Luton's 170mph VXR8 saloon offers 414bhp for less than £35k
26 February 2007

Here's something to make you forget about congestion charging, road pricing and ever more tax on the motorist. For just £34,995, you could have a rip-snorting, 414bhp V8-powered muscle car on your drive.

Vauxhall is bringing over the Holden HSV Clubsport R8 from Australia, rebadging it the VXR8 and flogging it to us lucky Brits from July.

In typical Aussie muscle-car fashion it's about as subtle as 'roo in the dunny, or whatever it is they say. We're already looking forward to driving it.

Under the bonnet is the same 6.0-litre 414bhp, 406lb ft V8 as in the now-defunct Monaro. That's enough to shoot this four-door five-seater to 60mph in 4.9sec and on to a governed 170mph top speed - only 7mph slower than the legendary Lotus Carlton.

The antisocial antipodean's urge should also be more than adequate to ensure a whole heap of tyre-smoking drifting action (if you turn off the standard stability and traction controls, naturally) since, following in the tradition of all great Australian muscle cars, it's rear-wheel drive.

If you’d rather just cruise around, enjoying the rumble of the V8 from the quad exhausts, the VXR8 will also be available with an auto box, though it does have a manual override. The Monaro, the VXR8's immediate predecessor, was manual only.

Meanwhile, for those of us who think that 414bhp simply isn't going to be enough, there's a supercharged version of the VXR8 on the way too. Ripper, as they say Down Under.

Rory Lumsdon

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