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576bhp of VXR8. From Vauxhall

Vauxhall. Maker of dull-but-worthy family cars and rep-mobiles. The inside lane of the M1’s usually clogged with ‘em.

But Vauxhall is also builds the gloriously mad VXR8, all 6.0-litres and eight cylinders of V8 motor that it is. And they’ve just put a new one on sale. This ‘un’s gained 150bhp to bring it to a frankly improbable 576bhp.

It comes to our shores courtesy of Vauxhall’s Down-under cousins, Holden. It’s the most powerful factory-made car ever to leave Australia. The new engine is still V8 but is now a 6.2 supercharged set-up. And all that ‘go’ channels to the rear tyres only.

Vauxhall’s not yet released performance figures, but the previous, non-supercharged car pulled 0-60mph in 4.9sec….need we finish? And all this contained in a four-door saloon that has boot-space for a week’s groceries and a back seat comfy enough to take Grandpa to lunch.

A new one costs a heady £54,999. That’s a lot. Still, in £-per-bhp terms it trounces a BMW M5 or a Merc E63 AMG. Each costs way more but does less.

Oh, and if you needed yet one more reason to want one, that motor also features in the new Camaro ZL1.

And while it may wear Vauxhall’s regular Gryphon badge, it’s packed with techy stuff. Brake Torque Vectoring and Forward Collision Alert are just two highlights. We wouldn’t attempt to even begin explaining what they are: let’s just agree that it must be darned clever stuff, intended to keep you healthy, whatever occurs.

There’s also a bi-modal air intake system, bi-modal silencers on the exhaust and the supercharger is something called an ‘Eaton’. Heady stuff.

Pitch up at your Vauxhall retailer and he’ll fix you up with one, although delivery will be just in time for Christmas.

Alternatively, if you can’t wait that long – or if you’re not quite that rich – try the Autoweb classifieds. Just a third of the price-when-new buys a rather splendid five-year-old.

Utterly crazy, but also curiously hard to resist. We like. A lot.

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  • Paul Davison

    Paul Davison wrote:

    Yeah - Forward Collision Alert is a neat safety feature. It uses a camera above the rear-view mirror to scan the road ahead. If a crash is likely, the control system warns the driver and closes the gap between the brake pads and discs to increase brake response time. Clever stuff!

    14/05/2014 09:25

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