Vauxhall’s new white brigade hits racing line with btcc drivers
A stunning new Corsa VXR, known as the Arctic Edition, heads up a fresh trio of performance stars from Vauxhall and will make its UK debut at the British International Motor Show on July 22. Joining it on the stand will be the latest VXR8, with its potent new 6.2-litre, 431PS V8 engine, and the recently launched Astra Nürburgring Edition.
Only 500 Corsa VXR Arctic Editions will be sold in the UK, and each will sport unique Glacier White paintwork, bespoke black 18-inch V-spoke alloy wheels with ultra-low profile 225/35 tyres and a Remus Sports exhaust. Arctic Editions also get an electrically operated sliding glass sunroof with interior blind, dark tinted rear windows and a black-painted roof and door mirrors.
In standard form, the Corsa VXR's 1.6-litre turbocharged engine produces 192PS, enough for a maximum speed of 140mph and a 0-60 time of 6.8 seconds. But with the Arctic Edition's Remus Sports exhaust, power is boosted by up to 15PS, enhancing performance still further. At £16,995, the Arctic Edition is just £995 more than the standard Corsa VXR and is on sale now.
Tom Onslow-Cole, VX Racing's rookie star who's currently running sixth in the 2008 BTCC, took a break from testing at Snetterton to wwwire the Arctic Edition. "I currently drive an Astra VXR painted in quite a subtle colour," said Tom, "So the white paintwork on this car blew me away. I also love the noise from the Remus exhaust; it's quite addictive and was developed by Triple Eight Engineering, who also build and maintain our race cars. Sitting here in Snetterton's pit lane, in the Corsa's Recaro seat, the red mist is already descending…."
Vying for attention outside VX Racing's pit garage is the latest VXR8 fitted with the new 6.2-litre LS3 V8 engine, producing 431PS. This car is painted Heron White – a new colour for LS3-engined cars – and rides on 20-inch alloy wheels, which are available as an option on the VXR8. This is the fastest car to wear the Griffin badge, with a 0-60mph time of just 4.9 seconds, so how does Vauxhall's reigning BTCC champion think it compares with his company car?
"My team mate, Matt Neal, owns a 6.0-litre VXR8 and he's always raving about it," says Fabrizio Giovanardi, who's currently leading this year's championship. "I've just noticed that the 0-60 time of the VXR8 is exactly the same as our race Vectra, but I somehow think this one would be easier to live with on the road! I love what this car represents: rear-wheel drive, V8 torque and a great chassis – and that wonderful rumble through the optional V8 Supercar exhausts. This is a true driver's car."