The VXR8 is a comparatively cheap way to acquire seriously momentous power. Even if you were willing to sacrifice size and output to preserve a V8 engine and four doors, something like the Mercedes C63 AMG is still north of Vauxhall’s starting point.
And it’s hardly poorly equipped: the 8-inch touchscreen, 20-inch wheels, brake torque vectoring, dual-zone climate control, leather trim, BOSE audio system, reversing camera and adaptive dampers are all standard. The entire options list consists of a £1300 sunroof and £500 to add a steel spare wheel that eats into boot space.
However, once the buying is complete, some of that saved money will have to be reinvested in running costs. Vauxhall quotes a combined economy figure of 18.5mpg (we averaged 17.9mpg). To put that into perspective, Ferrari claims 18.8mpg for the V12-engined F12.
The Vauxhall VXR8 GTS’ closest European rival – the equally powerful Mercedes E63 AMG S – manages 28.5mpg combined. During its time at MIRA, where not every minute is spent flat out, the V8 was emptying its 70-litre tank at a rate of 7.1mpg. That kind of thirst would run it dry in just over 100 miles.
It’s similarly expensive to tax, and while that will surprise to no one, it’s worth mentioning that most of its rivals are potentially only a facelifted tweak away from qualifying for the £285-a-year band K.
In contrast, the VXR8 is a massive 108g/km of CO2 beyond the point where the 255g/km band M even starts, meaning that from now on it’ll never cost less than £500 a year to keep on the road.