24 December 2004

This dramatic coupé is a major re-working of the Vauxhall VX220. It’s powered by an updated V6 and promises to deliver genuine supercar perfromance. Built by new independent British firm S.Sport, the V-XS is in the final design stages and will cost from £45,000. Starting with a VX220, and retaining the bonded aluminium chassis and its body structure, the company extends the wheelbase by 170mm (making it longer than a Porsche 911) and the front and rear tracks by 100mm, before dropping in an uprated 326bhp version of Vauxhall’s V6, uprating the suspension and installing AP Racing four-pot brake calipers. It also gets a stronger clutch. Simon Scleater, S.Sport’s technical director, claims the weight distribution is now rear-biased at 44:56.

Vauxhall has been supporting the project from conception, supplying parts and technical know-how, although still distancing itself from the finished product. Buyers will get a 12-month/ 12,000-mile warranty from Henley Heritage, the TVR dealer that will also act as distributor for the V-XS. S.Sport is also planning a £50k lightweight track-oriented version called VX LWC, featuring upgrades such as extra brake cooling. Weighing 900kg, the V-XS is predicted to have a 0-60mph time of around four seconds and a top speed of 160mph.

The company is planning to build no more than 10 cars in 2005 as it slowly establishes itself; Scleater and Henley Heritage’s dealer principal Adrian Doman have put together the first cars without financial backing. The company says the lead time will be around six weeks and buyers can either have their own VX220 converted for around £20k or have the car built from new. Henley is taking £1000 deposits now – the first cars should be ready by spring.

Our Verdict

Alpina B5

The Alpina B5 is very quick, but it is let down by uninvolving driving dynamics

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