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  1. #11
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    17th December 2005

    Default Corsa D, 1.6iT (Z16LET),, 03/01/07
    date: 03/01/2007
    Found by user: Dougie

    189bhp Corsa VXR muscles in

    Could Vauxhall’s Corsa VXR be the most exciting baby hot hatch yet? It’s certainly set to become the quickest, and these teaser images, released ahead of its debut at the Geneva motor show in March, show that the flagship model really will be a ‘pocket rocket’.

    Muscular bumpers, side skirts and a roof spoiler give the Corsa, which will only be available as a three-door, an aggressive stance.

    The VXR will be powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine, producing 189bhp and in excess of 192lb ft of torque, thanks to an overboost facility. This is the same system as that on the Meriva VXR, which temporarily increases the engine’s torque output to assist in overtaking manoeuvres.

    The result is rather rapid — the 0-60mph dash takes just 6.8sec (0.7sec quicker than the Corsa’s closest rival, the Renaultsport Clio 197) and the VXR will reach 140mph.

    Despite this sizzling performance, Vauxhall promises combined fuel consumption of 35.8mpg.

    The VXR’s interior is differentiated from that of the standard Corsa by the addition of drilled alloy pedals, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and a pair of Recaro sports seats. The Corsa VXR will cost £15,995 when it goes on sale in March.
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  2. #12
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    17th December 2005

    Default Corsa D, 1.6iT (Z16LET),, 03/01/07
    Date: 3 January 2007
    By: Tim Pollard
    Found by user: Dougie

    Vauxhall Corsa VXR: the lowdown

    Vauxhall will unleash its hottest-ever supermini in March: the 190bhp Corsa VXR. In keeping with the UK-only VXR branding, the hot hatch will be spruced up with a butch bodykit, a series of chassis tweaks and a turbocharged version of Vauxhall's 1.6-litre engine.

    Vauxhall's previous sporting superminis have left us lukewarm, but this latest one promises some fireworks in the engine department: the company quotes 0-62mph in just 6.8sec, and it tops out at 140mph.

    Quite a pocket rocket then. Have they turned the Corsa into a proper hot hatch this time?

    It certainly looks the part. The wedgy three-door Corsa bodystyle lends itself to the sporting treatment (the VXR won't be available in five-door form) and the 18-inch alloys are just the start of the makeover.

    A deep front air dam and body-coloured V-grille make the car unmistakable from the front, while the racer-style door mirrors and sideskirts lend the car an aggressive profile. At the rear, a centre-exit, triangular exhaust, chunky diffuser and roof spoiler mean you won't mistake the VXR for a 1.3 CDTi.

    Will the Corsa VXR drive like a hot hatch?

    CAR Online hasn't driven the VXR yet, but the omens are good. The basic Corsa is a good starting point and has impressed us with its driving manners, quality and roominess. The VXR's 1.6 is turbocharged to produce 190bhp and has a temporary overboost facility to release up to 192lb ft of torque for brief overtaking manoeuvres.

    Keeping all that power in check is a tuned Corsa chassis, with revised damper and spring settings, plus a new ESP system. Variably-assisted steering tweaks the weight and feel depending on speed (a unique feature in the class, Vauxhall claims). It'll have to be good to beat our current favourites, the Renault Clio 197 and Mini Cooper S, though.

    What about inside the Corsa VXR?

    Roll-resisting Recaro sports seats replace cooking models' flatter chairs, and a Golf GTI-style flat-bottomed steering wheel sets off a purposeful driving position.

    Metallic finishes abound in the cockpit - the pedals are drilled alloy, while the highlighted air vent surrounds and wheel trim contrast the piano black of the fascia. It should be well equipped, too, although we don't know the final spec yet.

    When can I buy a Corsa VXR?

    Vauxhall and European sister company Opel will unveil the hottest Corsa at the Geneva Motor Show at the beginning of March.

    Sales in the UK, its biggest market globally, start in March and it's priced to undercut its main rivals: the VXR will cost £15,595 - £400 less than the Clio 197.

    Running costs should be reasonable, too, Vauxhall claiming a reasonably teetotal 35.8mpg on the combined cycle.
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  3. #13
    VXR Torque of the Devil Sheriff's Avatar
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    17th December 2005

    Default Corsa D, 1.6iT (Z16LET),, 03/01/07
    Date: 03 January 2007
    Found by user: Dougie

    Hot Corsa VXR unleashed

    • New Corsa VXR costs less than £16,000
    • Car on sale here in March
    • Uses uprated version of Meriva VXR engine

    This is the all-new Vauxhall Corsa VXR, set to stir up the mini hot-hatch market when it comes here in the spring.

    On sale in March, it will cost £15,595 -£400 less than Renault's Clio Renaultsport 2.0. It's faster than its French rival too, covering 0-60mph in a claimed 6.8sec (Clio 7.5sec) and reaching a top speed of 140mph (Clio 128mph). It's also less thirsty than the Renault, with a combined economy figure of 35.8mpg compared with the Clio's 31.7mpg.

    Power comes from the 1.6-litre turbocharged engine from the Meriva VXR, uprated from 178bhp- to 190bhp. Like the Meriva, the Corsa has an overboost feature that temporarily increases pulling power to a maximum of 192lb ft to shorten overtaking distances.

    It's only available as a three-door and it comes with unique triangular mirrors, front foglamp surrounds and centre exhaust outlet.

    There are deep front and rear bumpers and side skirts, too, and an angular spoiler is set into the roof. A mesh grille, blue brake calipers and 18-inch alloys also make sure you won't mistake it for any other Corsa.

    Recaro sports seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, drilled alloy pedals and piano-black dash trim decorate the interior.[/b]
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  4. #14
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    17th December 2005

    Default Corsa D, 1.6iT (Z16LET),, 04/01/07
    Date: 04/01/2007

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  5. #15
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    17th December 2005

    Default Corsa D, 1.6iT (Z16LET), UK Preview 8/3/07

    This was one of five previews held around the UK. This was at Wessex Raceway.

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  6. #16
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    17th December 2005

    Default Corsa D, 1.6iT (Z16LET),, 08/03/07
    Date: 08 March 2007
    By: Jamie Corstorphine
    Found by user: DavidVXR

    Vauxhall Corsa
    Test date 08 March 2007 Price when new TBA

    What is it?
    The hot turbocharged version of Vauxhall’s new Corsa supermini. VXRs are known for being well, lairy is the most polite way we can think of putting it. Visually, at least, the latest product from the Luton-town tuners isn’t about to change anyone’s preconceptions.

    With its brash grille, 17-inch alloys, big spoiler, rear diffuser and central exhaust, the Corsa VXR makes the Clio 197 look understated.

    No upsets from the figures, either. With 189bhp the Corsa might lag the Clio on power, but with 192lb ft from the turbocharged 1.6 engine (on 15-second overboost; 169lb ft is normal from 1980rpm), the Corsa is the hardest-hitting of the sub-16-grand hot hatches, 0-60mph taking just 6.8sec.

    What’s it like?
    It might have the usual styling cues, but to drive though, the Corsa is quite different to what we’ve come to expect from VXR.

    Power delivery is progressive, the throttle mapping sensible, with none of the sudden, attention-seeking turbo surge that can make the Astra VXR such a frustratingly blunt tool. Drop the windows an inch and it even does a decent impression of the Astra’s ripping turbo snarl.

    More surprises are in store at the first corner. First, how with very little steering effort the Corsa darts towards the apex – the electrically assisted variable-ratio rack making the steering quick-acting around the straight ahead, more progressive mid-corner and then faster again at full lock. It takes a little learning and, like the flat-bottomed steering wheel, feels a bit gimmicky until you get used to it.

    And while there is occasional stickiness through the wheel on full beans, there’s none of the dreaded torque steer of the Astra VXR. The second mid-corner discovery is grip, and masses of it. Our test car rode on 18-inch wheels, wrapped in 225mm-section tyres, which give the Corsa pretty much unbreachable adhesion in anything less than full hooligan mode.

    Vauxhall says the standard 17-inch wheels give the best blend of handling and ride, and although we’ve yet to try that set-up, we don’t doubt it. That said, on the choppy roads of our test route the big-wheeled Corsa flowed impressively. Over the same roads, a Mini Cooper S would have heads bashing the headlining.

    Be provocative with the throttle mid-corner and the Corsa will react, the rear axle eager to affect the cornering angle. Yet the effect is more comedy playfulness than precision cornering balance. Switchable ESP is standard, quickly curtailing any over-exuberance. Unlike its VXR stablemates – which are rapid, but rather crude – the Corsa VXR is quite the polished article.

    It’s a similar story inside. Yes the VXR steering wheel and Recaro sport seats are both suitably sporty, but they are also perfectly liveable, demanding little compromise. Add to that the intrinsic Corsa qualities of space, refinement and big-car feel and for all the VXR’s go, it’s a pretty civil car.

    Should I buy one?
    The Corsa VXR is infinitely more practical day-to-day than the furious Clio 197 or compromised Mini. With decent kit, including air-con, and a price that’s £400 cheaper than its two chief rivals, the Corsa VXR deserves every success.

    But at the risk of being labelled impossible to please, we have a nagging feeling Vauxhall may have overdone the polishing. For all its outright pace and high grip levels, the Corsa VXR is missing a little rawness and connectivity. For example, peak power arrives at 5800rpm, meaning there’s never the need or desire to chase the redline, or the same sense of urgency you get with the Clio.

    For many this won’t matter, or is counterbalanced by the VXR’s better long-distance comfort. For us, however, it does, and that’s why, by the thinnest of margins, the 197 remains our choice.

    First drive data
    How much?
    • Price when new TBA
    • Price as tested £15,595

    How fast?
    • 0-62 mph 6.8 sec
    • Max speed 140 mph

    How big?
    • Weight no data

    How thirsty?
    • Combined 35.8 mpg
    • CO2 emissions no data

    • Layout no data
    • Max power 189 bhp
    • Max torque 192 lb ft
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  7. #17
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    17th December 2005

    Default Corsa D, 1.6iT (Z16LET),, 15/03/07
    By: Chris Thorp
    Date: 15th March 2007

    With excellent style and performance, the new flagship Corsa is the best VXR yet

    Raw, raucous and racy. Vauxhall’s VXR models are all of these. But how will the formula that made the hottest ever Astra a firm favourite among keen drivers work when it’s applied to the new Corsa supermini?

    There’s no doubt the latest Corsa will turn heads, as the VXR model is striking from every angle. With more scoops and vents than any rival, it is unashamedly bold. However, it’s not all for show, as the bodywork was developed in a wind tunnel and the neat rear diffuser really does improve high-speed stability. Large alloys, plus a high-level roof spoiler and distinctive VXR branding leave you in no doubt as to the origin of the car. In fact, Vauxhall is fast creating an immediately recognisable look for its hottest models, something no other manufacturer can match.

    Inside, the most significant changes are the Recaro seats. They are the very latest design, and offer great comfort and support, while still allowing for side airbags to be fitted.

    Start the engine and there is a rasp from the exhaust, while blipping the throttle sends the rev counter spinning freely. Developing 189bhp, the turbocharged 1.6-litre engine was first used in the Meriva VXR, and here it gives the Corsa an impressive turn of speed. Vauxhall claims a 0-60mph time of 6.8 seconds, and with the turbo kicking in from low revs and an overboost giving extra pulling power under full throttle, it never feels slow.

    The newcomer also proves refined. In-gear acceleration is smooth and, at cruising speed, the Corsa is a capable long-distance companion. It’s less frenetic than its naturally aspirated Renaultsport Clio 197 rival which saves its acceleration for a manic, high-revving peak, rather than spreading it throughout the range.

    The Corsa’s gearbox is a bit disappointing, though, and the large gearlever does little to help the already laborious shifts. The variable assistance electric power-steering will also leave keen motorists wanting more feedback, particularly in the straight-ahead position.

    However, on the road the car still impresses. A hot hatch proves its mettle when cornering, and this VXR benefits from having been part of the new Corsa design and development plan from the very start.

    Riding 12mm lower at the front and 19mm at the rear than the standard model, it also has different suspension settings and a 25 per cent stiffer torsion-beam rear axle.

    As a result, the VXR can tackle tight corners confidently. It doesn’t turn into bends with quite the same verve as the Ford Fiesta ST, but few will be disappointed by the involving chassis. The trouble is, the highly capable standard-fit stability control works overtime trying to get all that performance on to the tarmac.

    It can be turned off, but do this and you’ll soon be on first-name terms with your local tyre fitter. Exiting corners at any more than half throttle sees the power spinning uselessly away through smoking rubber.

    Even though it’s not quite as polished as its Renault rival in pure handling terms, the VXR is easier on the wallet. At £15,595, it undercuts its rival by £400 – and has more standard kit.

    Vauxhall expects there to be a high take-up of extras, including the £400 upgrade to 18-inch wheels. Yet despite its performance, looks and credentials, the VXR is a sound financial proposition – with 35.8mpg fuel economy helping to keep running costs down. Only 2,500 will be sold here annually, which will boost residuals, too. While it’s unlikely to be the top choice for those wanting pure hot hatch handling, the Corsa VXR is enjoyably raw and offers surprisingly good value.

    The new flagship Corsa is the best VXR yet. With a highly capable chassis even in standard form, Vauxhall says its handling is better than that of the Astra, and we agree. Performance from the 1.6-litre engine is strong, if a bit manic when cornering, and the fuel economy figure is impressive. While the Corsa can’t match the Clio 197’s finesse, it’s cheaper and offers greater scope for owners keen on customising and modifying their hot hatch.

    With Recaro seats, classy black interior trim and a distinctive tailpipe, the Corsa VXR is a boy racer’s dream. The 1.6-litre turbo engine is used in the Meriva VXR.
    Engine: 1.6-litre, 4cyl turbo
    Transmission: 6-spd man, fwd
    Power: 189bhp
    Torque: 230Nm (266Nm with overboost)
    0-60mph: 6.8 seconds
    Top speed: 140mph
    Econ/C02: 35.8mpg/ 190g/km
    Price: £15,595
    Standard equipment: 17-inch alloys, stability control, part-leather seats, air-con, CD player with MP3 capability, piano black interior trim
    On sale: April
    Rating: 4/5
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  8. #18
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    17th December 2005

    Default Corsa D, 1.6iT (Z16LET),, 15/03/07
    By: Richard Aucock
    Date: March 15th 2007
    Found by user: NotNormal

    First Drive: Vauxhall Corsa VXR

    What: Vauxhall Corsa VXR
    • Where: Goodwood, UK
    • Date: March 2007
    • Price: £15,595
    • Available: April
    • Key rivals: Clio RenaultSport 197, MINI Cooper S

    Latest model in the burgeoning VXR range aims to be the best one yet. With thoroughly tuned suspension, uber-styled body and a 189bhp 1.6-litre turbo-charged engine that majors on torque, it is hungry for the scalps of supermini hot hatch front-runners.
    • Likes: beefy styling, keen price, effortless ride and handling, punchy engine
    • Dislikes: steering could have more heft – and a bit more feel would be nice

    Golf GTI
    Thirty years ago a few blokes in Volkswagen worked in their spare time to make a sporty version of the Golf. Enthusiasts to the core, they were not led by company chiefs or focus groups. They just did what revved them up. What did they end up with? A Golf GTI – the world’s most seminal hot hatch. Three decades on, Vauxhall has followed this same process in creating the VXR brand. A few blokes, doing what turns them on. “Throughout, we ask stylists and engineers, ‘can we do this?’” says Mr VXR, Stuart Harris. Petrolheads leading petrolheads? There is usually a way.

    The Corsa is potentially the best VXR of them all. An element of the model’s design brief from day one, rather than being shoehorned in like the Astra, it is the VXR guys’ best chance yet of getting the hot hatch they dream about. After flicking through 1980s car magazines, they set demanding targets, forced miracles from suppliers, called upon mates at Lotus to tune the dampers - all to get it spot-on. And throughout the process, they kept on speaking to VXR customers, making sure what they were doing was right. No questioning their efforts. But have they been worth it?

    Beware of the terrier
    Like the Clio 197, the Corsa VXR looks like a friendly puppy that has been to the gym and developed a temper. The squat aggression is evident from the chunky bumpers to the lowered ride height, chunky wheels to the huge rear spoiler. Details abound too, like the central-exit rear exhaust set within a Clio-like air diffuser, BMW M3-inspired door mirrors and ‘triangle’ theme in the grille mesh and umpteen places else. You would swear the rear wings were bulged-up over standard (they are not), and for even more button-pressing expertise, look inside. There, as standard, is a pair of terrific clamshell-back Recaros. Frankly, they are brilliant.

    Set into their sides are the same airbag units as the Lamborghini Gallardo – how is that for kudos. The hot hatch tick-sheet gets attention elsewhere too: chunky leather wheel, metal pedals, piano-black dash trim, oddly-shaped gearknob, racy dials that sweep a full arc at startup (very superbike). All check. Perhaps the seats are a bit high, maybe the wheel is a bit too angled. But it is the best hot supermini interior out there. And the good news does not end there. Start it up, and hear that exhaust burble. Surely that is not factory-standard? Yes it is, via the same rule-break Ferrari exploited for the F430.

    Turbo haste
    The Corsa VXR produces 189bhp – exceeding a set limit that restricts exhaust noise. So it can be louder. And how good it sounds, even pulling away. Here, the steering is light and something of a worry. But the 1.6-litre turbo quickly comes on song and, you find you are pulling with force from 2,000rpm. The VXR flies, right away. Then, whapwhapwhap: the rev limiter stops the action. You will become familiar with this, so freely does it rev, so quickly does it spin its six gear ratios, and so silky-smooth is this super engine. The dash from 0-62mph takes 6.8secs, quick in anyone’s book (and faster than a Golf GTI).

    And it is pace that is so easy to summon, unlike the rev-crazy Clio 197. Indeed, you soon come to exploit the mid-range torque rather than seek crazy rpm, so muscular is it here; 169lb/ft is flat from 1,980-5,800rpm. But for five seconds this is boosted to 196lb/ft when the throttle is floored, turning overtakes into seamless affairs. Fear not about torque steer, either. Yes, the wheel can writhe, and it will squirm under a planted throttle out of junctions, but it is nothing like the Astra VXR’s sideways-spearing excess of hysteria. Maybe this isn’t as exciting, but it is a damn sight more useable.

    Mr Angry, gone supple
    Indeed, those who thought VXR was all about aggression will be amazed by the Corsa’s dynamics. For starters, the ride is superb. Genuinely supple, it tackles undulating, scarred roads with aplomb, absorbing with class and proving the perfect match for Brit B-roads. And, praise be, you can feel the rear end! The VXR men love the 205 GTI, and insisted its mobile rear was replicated here. Turn in and you feel it tuck in; lift, stamp on the anchors, and be ready to catch its rotation. ‘Lift-off oversteer’… we haven’t heard of that from a hot hatch in a while.

    Scary? Well, do not worry too much – that is why ESP is standard. They wouldn’t have been able to do such things without it (think of the liability issues); here is technology working to our advantage, giving us the hot hatches we love but modern-car safety with it (and it’s switchable). This produces an agile, responsive car through the twisties; there is too much ‘grey’ steering straight ahead (and we still craved more weight), but it quickly sharpens in corners, justifying Vauxhall’s first-in-class use of a variable rack. We would like more weight and a touch extra feel, but Vauxhall has done a thorough job on its latest hot hatch.

    The MSN Cars verdict: ****
    The Corsa VXR is a real surprise. We were expecting angry Astra aggression, but instead got a hot hatch perhaps ideally suited to a British B-road. Very fast, agile, easy to drive and reminiscent of the 205 GTI in a way Peugeot can only dream, it is the after-hours project we would all like to work on – but honed smooth by some of the best brains in the business. It is also better-equipped than rivals yet cheaper than them and frankly looks superb. With a touch more on-the-limit feel it would be perfect. Even so, we rate it.

    Ratings out of five: Vauxhall Astra VXR
    Performance ****
    Ride & handling ****
    Interior ****
    Safety *****
    Price *****
    Practicality ****
    Fuel economy ***
    MSN Cars verdict ****

    Need to know
    Petrol engines: 1.6-litre turbo
    Power (bhp): 189
    Torque (lb/ft): 169 (196 overboost)
    0-62 (secs): 6.8
    Top speed (mph): 140
    Combined mpg: 35.8
    C02 emissions (g/km)/tax (%): 190/25
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  9. #19
    VXR Torque of the Devil Sheriff's Avatar
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    17th December 2005


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  10. #20
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    17th December 2005

    Default Corsa D, 1.6iT (Z16LET),, 16/03/07
    Date: March 16, 2007
    Found by user: vxrnewboy

    THE target customer for the Vauxhall Corsa VXR is aged 24 to 30, which leaves me out of the running . . . much to the delight of my son.

    At 24, he was happy to offer his services as the perfect test driver, which meant we spent the weekend fighting over the keys.

    I may be the wrong age but, on behalf of all mature boy racers out there, I still have a pulse and I am capable of burning a little rubber.

    And we golden oldies have the advantage of experience, especially the experience to know a good car when we see one . . . and the Corsa VXR is a cracking car.

    Unlike my son, I remember the original hot hatch supermini icons such as the Fiesta XR2 and Peugeot 205GTi, so I have much higher expectations of the latest generation.

    The Corsa is an instant winner for visual impact. This is one explosive-looking pocket rocket, starting at the action-packed front end with its deep spoiler and air vents cut into the bodywork behind the spot lights.

    The suspension is lowered along with a full body kit that leaves the VXR hugging the road. The rear, with its roof spoiler, is even racier but it’s the F1-style aerodynamic underbody and eye-catching triangular exhaust, that leave you in no doubt about the Corsa’s serious sporting intentions.

    Companies have made hot hatches look horny for years — the real trick is getting them to deliver performance to match.

    This Corsa takes it to a new level for small cars. Vauxhall’s VXR specialists have squeezed every second of performance out of the 1.6-litre turbo-charged engine — a very tasty 0-60 time of 6.8 seconds and a top speed of 140mph.

    Complement that, with a slick and fast six-speed gearbox and steering as sensitive to the touch as Arsene Wenger is to criticism and you have the key ingredients for hot hatch heaven.

    But what I really appreciate about the VXR is how sophisticated it is inside.

    You still get all the go-faster bits like the chunky squared-off steering wheel and mock drilled aluminium pedals but, it’s wrapped in a classier package.

    Which only leaves the price, which at £15,595 is more than double the entry level Corsa. I think plenty of 24-year-olds will want one, but they’ll probably need a helping hand from Dad.
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