Edward Stephens is impressed with the VXR Nurburgring.
Vauxhall Corsa enthusiasts who thought the VXR model was the ultimate hot hatch in the range will have to think again.
Now there’s a new Corsa in town – and it’s even quicker.
The VXR Nurburgring is the pocket rocket with attitude, but it will cost anyone thinking of spending their hard earned cash on the basic VXR an additional £5,000.
For the extra dosh you get a car with a re-worked version of the Corsa VXR’s existing 1.6-litre turbocharged engine producing 205bhp compared to the standard model’s 192bhp, and 250-280Nm of torque, up from 230-266Nm.
The result is a top speed of 143 miles per hour and a 0-60mph time of just 6.5 seconds.
But too much power is no benefit unless it can be transferred to the road rather than spinning the driving wheels so the new car comes with a multi-plate limited-slip differential to ensure optimum traction at all times.
And to make sure this car is as good at slowing down as it is at accelerating, Brembo brakes – which are 30 per cent lighter than before and have high-performance brake linings covering a 10 per cent larger area – have been fitted.
Vauxhall is also rightly proud of the chassis on the Nurburgring which it says gives the car a sense of balance, composure and grip almost unheard of in its class.
Certainly it’s a car which puts a smile on your face when you drive it hard. The free revving engine sees the rev counter needle zipping around the clock like something possessed as the power pours on in every gear. Put you right foot down hard in both first and second and you can feel the traction control fighting to keep everything in check.
Use the slick six speed gearbox sensibly, however, and the VXR Nurburgring is beautifully responsive and rewarding to drive whatever your demands on the car. And the fuel consumption’s not bad either, with a claimed average of 37.2 miles per gallon.
The ride is as firm as you would expect for a car of this nature but it’s far from uncomfortable and I doubt if you would get any complaints from passengers in the front or back seats.
Most people who buy a sporting car like this want to make sure their purchase is noticed so the Nurburgring comes with a whole host of features to tell onlookers that it does exactly what it says on the tin.
There are newly designed forged aluminium wheels in high-gloss grey, a stainless steel dual exhaust, and ‘Nurburgring’ logos on the B-Pillars and the front spoiler lip.
Inside, black and red ‘Nürburgring’ lettering is on the sill plates while the front Recaro seats – which hold you superbly on tight corners without being restrictive – have a map of the famous circuit embossed on them at shoulder height.
Vauxhall sells around 1,000 Corsa VXR models each year and the Nurburgring version is expected to account for 25 per cent of those sales.
The Corsa VXR Nurburgring edition is on sale in showrooms now with two new colours available – apple green ‘Grasshopper’ and red ‘Henna’ – priced at £22,295.