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Vauxhall VXR8 returns for 2011

Vauxhall's M5 rival has 425bhp for less than £50k

2011 Vauxhall VXR8

2011 Vauxhall VXR8 will cost £49,500

After an 18-month absence from the UK, the Vauxhall VXR8 will be back on sale in March 2011 – in new and improved form.

The previous VXR8 was offered as a cheaper, no-frills alternative to the BMW M5 or Audi RS6, but for 2011 it becomes a £50k car, just under £17k cheaper than the BMW.        

Vauxhall VXR8: new higher price

The £49,500 price – including 20% VAT of course – is a hefty £10,000 or so higher than the previous VXR8. But equipment is much improved and the muscular, V8-powered saloon gains even more in-your-face looks and an upgraded chassis featuring adjustable Magnetic Ride Control dampers.

The engine is the same as before – the Corvette-sourced 6.2-litre V8 putting out 425bhp and a mighty 406lb ft of torque. Using the new launch control function – included in the Competition Mode on the new two-stage stability control – it’ll hit 62mph in just 4.9 seconds, and do so time and again to within one tenth of a second. The top speed is limited to 155mph.

The higher price puts the revised VXR8 dangerously close to premium-badged (albeit smaller) rivals like the Mercedes C63 AMG (also fitted with a 6.2-litre V8), four-door BMW M3 and Lexus IS F. However, Vauxhall is countering with more equipment to offset the price rise.

Read our review of the BMW 3 Series

Vauxhall VXR8: higher specification

2011 Vauxhall VXR8

Spec is much higher than the previous model

Leather upholstery on power-operated seats, a revised dash, new switchgear and an Enhanced Driver Interface system are among the standard features, the Nissan GT-R style EDI featuring information about power output, drift angles and lap times on the monitor on the dash. Dedicated VXR8 owners can then download information from trackdays for the full race-car experience.

Other significant features include the Magnetic Ride Control dampers, also sourced from GM stablemate, the Corvette. By using magnetic particles in the damper fluid that can increase viscosity to firm up the suspension, this system should significantly increase the VXR8’s comfort as well as its composure at the limit.

Available with a six-speed manual or automatic gearbox, the new VXR8 order book opens later this month. The car officially goes on sale in March.

Read our guide to car options


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