What is it?
The VXR8 GTS-R is the very limited-edition model that marks the demise of the V8-powered Vauxhall… probably forever. The VXR8 is really a rebadged Holden Commodore and, with Australian car manufacturing being wound down, the Commodore as we know it will soon be no more. If that wasn’t enough to kill off the VXR8, the Luton marque’s sale to PSA Group earlier this year would have done for the charismatic old brute anyway.
Vauxhall has been importing Commodores and sticking Griffin badges on them for a decade now and, before that, it did much the same with the Monaro coupé. So what we’re saying farewell to here - with Vauxhall’s most powerful car ever, no less - is 13 years of big power, V8-engined, rear-wheel-drive thugs. A sad day, indeed.
Just 15 GTS-Rs will be sold in the UK, so it will always be a proper unicorn car. That’s just as well because the £74,500 asking price - for a rebadged Commodore, remember - puts the car firmly in a territory that’s labelled ‘punchy’. A number of software and induction upgrades to the supercharged 6.2-litre V8 have lifted power by a very modest 11bhp over the VXR8 GTS, taking total output to 587bhp. Torque remains at 546lb ft. The VXR8 is a sizeable thing and weighs in at a rather chunky 1880kg.
Vauxhall quotes a 0-60mph time of 4.2sec and an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. A limited slip differential, torque vectoring by braking and enormous 410mm brake discs on the front axle are all there to rein in the monstrous power.
It's a limited-edition model, and that means limited chances to test it. We're the first publication to be given a run in the VXR8 GTS-R. So what did we make of it?