Development of Vauxhall’s new three-door Astra has shifted to Scandinavia ahead of its launch at the Frankfurt motor show in September. The firm hopes the VXR model pictured here will outscore Renaultsport’s benchmark Mégane 250 hot hatchback on power, handling and coupé-like styling.
The next-gen VXR will get around 50bhp more, taking its power output to just shy of 300bhp, and will also feature a UK-honed and track-developed chassis designed to give it circuit performance to match that of the highly rated Renault, and take on Ford’s forthcoming four-pot Focus ST.
Vauxhall looks set to its stated intention of keeping the hot version of the forthcoming three-door Astra — likely to be badged GTC — as close as possible to the extreme looks of the Paris motor show concept that previewed the new model.
This style-focused attitude is likely to transfer to the entire production GTC range, not just the VXR — but the high-performance variant will get a heavily modified chassis over its more mundane stablemates. “This VXR will be much more extreme and hardcore than the old one,” an insider told Autocar. “It’s being designed to offer a track-day experience far beyond the outgoing model’s.”