Once again the Aussies, and their British partners at Vauxhall, are putting up a fight against Europe’s finest high-performance saloons, the BMW M5 and Mercedes E63. As always, they are relying on their superior firepower to challenge the German’s sophisticated technology. The new Vauxhall VXR8 packs a staggering 576 bhp.
That power comes from an all-American 6.2 liter supercharged LSA V8, the same engine they put in the Camaro ZL1. With 545lb ft of torque, the VXR8 can do 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, but the top speed is sadly limited to 155 mph.
So it is not faster than the German rivals, and with that design – though revised and refined in the new version – it is not just as desirable. But the Vauxhall’s winning card is its price tag which is much thinner than that of the M5 and E63. And it is cheaper to run. And it is more fun to drive.
These days driving fun in synonymous with the ability to pull massive powerslides and drifting. That’s always been the VXR8’s forte. Now with more power under the bonnet, it is going to be an absolute hoot. It was developed by the Australians, don’t’ forget, and they are all drunk all the time!
The VXR8 might take pride in being simple and straight forward, but it does get its fair share of technology features. It comes with ESC, Traction Control, Launch Control (manual transmission only), and Bi-Modal Exhaust, as well as its Brake Torque Vectoring and new Electronic Power Steering. You also get Side Blind Zone Alert with Reverse Traffic Alert, Automatic Park Assist, Front and Rear Park Assist, Reversing Camera, Passive Entry/Push Button Start, and a Head Up Display.