Vauxhall are launching an attack on Ford’s dominance in the hot hatch segment with their new Corsa VXR. To be revealed at the 85th Geneva motor show in March.
The new model is fitted with a 1.6Litre turbo charged petrol engine pumping out 202bhp and up to 280Nm of torque to the front wheels. The VXR averages 245Nm from revs as low as 1,900rpm, which is a significant change from the outgoing car. The sprint to 62mph is done in a quick 6.8seconds reaching a top speed of 143mph.An Overboost function, which feeds an extra 35Nm of torque, is available to the driver ideal for overtaking.
The Corsa VXR has a new aggressive front end with a bonnet scoop in an attempt to further its performance credentials. At the back the Corsa wears a rear spoiler to add some down force over the back axle and there are twin Remus exhaust pipes to help further differentiate the models.
For the very first time, Vauxhall are offering a two-stage electronic stability program and traction control. In its Competition mode, the traction control is switched off and the ESP is a little less intrusive. For those wishing to take the VXR on track, Vauxhall will allow the driver to completely switch off ESP.
To help aid the driver, Vauxhall have enlisted Koni to develop a new technology for their dampers. This new technology will adapt to the way the car is driven. Drive it hard and fast and the car maintains body control, but slow everything down and the dampers favour ride quality over rigidity.
Sitting in the car, Vauxhall won’t let you forget you are in the hot version of their Corsa. Body hugging Recaro seats, a flat-bottomed leather steering wheel, sports pedals and a VXR gear-lever and instruments are all part of the VXR package.
Vauxhall are offering an optional Performance Package which adds a Drexler limited slip differential, larger 330mm Brembo brakes up front, 18 inch alloy wheels and more damper settings.
Vauxhall has really brought their game to the hot hatch party, but on paper the Ford Fiesta ST may have less power, is only 0.1sec slower to 62mph, but has 45Nm of torque more all the time and is great fun to drive, it will boil down to badge snobbery.