Vauxhall Unveils New 576bhp VXR8
Vauxhall has revealed its new VXR8 GTS, which features a new supercharged LSA V8 (identical to that used in the recently launched Chevrolet Camaro ZL1), delivering 576bhp and 545lb ft of torque, an increase of 150bhp and 140lb ft respectively over the outgoing, LS3-engined VXR8. Performance figures will be released soon, but bear in mind that even the naturally-aspirated VXR8 achieved a 0-60mph time in 4.9 seconds and a limited top speed of 155mph.
Based on sister company HSV’s new GEN-F GTS, the VXR8 GTS is the most powerful production car ever to emerge from Australia.
“The very fact that cars like the VXR8 GTS still exist proves that there is a small, but immensely passionate band of customers out there who want to drive something which is unique and special,” said Stuart Harris, Vauxhall’s Head of Carline Brand. “In its new GTS form the VXR8 offers colossal power and torque in a package that is more technology-led than ever before, yet still retains that unique VXR8-character that no BMW or Mercedes can match. It’s also around £20k less than its main rivals – the M5 and E63 AMG – yet has more power than either.”
The new VXR8’s Eaton supercharger has 4-lobe rotors, 9psi boost and 1.9 litres of air per revolution. Delivering drive to the rear axle is the latest MG9 spec 6-speed manual transmission with oil cooler and twin-plate clutch (an optional 6-speed automatic transmission is also available).
The new front-end of the VXR8 GTS has modified graphics and shallow ramp angles that are designed to emphasise the car’s width and stance. The focal point of the new look is a ‘twin-nostril’ grille and an all-new fascia that helps deliver an air intake surface large enough to cool the LSA V8.
In fact, a total of 130,000 square millimetres of open frontal surface was needed to deliver the cooling required for the new engine – 75 per cent more than the outgoing LS3-engined car.
Daytime running lights – which can now operate when the headlights are turned on – and 20-inch ‘Blade’ forged alloy wheels complete the front-end design.
At the rear, the VXR8 GTS has new LED tail lamps, while the ‘diffuser’ rear fascia houses quad exhaust outlets finished in shadow chrome. A body-coloured performance rear spoiler with black accents helps set the GTS apart still further.
Inside, the VXR8’s cabin design has undergone a raft of design changes. An upgraded instrument panel with suede-style inserts, a new instrument cluster, gauges, centre console, appliques and door trims combine to deliver a more premium look and feel.
To cater for the extra performance offered by the LSA engine, the VXR8 GTS is fitted with an all-new Brake Torque Vectoring technology. Brake Torque Vectoring helps reduce understeer by generating a ‘rotational moment’ in the rear axle while the car is under power. The Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system detects the understeer, applies braking to the inside rear wheel and transfers torque to the outside rear wheel, preventing the front end from washing wide.
The VXR8 GTS also receives third-generation Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) with three independent settings: Touring, Sport and Track.
Wider tyres also offer drivers more grip. Continental 255/35 R20 (front) and 275/35 R20 (rear) were chosen as standard equipment.
To assist drivers in manipulating the various electronic vehicle performance systems, a new Driver Preference Dial has been developed. Located behind the gear lever, the Driver Preference Dial adjusts settings to one of four modes: Touring, Sport, Performance and Track. The vehicle’s ESC, Traction Control, Launch Control (manual transmission only), and Bi-Modal Exhaust, as well as its Brake Torque Vectoring and new Electronic Power Steering, are then adjusted accordingly.
The VXR8 GTS’s braking capacity has been increased with the fitment of AP forged 6-piston calipers with two-piece discs front and rear. Combined with the increased disc diameters, the calipers – forged from 6061 T6 aluminium – offer an improved strength-to-weight ratio and deliver improvements in brake modulation and feel. The rear brake pad size has also been increased by 12 per cent.
“With our new forged calipers, larger rotors and increased pad size, we’re confident that the GTS brake package is the equal of anything in the world,” said HSV’s Chief Engineer, Joel Stoddart.