Is there such a thing as too much power? Vauxhall doesn't seem to think so – it's given the tyre-shredding Vectra VXR even more grunt for 2007, with power rising from 252bhp to 276bhp, and there's also a limited-edition Monaro VXR 500 with 493bhp (500ps).
Modifications to the 2.8-litre turbocharged Vectra's induction system, engine components and ECU release the extra power, which shaves four-tenths of a second from the 0-60mph time. The VXR hatch will now hit 60mph from rest in just 6.1 seconds (assuming you can find any traction – all that power is going through the front wheels). Vauxhall says it has also tweaked the car's chassis settings to improve body control without affecting refinement; we suspect it may still be better suited to autobahns than to B-roads.
The Monaro, meanwhile, has had a supercharger fitted – after all, in standard 6.0-litre V8 form it produces only 397bhp, which is clearly barely enough to get it off the line… That supercharger no only adds 96bhp; it also boosts torque from 390lb ft to 493lb ft. There are no performance figures yet, but Vauxhall reckons it should crack 60mph in under five seconds. We reckon it will also make for great tyre-smoking sideways fun. It's also a bit of a steal, at £35,995 on the road.
The Vectra is available from any Vauxhall dealer, while the the VXR 500 can only be sourced from Greens Vauxhall on 01634 246755.