Vauxhall/Opel has turned to British roads - and Lotus's engineering division - to fine-tune the forthcoming Astra VXR for UK buyers.
Most development work on the next-generation three-door Astra, likely to carry the badge GTC, has been conducted around Opel's traditional engineering base in Germany.
However, for the high-performance version of the car, which is expected to have between 280bhp and 300bhp, the firm is said to have turned to the chassis experts at Lotus for assistance. It's not the first time that Lotus has worked on a hot Astra; it was widely recognised as a strong influence over the set-up of the previous VXR.
Official confirmation of the involvement is unlikely to be forthcoming, however, since it is said to have been conducted on a consultation basis.
While the old VXR had an electronic 'limited-slip differential' system, Vauxhall/Opel is said to be switching the next version of the car to a mechanical set-up. It's likely that one of Lotus's main missions will have been to tune this set-up, aiming to reduce torque steer. The car is also likely to get the Hyperstrut front suspension that was developed for the Insignia VXR.
The new VXR will arrive at roughly the same time as the regular three-door Astra - but that's not expected to be until the end of next year.