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Vauxhall VXR8 GTS 6.2i V8 vs. Mercedes Benz C63 AMG

Vauxhall VXR8 GTS

Vauxhall VXR8 GTS 6.2i V8 Automatic 

- £51,280

Vauxhall sales in the UK are strong. But not for the VXR8. Other VXR models - such as the Corsa and VXR - are popular but buyers aren't swayed by the Vauxhall VXR8 GTS 6.2i V8 for reasons unknown. Is it because it's a dreadful car?

No, it isn't. The Vauxhall VXR8 GTS 6.2i V8 Automatic is a great car and it's a lot of fun. Its closest competitor the Mercedes Benz C-Class Coupe 63 AMG Edition is over £6k more expensive to buy and more expensive to maintain. For cheapish ultra powerful RWD thrills the VXR8 is a tempting prospect, and it offers the exclusivity of the AMG too.

Powered by a 6.2-litre naturally aspirated V8 the Vauxhall VXR8 puts out 431 bhp and 406 lb /ft of torque. It'll go from 0 - 60 in 4.9 seconds and return a combined fuel consumption of 20.9 mpg.

On paper, then, the VXR8 is a rapid ride. Out on the road it's even faster. You need to work the engine to get the most out of it but you'll be rewarded with a thumping sound track and lots of speed when you do.

Plus, with the VXR8, you'll be the daddy of the VXR's out on the road. You'll get lots of spotty faced kids nodding to you in respect riding in their clapped out lowered 1.0 Corsa's too.

The above isn't a bad thing. Every badge has its fans. It just so happens that VXR fans are young.

There's no mistaking the VXR8 is a car for grownups though. It's tax band and insurance group is incredibly high and to run one it will cost you a lot of money. Less than the Mercedes Benz C-Class Coupe 63 AMG, but lots of money none-the-less.

When you're not planting the throttle and going sideways the VXR8 is not a relaxing cruiser unfortunately. The ride is hard and the engine never seems to shut up. It sounds really nice for a while but at motorway speeds it gets tiring. Is it illegal to wear ear plugs? One redeeming point for the VXR8 is the cabin and the driving position, both of which are top rate. Soft touch materials and well weighted controls make for a semi-relaxing driving experience when not pushing hard.

Then there's the price of the VXR8. At under £52k, it's cheap for the performance on offer, but could you honestly justify paying that amount of money on  a Vauxhall, especially one that's as unsophisticated as this? For less money you could buy a second hand M5 or even M6 that's way faster and way cooler too. Those cars are more comfortable. Then there's the Mercedes Benz C-Class Coupe 63 AMG, a car that's so desirable it makes the VXR8 look like it's been released by Fisher Price. Colour me unimpressed by the VXR8.

Mercedes Benz C-Class

Mercedes Benz C-Class Coupe 63 AMG Edition Auto 

- £58,130

Vauxhall or Mercedes? Erm, I'll take the Mercedes thanks.

That's what 99% of the population would say if given a choice between the Mercedes Benz C-Class Coupe 63 AMG Edition Auto and Vauxhall VXR8 GTS 6.2i V8 Automatic. I fall in to that 99%, and the only people who wouldn't would be Vauxhall management and VXR nut jobs.

The Mercedes Benz C-Class Coupe 63 AMG Edition Auto is a ridiculously powerful coupe that's so bonkers  to own one you'd have to have a few screws loose. It's powered by a naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8 engine that churns out 451 bhp @ 6800 rpm and 443 lb /ft of torque at 5000 rpm. The coupe version, which is exactly the same as the saloon version only minus 2 doors and a lower roofline, will hit 60 mph in 4.3 seconds which is faster than an Audi RS5, BMW M3, Lexus ISF and of course the stupid Vauxhall VXR8 GTS 6.2i V8.

With an engine like that, economy isn't that great in the C63 AMG Coupe; 23.5 mpg combined is the optimistic manufacturer figure, although you can of course expect that to fall when you start to plant the throttle.

Do that, and you'll be propelled up the road at a speed you never thought imaginable. The big V8 makes an incredible roar and the exhaust pops and crackles as you change gear. You can feel the big V8 through the cabin and all you can think about is turning around and doing it again. In the mid-range, the C63 AMG is explosive and will throw you back in to your seat like a turbocharged diesel (only better).

It has a fairly hard ride the C63 AMG Coupe, but with a car as ferocious as this, you'd expect it too - if you want comfort, don't buy an AMG.

Hit a few corners and all you need to do is turn in, lift the throttle, feel the back end slip and plant the throttle half way to have some serious fun. The traction control does an adequate job of keeping you in a straight line most of the time, however, the C63 AMG is best driven by those who are used to RWD as if you're not and you don't know how to correct over steer you're likely in for an expensive insurance bill.

Inside the cabin everything is remarkably luxurious. There's no doubting its sporty nature, but leather and soft touch materials make for a nice place to sit. You may think for a split second you're in a luxury cruiser, until you start the huge engine.

Compared to the Vauxhall VXR8 GTS 6.2i V8 the Mercedes Benz C-Class Coupe 63 AMG is a monster. Not only is it much faster both on paper and in the real world, but it's a far more desirable piece of kit and should hold its value way better too. The only downside to the AMG is that servicing and maintenance costs are high, although should you buy new, the warranty will help.

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