It’s not dead. That’s the official line about VXR, Vauxhall’s performance brand of the past 14 years.
But, well, doesn’t it somewhat feel like it is? GSi is back, after all, the model derivative that gave its life so VXR could be born in the first place. Albeit, now, GSi is reserved for Vauxhall’s lukewarm rather than entirely hot models. So, officially, VXR lives on.
Except that the only places it still lives on are the ancient Corsa VXR plus, according to the price lists, the GTC (the even older three-door Astra) and the VXR8/Maloo, which I doubt is true unless there’s a stock of unregistered ones somewhere – great, but unlikely – because it ceased production in Australia last year.
In Australia, the Commodore, which we know as the VXR8, has been replaced by a new Commodore based on the Insignia we get here. That’s available with a V6 – like our old Insignia VXR was – so the new Insignia could, theoretically, have such a performance flagship. However, we’re told with some fanfare, to prove the new Insignia GSi’s performance credentials, that it’s considerably faster than the previous Insignia VXR around that German racetrack you weren’t going to take either of them to anyway, so you can forget that shonky old version.