With its 161mph top speed, ultra-sophisticated suspension system and luxury interior, the Vectra VXR can easily mix it with supercars. But the price certainly isn’t exotic - just £23,995 for the hatch and £24,995 for the estate.
The new model, which makes its debut at the Frankfurt motor show on 12 September, is powered by an all-new 2.8-litre V6 turbo producing a massive 255PS and 320Nm of torque (236lb ft). This makes it easily the most powerful car in the class, and yet the price is around the same as a four-cylinder saloon from some other marques and more than £300 less than its nearest rival.
The Vectra VXR has certainly not been stripped of equipment to keep the price down either. Recaro seats, 18-inch alloys and a full VXR bodykit are all standard, while under the skin the VXR has an ultra-sophisticated dual-processor electronically controlled damper system which has only ever been seen before on £100,000 plus exotica. By using two separate processing modules, the shock absorbers respond to suspension movements in a fraction of a second. The result is a noticeable enhancement in body roll prevention and damper control while still maintaining the Vectra’s legendary ride comfort.
This ultra-sophisticated system has also allowed Vauxhall to create a VXR estate for the first time without compromising either the driving dynamics expected from the brand or the standard model’s exceptional load-lugging capabilities. The VXR still has a class-leading 1850 litre load bay while the suspension electronics ensure that it can still provide entertaining handling with a full load on board.
Options on both the hatch and estate include an upgrade to massive 19-inch wheels for just £500 and Vauxhall’s Advanced Forward Lighting, which is acknowledged as the most sophisticated headlamp system in the world, for £850. Colour choices include Arden Blue, which is unique to the VXR models.
But there is some good news for anyone who has just spent £60,000 on a German super saloon: the first Vectra VXRs won’t be able to embarrass you on the Autobahn until they arrive at dealerships in November.Published 7 September 2005