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by Mark Tisshaw

New VXR8 GTS produces 150bhp more than the new car’s LS3-engined predecessor

Vauxhall’s new VXR8 GTS super-saloon has the power to outpunch the BMW M5, Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG and Jaguar XFR-S.

A 576bhp supercharged 6.2-litre V8 engine powers the new VXR8 GTS. Its engine is the General Motors LSA unit that’s featured in the most recent Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and its power output is 24bhp higher than the M5’s, 27bhp more than the E63 AMG’s and 34bhp more than the XFR-S’s when those cars are in their standard specifications.

At £54,999, the VXR8 GTS also significantly undercuts those cars. Vauxhall claims that it is the least expensive way to buy a new car with more than 500bhp in the UK.

The VXR8 GTS is based on sister company Holden Special Vehicles’ (HSV) new GEN-F GTS, which is billed as the most powerful production car ever to have emerged from Australia. It produces 150bhp more than the new car’s LS3-engined predecessor. Torque is also up by 140lb ft to 545lb ft.

These increases are mainly down to the addition of the supercharger, but a whole host of other engine upgrades feature, including an upgraded exhaust system and improved cooling and air intake systems.

Performance figures have yet to be revealed, but they will be significantly better than the outgoing VXR8 GTS’s 0-60mph time of 4.9sec and 155mph top speed.

The engine sends those prodigious reserves to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic is optional.

Torque vectoring and Magnetic Ride Control (magnetically charged adaptive dampers) with three modes of stiffness — Touring, Sport and Track — feature.

Mounted behind the gearlever is a dial that allows the driver to control the various electronic systems via one of four settings: Touring, Sport, Performance and Track. The systems controlled by this include the ESC, launch control, traction control, exhaust sound, torque vectoring and electric power steering.

Vauxhall claims that these improvements “deliver greater body control, sharper handling, and a significantly more pliant ride quality” than the previous VXR8 GTS.

Forged aluminium six-piston calipers with two-piece discs provide the stopping power. The 20-inch alloy wheels are shod in 255/35 R20 Continental tyres up front, and 275/35 R20 tyres at the rear.

A host of safety and convenience tech is included as standard. Among the features is a Vauxhall first: a Forward Collision Alert system. This can brace the brakes when a collision is imminent and warn the driver audibly and visibly on the head-up display.

A facelift for the new VXR8 GTS includes a front end that’s designed to make the car look wider. The front grille is also new. A large diffuser with integrated quad exhausts is one of the standout features at the rear, alongside a spoiler.

Improvements to the interior include leather sports seats, a new centre console with integrated infotainment screen, a new instrument binnacle and new switchgear.

VXR8 GTS can outrun a BMW M5, Mercedes E63 AMG and Jaguar XFR-S | Autocar
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