Vauxhall is promising improvements to refinement and performance with the next-generation VXR8, revealed this week ahead of its arrival in UK dealers next March.
The Holden Special Vehicles-built super-saloon now takes the Aussie firm’s GTS model as its base, instead of the more lowly Clubsport R8 that was used for the first VXR8.
So while Vauxhall’s flagship will retain 6.2-litre Chevrolet V8 power (now 425bhp, with 406lb ft) — enough for a 0-60mph time of 4.9sec and a governed top speed of 155mph — its spec sheet will now include more advanced suspension technology, a revised interior with HSV Performance seats, and launch control.
The new VXR8 continues with the old car’s MacPherson strut/multi-link suspension layout, and offers a mechanical limited-slip differential, but adds Magnetic Ride Control, which adapts the car’s set-up up to 1000 times per second. The exterior styling follows the GTS’s looks closely, with a new grille, LED daytime running lights, LED tail-lights and a rear spoiler.
As well as the new seats, the cabin gets full leather trim as standard, a new instrument cluster and switchgear, plus an Enhanced Driver Interface to connect with the on-board computer, providing data such as g-forces, power, torque and lap times. Vauxhall will also offer MOTEC sofware for owners to download the data for further analysis.
Offered with a choice of a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, the VRX8 will be sold in seven specialised Vauxhall dealers (but 34 outlets can service it). It’ll cost from £49,500 (including 20 per cent VAT), more than £20k less than a Mercedes E63 AMG