What is it?
It’s an automatic version of Vauxhall’s much-admired, grin-inducing supercharged saloon, the VXR8 GTS.
We’ve always had plenty of time for the GTS, in part thanks to the fact that on the scale of bang-for-buck it represents something of a limited nuclear exchange for a few cents.
Key to its appeal is its supercharged 6.2-litre ‘LSA’ V8. Thanks to a four-lobe, twin-rotor Eaton supercharger, which crams nine pounds of boost into the all-aluminium V8, peak power is rated at a hefty 577bhp. Likewise, torque is an equally impressive 546lb ft.
Compared to the similarly priced four-star Mercedes-AMG C63, it outmuscles its twin-turbocharged German alternative by 108bhp and 67lb ft. Not the be-all and end-all, by any stretch, but nevertheless impressive - and that’s before you start taking into account the myriad, affordable and almost limitless tuning options for the LS range of engines.
As standard, the rear-wheel-drive GTS comes with a stout six-speed Tremec TR-6060 manual gearbox. Those in the market for an automatic, however, can opt for a version that replaces the Tremec and its associated twin-plate clutch with a heavy-duty GM-sourced 6L90E automatic gearbox.
This traditional torque convertor-equipped transmission commands a £1725 premium over the manual version, but it does also come with wheel-mounted paddle shifters for easily commanded manual shifts.
Durability hasn’t been overlooked either, as - like the manual version - a transmission cooler is also included. This should help keep the gearbox's fluid temperatures at sensible levels and prolong the life of both the fluid and the transmission.