28 May 2004

If you find yourself gawking in disbelief at Vauxhall’s rapid Monaro and VX220 VXR models at the NEC, bear this in mind: by summer 2007, every core Vauxhall model will be available in a similar tyre-burning guise.

What’s more, all of them should be perfectly suited to British blacktop. Unlike the performance arms which uniformly perfect chassis dynamics on the Continent’s marble-smooth tarmac, VXR will hone their vehicles over the same tortuous and uneven B-roads they will be driven on.

Autocar can reveal that the Corsa, Astra, Vectra, Zafira, Meriva and Signum will all be given the full VXR treatment.

‘Imagine the current GSi model, and then add 20 per cent more in every important dimension – looks, sound and performance,’ a Vauxhall insider told us. ‘That’s what we’ll be offering with these new VXR products.’

Conceived in response to Ford’s RS program, VXR is an all-encompassing long-term philosophy, rather than a short-term publicity stunt.

The three-door Astra VXR will be the next to arrive in spring 2005 boasting at least 230bhp. It will be followed by Vectra, Zafira and Signum VXRs with upwards of 250bhp, and Corsa, Meriva and Tigra versions with as much as 175bhp. The full range of VXR models should be in showrooms within three years.

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