Vauxhall Astra VXR

With its massive 240PS and 152mph performance, Vauxhall’s rivals were hoping that the Astra VXR would cost well over £20,000. But here’s the news which is sure to raise a few GTI-brows - it’s actually priced at under £19,000!

Now available to order from dealers, the latest addition to the hugely successful VXR model line-up packs more punch than any other hot hatch available for the money. Unlike some rivals, Vauxhall hasn’t relegated desirable equipment to the options list in order to keep the list price low either, with air conditioning, Recaro seats, 18-inch wheels, ESP and side curtain airbags all as standard.

At the heart of the Astra VXR’s dynamic driving experience is a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine. Maximum power of 240PS is delivered at 5,600rpm, while the unit delivers an impressive 320Nm of torque between 2,400rpm and 5,000rpm, channelled through a six-speed manual gearbox. The result is the ability to sprint from 0-60mph in just 6.2 seconds, and on to a top speed of 152mph where conditions allow.

That impressive performance is kept in check by a highly-tuned front-wheel drive chassis developed with sports car maker Lotus. Braking performance is remarkable, too, with the VXR’s exclusive 321mm vented front discs the biggest ever fitted to any Vauxhall other than the Monaro.

All of this means the VXR delivers a driving experience that will excite and stimulate the most committed driving enthusiasts. Buyers can also opt for the innovative Continuous Damping Control system to deliver an even more impressive ride and handling combination.

Based on the stylish three-door Astra Sport Hatch, the Astra VXR is immediately distinguished by its exclusive 18-inch wheels, body-coloured V-grille, ground hugging side skirts, rear spoiler and revised bumper assemblies, along with neat detail touches such as its Arden Blue front and rear brake callipers and stylish VXR badges. Massive 19-inch wheels are a £500 option.

Inside, there are Recaro seats, new instruments incorporating VXR logos, a three-spoke sports steering wheel, carbon-effect inserts on the doors and facia and a new alloy gearknob, also with VXR detailing.

"We’re very proud of this latest addition to the VXR line-up," said VXR brand manager Stuart Harris. "We’ve already seen a huge amount of interest in the model, and we’re excited about getting the first cars out to customers. We believe no hot hatchback can compare to the Astra VXR in terms of driver appeal or value for money."

Four colours will be available at launch - Flame Red, Arden Blue, Star Silver and Black Sapphire, with the first cars due to reach customers in September. Further additions to the VXR range are due before the end of the year, including the fastest-ever production MPV - the New Zafira VXR.

Vauxhall Astra VXR Technical specification
Engine 2.0-litre, 16v 4cyl turbocharged
Power 240PS @ 5,600rpm
Torque 320Nm @ 2,400-5,000rpm
0-60mph 6.2 seconds
Top speed 152mph
Price £18,995

Published : 16/04/05 Author : Melanie Carter

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