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Vauxhall Corsa VXR Arctic White
6/10

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Road Test

Vauxhall Corsa VXR Arctic White

Driven March 2009

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It's a bit of a nutter, this Corsa VXR. It ain't a regular one, see - this is the ‘Arctic Edition' and just 500 will be made. Which, as the more astute of you may have realised, is Very White Indeed. Whiter than a polar bear's wotsits.
 
It has a few differences over the standard car, but first let's talk about the exhaust. Because this one is hillarious. Hilarious in a good way, you'll understand, as it rips through traffic and crackles on the overrun like a south London gunshot, sending shoppers diving for cover into shop doorways. Made by Remus and developed by Triple Eight racing (the guys who sort Vauxhall's race cars), it buys you an extra 14bhp and about 1,000 decibels too. The only way to drive this is with the windows down, a baseball cap on and some sort of drum and bass arrangement on the stereo. You won't be popular, but you'll be having fun.

And now for the other changes. In short, Vauxhall has saved you a trip to Halfords. It has distinctive 18-inch alloys, painted black to match the new wing mirrors and tinted sliding glass roof. You get all the scoops and wings from the standard VXR too, painted in that lovely Glacier White paint, which is bright enough to dazzle Mr Magoo.
 
That exhaust takes power from the 1.6 turbo to 204bhp and will shave a smidge off the 0-62 time, though Vauxhall only quotes the time of the standard car, 6.8 seconds. It drives exactly the same as the standard car, so expect a moment of turbo lag before the front wheels get all flustered as the engine gets on boost and sends them a rush of power. It gets that power down alright - just - but doesn't feel especially refined in how it does it: it's all-or-nothing, and a bit frenzied.
 
So if you can stick the chavvy image, you'll love it. If you don't care about a slightly hyperactive power delivery, you'll love it. Otherwise, you're better off keeping your £17,225 safe for now and waiting for a new Fiesta ST, if it ever arrives...

Dan Read

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