Vauxhall Zafira VXR

Being the coolest family on the block isn’t going to break the bank - because the new Vauxhall Zafira VXR is set to offer value for money that’s as strong as its performance!

Offering hot-hatch looks, performance and driving dynamics combined with the family-friendly flexibility of a seven-seat MPV, the newcomer is available to order now from £21,995, with first deliveries expected in October.

Vauxhall created the performance people carrier niche in 2002 with the sensational Zafira GSi - a car that rewrote the rulebook for what MPVs should and shouldn’t be.

Now, the VXR promises to open up a whole new chapter. It costs just £220 more than its illustrious predecessor, but has an extra 40PS under the bonnet and Vauxhall’s pioneering IDS-plus chassis technology as standard. Thanks to its 240PS, 320Nm 2.0-litre turbo engine which it shares with the Astra VXR, coupled with a six-speed manual gearbox, it can hit 60mph from a standstill in 7.2 seconds, and go on to reach a top speed of 144mph, making it the fastest production MPV in Britain.

To ensure that the car can be agile and responsive through the bends - even with the vastly differing load weights of between one and seven passengers - the innovative IDS-plus chassis with continuous damping control is fitted. Huge brakes (321mm discs at the front) with distinctive blue callipers ensure the VXR can stop safely and effectively, even when fully laden.

The hottest Zafira’s dramatic look is underlined by the exterior styling, with the VXR trademark honeycomb grille, a larger front bumper with a central air intake and integrated fog lights. Deep side sill extensions lead to a new rear bumper incorporating twin trapezoidal exhaust tailpipes. A tailgate-topping spoiler and massive18-inch alloy wheels with 225/40 ZR 18 tyres complete the look. If you still don’t think the Zafira looks like the daddy, then supercar-sized 19-inch alloys are an affordable option at just £500.

The interior is equally dramatic to look at, although it still maintains the practicality Zafira drivers expect. Front seat occupants enjoy the comfort and support of Recaro sport seats in two-tone leather/fabric. Trim strips on the instrument and door panels are colour-coordinated to the seats, and the sports steering wheel and gearshift lever incorporate the VXR logo. Like its predecessor, the VXR uses the ingenious and easy-to-use Flex7 seating system which allows the Zafira to be turned from a seven to a six, five, four, three or two-seater in a matter of seconds without having to remove or stow away the seats.

On top of the already impressive standard equipment, buyers can specify options including Electronic Climate Control for just £250, a Bluetooth compatible mobile phone system for £300 and front and rear parking sensors, to protect that super cool paintwork, for £350.

Published : 20/08/05 Author : Melanie Carter

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