NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Vauxhall VXR8

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Vauxhall VXR8

The Vauxhall is enjoyable in any situation. It’s a very engaging car to drive.

Rating: **** 1/2 stars

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On the road price: £35,105

For: Roaring V8, meaty road manners, spacious and comfortable, sheer charisma

Against: Very little if you’re a muscle car convert (though it’s far from green)

Vauxhall VXR8

Driving

Vauxhall’s mighty saloon borrows its 6.0-litre engine from the latest Corvette. It provides more torque than even a BMW M5 can muster. In fact, our test car probably delivered a bit more, courtesy of the freer-breathing Walkinshaw exhaust fitted to it (and specified by 98 per cent of those who have ordered the VXR8). But the chief benefit of the pricey pipes is the sound. We usually praise cars that are quiet in our noise tests, but the VXR8’s rumbling note is ever-present and an absolute delight. It’s seriously meaty, and especially good when burbling around town, where it echoes off buildings. The Vauxhall certainly delivers on the promise of that growl, too. Thanks to good rear-wheel-drive traction, it hits 60mph in 4.9 seconds, yet can pull away from standstill in fourth gear. Pick any of the chunky six-speed gearbox’s well spaced ratios and the VXR8 surges on. It’s very satisfying to drive – and not only in a straight line. True, it’s a great long-distance car, soaking up miles and bumps without issue. But it’s the VXR8’s behaviour on twisting tarmac that impresses most. While it’s nowhere near as fast and nimble as, say, a Mitsubishi Evo, the car’s light, accurate steering and good balance ensures great manners at the limit.

Marketplace

The styling of the VXR8 leaves nothing to the imagination. Yes, it has four-door underpinnings (it’s based on an Australian Holden), but as with all VXR models, the Vauxhall knows how to make an impression. Big spoilers, gaping air intakes and huge 19-inch alloys (20-inch wheels are available, too) set the tone. What is surprising, though, is the neat detailing, particularly the LED rear lights. In typical Australian fashion, what you see is what you get. In terms of direct rivals, only the Chrysler 300C SRT-8 really stands comparison; Vauxhall prefers to see it as a good-value alternative to the BMW M5, Audi S6, Mercedes E 63 AMG and Jaguar S-Type R.

Owning

The interior is really practical, with a 496-litre boot and exceptional rear legroom. Slide behind the large steering wheel and the Vauxhall instantly feels more welcoming than the Monaro it succeeds – not least because the driving position is so much better. No longer is your head crammed against the roof, and the switches and buttons operate more precisely. It comes across as a better-quality product, and while the materials aren’t Jaguar-standard, it seems robustly constructed. Even the cabin layout is surprisingly simple, with neat heating controls and useful buttons on the steering wheel. What’s more, it’s great value. With a comprehensive equipment tally and good-value pricing, it looks a bit of a steal. Even fuel consumption may give you a bit of a surprise; it’s extremely rare that we exceed claimed figures, yet our 19.4mpg average bettered the official figure by five per cent. A retained value of around 45 per cent is pretty impressive too, while Vauxhall dealers will help keep servicing costs down (though only 33 of them can maintain the VXR8).

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source:

http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/carreviews/ne...xhall_vxr8.html

Edited by NINETY EIGHT REGENCY
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Now why couldn;t the G8 have had these tailights:

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I like this design better than what the G8 has and it feels more "Pontiac" in style.

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Now why couldn;t the G8 have had these tailights:

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I like this design better than what the G8 has and it feels more "Pontiac" in style.

I hope that center gauge pod ends up in the G8 as well. That looks sick.

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Awesome. I don't really like the tail lights, but everything else looks pretty good (headlights could be a bit better as well). Awesome performance, good pricing, and the interior makes the Grand Prix's look like a complete joke. The best Pontiac ever.

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Awesome. I don't really like the tail lights, but everything else looks pretty good (headlights could be a bit better as well). Awesome performance, good pricing, and the interior makes the Grand Prix's look like a complete joke. The best Pontiac ever.

This man speaks the truth. Bring on the real Pontiac!

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A pretty reasonable review. My own impressions of the car are fairly similar - spacious, comfortable, nimble for it's size and ultimately pretty quick for what is essentially a tarted up family sedan. However, Holden had to make many compromises with VE which is understandable when it you consider that it has to be everything from a base model fleet hack selling for 35k through to a HSV GTS selling for 80k and everthing in between. The interior for example, is very well laid out and and rivals a (swb) 7 series for roominess, but certainly not for quality. That is not to say it's bad, just don't expect too much or you may be dissapointed. What you basically have with VE is a car that does a lot of things very well, but due to it's (very) humble origins it's asking too much for it to be a class leader in all areas, especially for the price. Leave that to Cadillac.

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