Vauxhall VXR8 GTS 6.2i V8 Automatic
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.