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Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show 2012, the new Vauxhall Astra VXR will offer a remarkable 276bhp from a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine – enough to give it a 155mph top speed as well as out-muscling most of the opposition.
Vauxhall Astra VXR: out-guns rivals with 276bhp
Likely rivals for the new Astra VXR are the 246bhp Renaultsport Mégane, 261bhp Volkswagen Scirocco, and the forthcoming Ford Focus ST.
As you can see, the 276bhp VXR will certainly win that round of Top Trumps. The 155mph top speed is also official – making it the fastest production Astra ever – but Vauxhall is yet to reveal the 0-62mph acceleration time.
Given the previous version made the sprint in 6.2 seconds with ‘just’ 236bhp, the new Astra VXR should comfortably crack 6.0 seconds – assuming its front-wheel drive chassis can achieve the necessary traction.
FlexRide chassis as standard
After all, 276bhp is quite a considerable amount of power to be putting through only the front wheels.
Aiming to improve this situation is a standard fit mechanical limited slip differential, which has been developed to increase lateral grip and cornering traction. Further chassis upgrades also include bespoke Brembo brakes for extra stopping power, and the adaptive FlexRide suspension system.
FlexRide adjusts damping, throttle and steering characteristics at the touch of a button, and in addition to the usual Sport mode the new hot hatch also features two VXR settings for an even sharper driving experience.
Sporty on the outside, sporty on the inside
Completing the enhancements over the regular Astra GTC three-door, the VXR also receives a visual makeover.
This comprises new bumpers, side skirts, roof spoiler and twin-exit exhaust on the outside (the car in the pictures is also riding on 20-inch alloy wheels, but Vauxhall is yet to confirm the standard specification). The inside, meanwhile, gains special sports seats, flat-bottomed steering wheel and new instruments, with a fair spattering of VXR logos as well.
No information on pricing or equipment levels is available yet, but the new Vauxhall Astra VXR is set to go on sale early in the new year.