First DriveLuton looks to a name change to stoke interest in its hottest supermini; we still like it but its silly pricing means its quality is a moot point
First DriveThis retitled hot Corsa is still very entertaining, but it’s expensive compared to newer rivals like the Ford Fiesta ST
What is it?
This is the Vauxhall Corsa VXR Arctic Edition, the latest limited edition of Vauxhall’s smallest VXR.
The Artic Edition includes a Remus exhaust, 18-inch smoked alloys, and a factory-fit sunroof on top of the VXR’s already decent kit list.
Though Vauxhall officially states that the Arctic Edition has the same 189bhp output as the standard Corsa VXR, it also unofficially states that the exhaust ‘boosts power by up to 15bhp’.
What’s it like?
Raucous. The Remus exhaust is the least subtle of the Arctic Edition’s modifications; even at 30mph in fourth gear, the blaring warble barely subsides to below offensive levels, and that’s only after you’ve backfired through second and third.
But whether you consider the ability to set off car alarms with using the right-hand pedal a pro or a con, you can’t drive the Arctic Edition without enjoying its crisp throttle response and punchy 1.6 Turbo engine, which offers all manner of joys wherever you are in the rev range and will never disappoint for outright speed.
It won’t even be ruined by the ride quality, which is firm but well controlled and rarely uncomfortable, even around urban roads.
The sunroof also adds to the luxuries, but the sat nav is a monochrome relic that doesn’t include any sort of postcode input. It is put to shame by even the most basic portable unit.
Should I buy one?
If you’re part of the niche audience that the Arctic Edition will appeal to, then yes, this modified VXR never fails to entertain.
Realistically, though, north of 17 grand is a very high price to pay given that key rivals, not least the Renault Clio 197, that are better to drive, more affordable and much less likely to inspire hatred in your neighbours.