Vauxhall has announced that the striking new Astra VXR will be available from April 2012. This is a true performance car with a chassis that was designed by an ex-British Touring Car Champion, aggressive styling to match and a 4-cylinder 2-litre turbo engine that develops 276bhp.
This is Vauxhall's answer to the VW Golf GTI and the Ford Focus ST. The car in fact has more power than either of them, and it also beats the VW Golf R, the SEAT Leon Cupra R and the Renaultsport Megane 250 in this respect.
Vauxhall has not released any performance figures yet, but preliminary tests reveal a top speed of 155 miles per hour and acceleration of 0-60 miles per hour in less than 6 seconds. With all that power and 400Nm of torque, even better figures would not be a surprise.
Visually the car has a lot going for it as well. It was based on the trendy 3-door Astra GTC, but the VXR adds a few modifications, including a rather eye-catching wide honeycomb grille in front, sporty 20-inch alloy wheels and dual exhausts at the back.
The interior of the car also clearly reflects its performance roots. There are leather-trimmed bucket seats, special dashboard dials, a flat-bottom steering wheel and distinctive VXR badge.
No prices are available as yet, but if you have £25,000 stored under the mattress you should be well on your way to owning one of the greatest Vauxhalls ever.
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