The new Corsa has already caused quite a sensation with its bold styling and impressive road manners, but now Vauxhall has pulled the wraps off the ultimate version - the long awaited VXR.
The performance flagship of the range is every inch a VXR, designed from the outset to deliver the ultimate in hot-hatch driving excitement and style.
Immediately distinguishable from other models in the new Corsa range, the three-door only VXR comes with several unique VXR styling cues. The mirrors, front foglamp surrounds and centre-exit exhaust tailpipe all have a triangular theme, while the aggressive front and rear bumpers are unique to this model.
Sweeping side skirts and an angular roof spoiler help accentuate the three-door Corsa's already muscular design, while a mesh front grille, blue-painted brake callipers and optional 18-inch alloys further set off the VXR's performance appearance.
The interior is dominated by the sculpted, shell-backed Recaro sports seats and the race-car style flat-bottomed steering wheel. Drilled alloy pedals, piano black trim on the facia and unique VXR detailing on the dials and gear lever make sure the Corsa VXR looks as special inside as it does on the outside.
Power comes from a compact 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, developing 192PS and giving Corsa VXR the ability to accelerate from 0-60mph in just 6.8 seconds, on to a top speed of 140mph. Like the Meriva VXR, it comes with an 'overboost' facility which can increase the torque output on demand to a maximum of more than 260Nm - useful for safe overtaking.
The power is kept in check with a dynamically-designed chassis including a specially-tuned ESP system, along with uprated brakes and suspension and variably-assisted power steering, which alters the weight and feel of the wheel depending on the way in which the car is driven - a feature unique in this area of the market.
Yet despite its wild performance and impressive technology, Corsa VXR promises to be an affordable car to run, with surprising fuel economy for a 140mph car. On extra-urban routes it returns 44.1mpg according to official figures and the combined fuel economy figure is 35.8mpg.
The Corsa VXR will make its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March, and will be available from Vauxhall retailers from mid-March. Prices will be announced nearer to the on-sale date.
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