The 576bhp super-saloon has the power to outpunch the BMW M5, Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG and Jaguar XFR-S.
A supercharged 6.2-litre V8 engine powers the new VXR8 GTS. Its engine is the General Motors LSA unit that’s featured in the most recent Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and its power output is 24bhp higher than the M5’s, 27bhp more than the E63 AMG’s and 34bhp more than the XFR-S’s when those cars are in their standard specifications.
At £54,999, the VXR8 GTS also significantly undercuts those cars. Vauxhall claims that it is the least expensive way to buy a new car with more than 500bhp in the UK.
The VXR8 GTS is based on sister company Holden Special Vehicles’ (HSV) new GEN-F GTS, which is billed as the most powerful production car ever to have emerged from Australia. It produces 150bhp more than the new car’s LS3-engined predecessor. Torque is also up by 140lb ft to 545lb ft.
These increases are mainly down to the addition of the supercharger, but a whole host of other engine upgrades feature, including an upgraded exhaust system and improved cooling and air intake systems.
The engine sends its power to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic is optional.
The new VXR8 GTS can sprint to 60mph in 4.2 seconds, and has a limited top speed of 155mph. That makes it significantly faster than the outgoing GTS, which managed the same sprint in 4.9 seconds.
Torque vectoring and Magnetic Ride Control (magnetically charged adaptive dampers) with three modes of stiffness — Touring, Sport and Track — feature.
Mounted behind the gearlever is a dial that allows the driver to control the various electronic systems via one of four settings: Touring, Sport, Performance and Track. The systems controlled by this include the ESC, launch control, traction control, exhaust sound, torque vectoring and electric power steering.
Vauxhall claims that these improvements “deliver greater body control, sharper handling, and a significantly more pliant ride quality” than the previous VXR8 GTS.
Forged aluminium six-piston calipers with two-piece discs provide the stopping power. The 20-inch alloy wheels are shod in 255/35 R20 Continental tyres up front, and 275/35 R20 tyres at the rear.
A host of safety and convenience tech is included as standard. Among the features is a Vauxhall first: a Forward Collision Alert system. This can brace the brakes when a collision is imminent and warn the driver audibly and visibly on the head-up display.