What is it?
It's doubtful that any affordable fast car - anything short of a special edition Porsche 956, frankly - could pull off a name like 'Nurburgring'. A fast supermini would have to be very special indeed to justify being named after the most notorious motor racing circuit in the world.
Good job, then, that the new Vauxhall Corsa VXR Nurburgring Edition is exactly that sort of car.
What’s it like?
Using a regular 189bhp Corsa VXR as a departure point, Opel/Vauxhall's performance division OPC revised the turbo, fitted a new exhaust and ECU, and raised power by 13bhp to 202bhp, and torque to 207lb ft on overboost. Running on 100 octane petrol, this Corsa can even produce a class leading 207bhp.
And that's just for starters: this Corsa also gets specially selected progressive springs and inverted monotube dampers by Bilstein, and rides 20mm lower than a regular VXR at the front. It's got lightweight Brembo brakes, lightweight forged alloys, and a torque-sensing mechanical limited slip differential between its driven front wheels. It's the first Vauxhall fitted with an LSD since the 1990s Omega.
And it's fast, focused and sensationally fun to drive on track. Opel/Vauxhall took us to the Lausitzring in eastern Germany to test its new hot hatchback, and there unearthed a front driver with quite incredible traction, agility and outright pace.
The diff's the key. Turn into a corner in this car and there's grip, balance and body control to match the plentiful available performance. But pick up the throttle mid-corner and, instead of steadily nosing wide like most front drivers, the Corsa Nurburgring serves up nothing but traction and cornering yaw, hauling you further towards the apex. Both through apices and out of corners, it's unbelievably fast and composed. Even Renault's mighty Clio Cup couldn't keep up.
Should I buy one?
A question mark remains about the Corsa's road manners: our test route was exclusively on circuit, so it remains to be seen how well this thoroughly hardcore Vauxhall will ride on British roads.