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COR BLIMEY (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
The VXR delivers the attitude we knew was buried in the latest Corsa. Jonathan Crouch reports.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 57
Vauxhall's latest version of the Corsa VXR packs a 205PS punch, a six-speed manual gearbox that'll delight the purists and the option of a Performance Pack with a Drexler differential, Brembo brakes and bigger wheels. Some trick Koni dampers are fitted as standard. Economy and emissions lag behind the class best but otherwise it's a strong showing.
Backgroundword count: 161
Here in the UK, we do love an underdog and on that basis, we ought to be all over the Vauxhall Corsa VXR. It's never been one of the blue-blood hot hatches. It doesn't have the lineage of a Peugeot 208 GTI, the joie de vivre of a Fiesta ST or the track-bred polish of a Renaultsport Clio. What many people failed to realise about the last Corsa VXR is that as a pure road car, it had the licking of a number of more illustrious names. The combination of a slightly more supple ride quality and an aggressively punchy engine really made sense on British roads. Vauxhall built us a car and we didn't really repay them. Undeterred, they're back with another crack. This time round, the Corsa VXR rides on a different chassis and looks a good deal sharper. Can it beat the best in the class? Even if it does, will you take notice? You're a tough crowd.
Driving Experienceword count: 230
Power comes from an entirely predictable source, namely a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, in this case sending 205PS through the front tyres via a six-speed manual box. That aces the Fiesta ST's 182PS but look a bit more closely and you realise that the performance margin isn't huge. The Corsa manages 245Nm of torque, with overboost lifting that to 280Nm for a few seconds at a time. By contrast the Ford makes 240Nm of torque, overboosting to 290Nm. And so it proves with the raw numbers, the Corsa getting to 62mph in 6.8 seconds with a top speed of 143mph, while the Fiesta manages 6.9 seconds and 137mph. So, a small edge to the Vauxhall then. The Corsa VXR gets Koni dampers with Frequency Selective Damping (FSD) and rides 10mm lower than the standard Corsa. For the first time on a hot Corsa, the ESP and traction control systems are both two-stage and switchable, which is a Vauxhall first. Competition mode disengages traction control and reduces ESP interventions, while for track use the ESP can be entirely switched out. The electrically-assisted power steering has been revised for a more direct feel, with the 17-inch alloys shod with some beefy 215/45 R17 Michelin rubber. Tick the Performance Package option and you get an aggressive Drexler limited-slip differential, big 330mm Brembo brake discs at the front, punchier damper settings and 18-inch rims.
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Category: Sporting Cars
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