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2011 Vauxhall VXR8 is all we really want for the holidays


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2011 Vauxhall VXR8 is all we really want for the holidays

by Noah Joseph (RSS feed) on Dec 15th 2010 at 10:01AM


Listen, General Motors. We know you're kinda busy getting back on track, jump-starting your IPO, and generally getting your house in order. We appreciate it and everything. But could we ask just one favor? You see this Vauxhall? Could you bring it over to this side of the Atlantic, please? You don't have to bring Pontiac back to do it, no matter how many people are still looking it up on Google. You can slap a Bowtie badge on the nose – heck you can make it a Buick if you want. Call it a Daewoo for all we care. Just bring it here.

What we're talking about is the new Vauxhall VXR8, and it could very well be the best performance sedan The General offers this side of the Cadillac CTS-V. And it's just undergone a series of updates, complete with a restyled front end, tail and interior, along with some new gizmos to keep all the power in check.

The VXR8 is based on the Holden Commodore, but instead of the hot ClubSport R8 model on which the previous Vauxhall was based, the new model starts with the new E3 GTS just launched in Australia. That means a 6.2-liter LS3 V8 with 425 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque – kept in line by new Magnetic Ride Control and Launch Control systems, driving through a six-speed transmission (automatic or manual) and a mechanical diff – for a 4.9-second sprint to 60 mph and an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph.

There are plenty more reasons to want this muscle sedan on American shores, pronto, and you can read all about 'em in the press release after the jump. We just hope someone at the RenCenter is listening.

[source: Vauxhall]

Show full PR text


New VXR8 hits UK dealers next March, based on higher-spec GTS model

Re-designed exterior and new interior with full leather trim as standard

Magnetic Ride Control & Launch Control complement 431PS V8 powertrain

Luton – Vauxhall's storming VXR8 model is back with a vengeance, packing heavily revised front- and rear-end styling, a new cabin and a raft of new technology to enhance its appeal to drivers in search of one of the last, great rear-drive V8 super-saloons.

Priced at £49,500 (inc. 20 per cent VAT) and available to order later this month, the new VXR8 is now based on HSV's E3 GTS model, just launched in Australia, the previous VXR8 representing the old version of the lower-spec ClubSport R8. That means it still undercuts full-size super saloons like the Audi RS6, Jaguar XFR and Mercedes E63 AMG by between £13k and £29k, and even performance saloons from the class below, such as the BMW M3 and Mercedes C63 AMG.

A new, 'Shockwave' grille, LED daytime running lights and sleek new wing-vents mark the new car out from the front, while the rear features a new 'Superflow' rear spoiler, LED tail lamps and twin exhaust tips that mimic the shape of the front grille. As you can see from these first official press shots of our Hazard Yellow car, the new VXR8 will never blend into the scenery!

As before, the new VXR8's race-bred chassis uses MacPherson struts/progressive rate coil springs at the front and a multi-link independent set-up at the rear. But for the first time on a VXR8, Vauxhall has employed Magnetic Ride Control (MRC), a suspension system which adapts up to 1000 times a seconds to road conditions and driver inputs. Based on technology used in GM's current Corvette ZR1 supercar, MRC works by sending an electric current through damper units filled with 'soft' magnetic particles. These particles harden as the input reaches its maximum value, providing drivers with exceptional levels of ride, handling and stopping power.

Complementing the new VXR8's MRC is Launch Control, which is engaged when drivers select the ESC's (Electronic Stability Control) Competition Mode. The system dictates the level of torque delivered to the rear wheels for maximum acceleration, according to surface conditions. All the driver has to do is floor the throttle and let the car do the rest. Extensive testing has proved that LC results in acceleration runs no more than 0.1 second apart.

Of course, no VXR8 would be complete without a large-capacity V8, and this latest version doesn't disappoint. The fourth generation 6.2-litre LS3 unit produces 431PS and a massive 550Nm of torque, enough to propel the VXR8 from 0-60mph in 4.9 seconds and on to a governed top speed of 155mph. As before, drive is delivered to the rear axle via either a six-speed manual or auto transmission, working through a mechanical limited slip differential.

Inside, the new VXR8 has undergone a transformation. Full leather trim is now standard, and front occupants are cocooned in special HSV Performance Seats with eight-way adjustability. A new instrument cluster and surround, centre stack and switchgear provide a cleaner and more integrated look, while standard equipment also includes Aux-in/USB inputs, iPod support and Bluetooth with phone book display and touch-screen dialling.

But for drivers who want to engage with their VXR8 like never before, Vauxhall has introduced EDI, or Enhanced Driver Interface. EDI connects with the on-board computer to constantly stream real-time vehicle dynamics and performance to the car's main 5-inch monitor. At the touch of the screen, drivers can access a variety of data such as vehicle G-forces, power and torque and lap times – even the degree to which their VXR8 is drifting. Completing the clever package is the ability for drivers to download data, such as track day performance, and analyse it using the MOTEC i2 software provided.

Befitting its exclusivity, the VXR8 is now available through just six highly specialist VXR dealers in the UK, though a total of 34 VXR outlets will be authorised to maintain the model.



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HSV back in business in UK



Pounding V8: The Brits will now receive a rebadged version of HSV's top-tier GTS instead of the Clubsport R8, in return for a £14,525 price hike.

Vauxhall’s Aussie-made VXR8 steps up a grade – and price – as exports resume

16 December 2010


HOLDEN Special Vehicles has resumed exports to Britain’s Vauxhall after a 10-month hiatus, in preparation for the launch of its latest E Series 3 muscle car under Vauxhall VXR8 badges in March.

Exports were suspended in January after the global financial crisis skittled sales of such vehicles in the UK, although technically, the 6.2-litre V8 VXR8 remained on sale.

The UK-spec VXR8 that was previously based on the entry-level ClubSport has been lifted to GTS standard for 2011, getting the more powerful 325kW powertrain, a pile of extra equipment and a hefty £14,525 ($22,901) price rise.

While part of the price rise can be attributed to the move to the higher grade and latest E Series 3 technology improvements, some of it can be blamed on the escalation of the Australian dollar against the UK pound.

When the E Series Vauxhall VXR8 was launched in Britain in 2007, an Australia dollar could buy 42 UK pence. Now, the $A is worth 63 pence, representing a one-third drop in the value of the pound and a tougher task for Australian exporters such as HSV.

However, offsetting that is the power of the $A against the US dollar, meaning more favourable exchange rates on big-ticket components such as the LS3 Chevrolet Corvette engines and transmissions imported from North America.

In Australia, the 315kW HSV ClubSport E Series 3 sells for $69,600 – $15,800 cheaper than the hard-core GTS.

In the UK, the price for the VXR8 rises from ₤35,275 ($A55,612) for the ClubSport-based E Series 2 VXR8 to ₤49,500 ($A78,029) for the GTS-spec E Series 3 model – a difference of ₤14,525 ($A22,901).

Despite the price rise, Vauxhall says the VXR8 represents great value in the UK, undercutting “full-size super saloons such as the Audi RS6, Jaguar XFR and Mercedes E63 AMG by between £13k and £29k, and even performance saloons from the class below, such as the BMW M3 and Mercedes C63 AMG”.

Apart from greater performance from the more powerful 325kW/550Nm LS3 V8, fresh front and rear styling and redesigned E Series 3 interior, the 2011 Vauxhall VXR8 now gets leather trim, Magnetic Ride Control and Launch Control.

Like E Series 3 drivers in Australia, VXR8 buyers also get the new Enhanced Driver Interface (EDI) that provides real-time vehicle dynamics and performance data – including G forces and lap times – on the car’s main five-inch monitor.

Vauxhall is quoting a 0-60mph sprint time of in 4.9 seconds and a governed top speed of 155mph (250km/h).

The latest VXR8 is available only through six specialist VXR dealers in the UK, although 34 Vauxhall dealerships can service them.

HSV has sold more than 900 Holden-based cars in the UK since it entered the market in 2006 with its version of the VZ Monaro that was sold as the Vauxhall Monaro VXR.

The car was a hit with top-rating TV show Top Gear, helping to make the big Aussie V8 sedans something of a cult car in Britain.

HSV has also started exports of small numbers of cars to Singapore via an independent dealer, as well as New Zealand where the E Series 3 was launched in October.



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  • 5 months later...

They could stand to take away all the boy-racer bits and offer it in grown-man colors. But I still love the actual car. This thing could definitely take down the updated Genesis and M56 as a Buick.

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