- Popular SRi /GSi badges retained
- Petrol and diesel engine choices
- Extensive chassis modification
- In showrooms during July
- Prices from £16,545
With the sporty SRi model accounting for nearly 20 per cent of sales on the outgoing Vectra, it is no surprise that Vauxhall has decided to develop both an SRi and GSi for the new Vectra.
The old model won many friends, made to look more purposeful on the road than the standard car with its spoilers, unique alloy wheels and chromed exhausts. Inside the car also got the sporting touches with its own sports dials and hugging sports seats. A lowered body, stiffened chassis and revised gear ratios rewarded more spirited drivers.
Some of the same themes are retained for the new sports Vectras. However, the big news is the amount of work which has gone into the chassis, so that the new Vectra SRi and GSi are not only distinctly different from the rest of the Vectra range - they are also cars which are unique to the UK, developed and built specifically for UK roads.
- Both the SRi and GSi are available only as a five-door hatch.
- Three engines are available from launch for the SRi - the 1.8 16v and 2.2 16v petrol and the 2.2 DTi diesel.
- The flagship GSi uses the Ellesmere Port built 3.2 24v V6 - the largest engine ever fitted into a production Vectra.
- And next year, an exciting new 2.0 litre turbo unit becomes available as a third petrol option for the SRi.
- The first cars enter dealer showrooms during July with on the road prices starting at £16,545.
Vectra's new sport chassis:
Engineers from Vauxhall/Opel's International Technical Development Centre carried out their own extensive testing in the UK to achieve the right balance in the final chassis settings for the SRi and GSi Vectras.
Their aim was to retain the ride quality and refinement of the new Vectra and its improved steering system, while providing a firmer, more sporting drive and even quicker steering response.Changes to the standard settings are extensive:
- Starting at the front axle, the steering ratio has been reduced from 16:1 to 15:1 to speed up response and quicken direction changes.
- Similar to other sports models in the Vauxhall range, the body sits 20mm lower while (vertical) wheel travel at the front is reduced by around 15mm.
- Modifications have also been made to the spring rates and damping. For the Vectra SRi 2.2 16v, spring rates at the front are increased by 20 per cent over standard and 25 per cent for the slightly heavier 3.2 V6.
- At the same time, damping is also increased for further body control. Using the Vauxhall scale to measure the level of damping where the entry-level 1.8 model is 'V1' and the 2.2 16v is 'V2', the SRi's have been tuned to the level of 'V5'. Rounding off the modifications to the front section, harder bushes are used for the roll-bar and suspension mounts.
- At the rear axle, damping and spring rates are also increased although by the slightly lower figure of 10 per cent over the standard setting while the anti-roll bar is thicker by 3mm (up from 16mm to 19mm).
- The GSi is fitted with the latest generation electronic stability program, ESPPlus as standard.
- The latest incarnation of the system has a fundamental difference from conventional systems with up to three wheels being controlled by braking instead of just one. The car's course is therefore corrected with much greater sensitivity and manoeuvrability - a major gain in active safety. However for the more skilled driver there is the option of switching the ESPPlus/Traction Control system off.
Three petrol engines and one diesel are the line-up from launch. Early next year, the range will be expanded with a 2.0 litre turbo and 3.0 litre V6 diesel.
Initially, engine choices for the SRi are the 1.8 litre 16v, 2.2 16v and 2.2 DTi, with the 3.2 V6 being reserved for the top of the range GSi. Next year the GSi will also get the powerful new diesel while the SRi model gets petrol turbo power for the first time.
- 1.8 litre/122 PS - The entry-level 1.8 litre 16v has a maximum engine torque of 167Nm @ 3800rpm. With a five-speed gearbox, top speed is 127mph and the 0-60mph is 10.2 seconds.
- 2.2 litre/147 PS - The all aluminium 2.2 litre 16v has a maximum engine torque of 203Nm @ 4000rpm. Mated to a manual gearbox, 0-60mph takes 9.2 seconds. Top speed is 134mph.
- 3.2 litre V6 /211 PS - The 3.2 litre V6 is the biggest engine ever fitted into a Vectra in the UK. Maximum engine torque is 300Nm @ 4000rpm, while 60mph takes only 7.0 seconds. Top speed for Vectras fitted with the 3.2 V6 is 155mph.
- 2.2 DTi/125 PS - The turbocharger of the 2.2 is notable for its variable turbine geometry, to achieve strong engine torque across all engine speeds. Maximum engine torque is 280Nm @ 1500 rpm. With a top speed of 128mph the 2.2 DTi 0-60mph time is 9.8 seconds.
Vauxhall's new five-speed automatic gearbox is available, as an option, on SRi and GSi models in combination with the 2.2 16v and 3.2 V6 petrol engines and the 2.2 DTi.
A key feature of the new auto box is that it works 'adaptively' - it recognises the driver's style and adapts accordingly. And if the driver is in the mood for manual shifts, this is taken care of with the Active Select function.
Vauxhall's sports models have always been easily identifiable by their styling enhancements over their 'comfort' model stablemates. Changes to the exterior styling of the new SRi and GSi work especially well on the new Vectra, the larger proportions and more 'chiselled' design of the new car being well suited to the sporting touches.
At the same time, car design has moved on in recent years and the demand has grown for these models to also show a degree of subtlety when expressing any sporting credentials.
The result is two cars which feature deeper front and rear bumpers with, at the front, a unique honeycomb grille featured above and below the number plate. Colour-keyed contoured sills run down the side from front to rear wheel arch, and a subtle rear lip spoiler is featured on the tail-gate.
The rear also features a visible, oval chrome exhaust - single pipe on the SRi and twin on the GSi.
Darkened headlights and tail-lights feature on both models and each wears its own unique style of alloy wheels. On the SRi, the standard alloy is a 17 inch six-spoke design fitted with 215/50 R17 ultra low profile tyres. The GSi has its own chunky, five-spoke alloy wheel design and also uses 215/50 R17 tyres.
Step inside either car, and the changes to the interior include chrome or platinum inserts on the fascia and doors, chrome rings on the dials and gear shift housing, leather covered sports steering wheel and eight-way adjustable sports seats.
Prices, Insurance & Equipment
On the road prices:
|2.2 DTi SRi||8E|
Vectra SRi/GSi equipment:
Active front head restraints
Airbags (front, side and curtain)
Boot sidewall storage
Centre arm rest with integrated storage
Cornering Brake Control (CBC)
Electronic Brake Force Distribution
Eight-way adjustable front seats
Electric front windows
Electric heated mirrors
Electro-chromatic rear view mirror
Electro-hydraulic power steering
Fold flat passenger seat (LS, Elegance, Elite)
Rear armrest with integrated storage
Rear height-adjustable head restraints
Remote control central locking
Reach and rake steering adjustment
Service interval monitor
Traction control (not 1.8 16v)
Triple Information DisplayUltrasonic alarm
Alloy wheels (17 inch)
Body coloured door handles
Chrome sill plates (front)
Chrome instrument dial surrounds
Chrome belt line
Dark head and tail lamps
Front fog lamps
Leather gear knob
Leather sports steering wheel
Rear lip spoiler
Sports front seats
Sports front and rear bumpers
Stainless steel exhaust tail pipe
GSi (As SRi Plus):
Electronic climate control
Electric rear windows
Part leather sports seats
Reading lamps (front and rear)
Unique design alloy wheels
Xenon headlamps incorp. headlamp wash