➤ 202bhp (205PS / 151kW), up to 280Nm via 1.6-litre turbo. ➤ 0-60mph in 6.5s, peaking at 143mph. ➤ Arrives in UK showrooms in May.
Hot on the heels of the much-improved 2015 Corsa, comes news that Vauxhall is to debut the new Corsa VXR hot hatch at the Geneva Motor Show next month.
The new Corsa VXR follows on from the original model launched in April, 2007 which was subsequently upgraded to the Nürburgring edition, released in 2011. So, it’s been a while coming.
Poised to deliver a bloody nose to both the Peugeot 208GTi and Fiesta ST – both excellent cars in their own right – the new Corsa VXR will borrow recent improvements in interior and exterior designs, chassis enhancements and technological advances from the new Corsa (E). It is expected in UK showrooms in May.
Performance figures given in advance of the launch aren’t too shabby with the Corsa VXR reaching 60mph from a standstill in 6.5 seconds, with the speed topping out at 143mph, which in both respects is quicker than its predecessors. However, the real good news is the torque output of 245Nm is available lower down the rev scale and before the word ‘banshee’ screams into play. The best grunt exists between 1,900 and 5,800, against 2,250 to 5,500rpm for the outgoing Nürburgring and ClubSport models. Indicative of the mid-range torque on offer is its ability to spurt from 50-75mph in just 6.6 seconds – in fifth gear no less.
Our Vauxhall insider confirmed that there is an 12-second overboost facility (formerly five seconds) which offers up a further 35Nm of torque, for swift and safe overtaking.
A 1.6-litre turbo petrol engine will again power the front wheels via a manual six-speed short-shift ‘box. Its total output is 202bhp, while the Corsa VXR achieves 37.7mpg on the combined cycle with CO² emissions of 174g/km.
Vauxhall called on the services of performance damper manufacturer Koni to develop an all-new damper technology dubbed ‘frequency selective damping’ (FSD) for the new VXR Corsa. FSD allows damping forces to adapt to the car’s movements, ensuring that body control is maintained when the car is driven fast, but ride quality is optimised at lower speeds. In addition, the car’s ride height has been lowered by 10mm all round over the standard Corsa.
Already a considerable improvement from the previous standard Corsa, the VXR steering has been re-tweaked for extra precision. For greater driver engagement (read ‘fun’), the car’s stability control offers three degrees of thrill: ‘On’, a more indulgent ‘Competition Mode’, or simply off – gentleman’s undercarriage permitting. Contact with the black stuff is via Michelin 215/45 R17 footwear as standard, as are 308mm front brake discs.
On the outside, an aggressive redesigned front end features large air intakes and an aluminium-framed opening below the headlights. A small scoop is located below the bonnet and side-sill extensions add visual gravitas. At the rear, a roof-mounted spoiler provides downforce over the back axle, while CO² is expelled via dual Remus exhaust pipes – perfect for those repeated tunnel drive-throughs.
Six exterior colours are available and the cabin furniture includes standard Recaro seats, a flat-bottomed leather steering wheel, sports pedals, as well as a VXR gear-lever and instruments. A heated front windscreen and Intellilink connectivity for Apple iOS and Android smartphones are also standard.
For those who think they can handle it, there’s the ‘performance package’ which brings with it the Drexler mechanical limited-slip differential that proved so effective in Corsa VXR special editions of old, as well as the bigger, more powerful Astra VXR. The pack also adds chunky 330mm Brembo front brake discs, 18-inch alloy wheels and (yet still) sharper damper settings.
There will more details released before the curtain goes up on yet another Geneva Motor Show next month, but in the meantime start borrowing around £18,000 for the standard Corsa VXR and then beg, steal or borrow a further £2,000 for the performance pack – because you’ll want to.