Sam Philip11 December 2013

Vauxhall VXR8 GTS: 576bhp of bargain?

The supercharged V8 brute is in the UK. At £55k, is this the cheapest way into the 500bhp club?

If you're the sort of power-crazed loon who can't be seen driving a new car with less than 500bhp, but have a budget of just £54,999 to drop on your next ride... good news! The Vauxhall VXR8 GTS - the supercharged edition of the car we once called Monaro - is here, packing 576bhp and costing (you guessed it) £54,999.

Vauxhall says the GTS - which gets a fat Eaton supercharger bolted to its 6.2-litre GM V8 - is the cheapest route into the 500bhp club, assuming you're not prepared to import or buy second-hand. And you get a mighty chunk of car for your money: a vast four-door saloon with forged brakes, magnetic ride control and plenty of electronic goodies.

The GTS is 150bhp and 140lb ft more potent than the standard VXR8, and will get from 0-60mph in 4.2 seconds before whacking into its limiter at 155mph. Our man Tom Ford tested it earlier this year out in Australia - the VXR8, of course, being a rebadged HSV GTS from Holden - and came away impressed by the saloon bruiser.

"Any gear, at any revs, this motor picks the GTS up and pelts it at the horizon," wrote our hirsute Associate Editor. "This car is very rear-wheel drive, which, in an increasingly nannyish world, is massively refreshing...."

You can read Tom's full verdict here. And then tell us: is £55k for 576bhp of Aussie metal a performance bargain for us Brits? Or would you sacrifice a bit of space and power for the similarly-priced, 457bhp Merc C63 AMG?

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