before the VXR will start to feel flustered. Despite the high performance, the VXR still manages to return 34.9 miles per gallon and 189g/km of CO2 emissions.

Prices start from £26,996 and Vauxhall aims to sell 1,200 Astra VXRs each year, a reachable goal?


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