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Vauxhall reveals new 576bhp VXR8 GTS
Some model upgrades factor in modest performance gains and greater eco measures. Perhaps a dandy new trim. Not HSV. The only way this Aussie company knows how to upgrade is to carpet bomb the engine with power. And thanks to sister company Vauxhall, we’re getting one. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the new Vauxhall VXR8 GTS.
It’s based on HSV’s spangly new Gen-F GTS, and will arrive in the UK later this year sporting a Griffin badge, a £54,999 price tag and a great big dirty powerful V8 powering the rear wheels. It’s the same 6.2-litre V8 that sits in the Camaro ZL1, here supercharged to within an inch of its life.
Power then, rises quite dramatically from the outgoing Vauxhall VXR8. It now produces 576bhp and 545lb ft of torque - some 150bhp and 140lb ft more than its predecessor - and includes such goodies as four-lobe supercharger rotors, 9psi boost, a standalone water-to-air charge cooling system, separate transmission and differential cooling systems, a bi-modal air-intake system and high-flow exhaust manifolds. There’s a six-speed manual as standard, with the option of an six-speed auto too.
No performance figures have been released (they probably ran out of rear tyres), but the last VXR8 - with its puny naturally aspirated engine - did 0-60mph in 4.9 seconds. Expect more quickness. And even less traction than previously.
Underneath, there’s a new brake torque vectoring system that helps reduce understeer; the ESC detects it, brakes the inside rear wheel and transfers torque to the outer wheel, preventing you from sending the VXR8’s nose into a tree. There’s also magnetic ride control with ‘touring’, ‘sport’ and ‘track’ settings, together with wider tyres on 20in alloys for better grip.
Oh, and those brakes are beefier than before too. AP forged six-piston calipers sit on larger two-piece discs front and rear. Even the pads are 12 per cent bigger than before.
Vauxhall has sought to temper some of this rampant testosterone with some driver aids, including a side blind zone alert, automatic park assist, front and rear park assist, a reversing camera, a head-up display and even forward collision alert. Though with that new-look front end with its twin-nostrils and daytime running lights, we’re pretty confident other road users will just move out of the way.
Now, here’s the interesting part. That price and power makes it around £18k cheaper than a BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, but more powerful than both. We’re not sure the big lug can quite keep pace with those two, but bang for yer buck, surely you can’t overlook this thing? It’s certainly a rare groove car - since 2007, just 568 VXR8s have found homes.