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  1. #31
    VXR Torque of the Devil Sheriff's Avatar
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    17th December 2005

    Default Vectra C 888, 2.8iV6T (Z28NET),, 1/11
    By: Owen Mildenhall
    Photos: David Shepherd
    Found by user: Moschops & Jom

    Rating: 4/5
    Our verdict on a special turbo tuned Vectra VXR 888

    No, your eyes are not deceiving you Ė this is the worldís fastest Vauxhall. Whatís more, itís a near- standard Vectra VXR thatís expected to be offered through selected dealers towards the end of this year.

    Capable of 186mph, itís been built by German tuning legend EDS as part of a project involving race car firm 888. With 252bhp and 355Nm of torque, the stan-dard motor is already potent. But for those who want supercar performance, EDS has fitted a new turbocharger, worked its magic on the ECU, and modified the ex-haust to generate 340bhp and 500Nm.

    Auto Express jumped at the chance to get an exclusive first drive in EDSís development test car, and the performance differences are easy to spot. The car is noticeably more urgent, and you can really feel the surge in thrust as the turbo comes on boost. But itís the acceleration in gear which is really impressive Ė particularly in fifth and sixth, where the ability to overtake or increase speed without changing down separates this model from a standard VXR.

    However, away from the test track putting this much power through the front wheels asks a lot of the transmission and traction control. And with this in mind, EDS has programmed the standard VXRís Sport button to be an on/off switch for the extra performance.

    The tuned parts can be retro-fitted to an existing VXR, or ordered complete with a new car. Either way, the result will be most unlike your average Vectra.

    Our run in this prototype certainly confirms that the engine modifications take the VXR into a new class in terms of top speed and acceleration.

    Untested handling aside, the Vectra VXR 888 is already promising to be one of the most serious performance cars to ever wear a Vauxhall badge.

    'EDS' stickers are the only clue this is not a standard VXR. The 888 versions will have bigger wheels and brakes than the model we drove.

    Engine: 2.8-litre V6, 340bhp
    Top speed: 186mph
    Price: £29,000
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  2. #32
    VXR Torque of the Devil Sheriff's Avatar
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    17th December 2005

    Default Vectra C, 2.8iV6T (Z28NET280ps),, /07
    By: James Mills
    Photos: Nathan Morgan
    Date: January 2007
    Found by user: stephen

    Vauxhall's latest Vectra delivers a lot of pace and practicality for the price

    You could never accuse any of Vauxhallís VXR models of being shy and retiring. Everything about the performance range-toppers is aimed at grabbing your attention with all the delicacy of a slap in the face. From the headline power figures to the confrontational advertising, VXR-badged Vauxhalls are designed to stand out.

    The all-new 2007 model-year Vectra VXR Estate is no different. Not content with having come up with one of the most powerful front-wheel-drive machines money can buy, the engineering team behind the model has upped the ante with even more performance.

    As a result, the turbocharged V6 now delivers a belting 276bhp Ė up from 252bhp. The extra urge comes courtesy of a redesigned induction system and a fresh engine control unit, although you donít need to be going at high speed to appreciate the big Vauxhallís grunt.

    The ability to pick up its heels and dispatch the sprint from 0-60mph in only 6.3 seconds allows the latest hot Vectra to hold its own alongside fully fledged sports cars. With so much straight-line speed, Vauxhall has ensured that the VXRís stability control system canít be turned off. The move keeps wheelspin to a minimum, and stops the Vectra blanketing the road in tyre smoke...

    So for a front-wheel-drive machine that puts out 276bhp, itís remarkably well behaved, even when driven hard across poorly surfaced roads. Torque steer is limited and the Vauxhall is very swift to respond to the throttleís commands.

    Effortless performance from the V6 powerplant ensures the driver will be the king of the motorway, too. The engine sounds fantastic, but the bottom line is that this Vectra is a go-fast executive express. The steering is accurate but rather lifeless and devoid of feedback, while the chassis is competent and sure-footed although, again, itís a little inert. Even with the Sport setting turned on, the newcomer doesnít manage to engage the driver, as the tyresí huge grip over-compensates for any natural handling balance.

    Nevertheless, you can cruise from one end of the country to the other swiftly and comfortably in the Vectra VXR, marvelling at the electric Recaro leather sports seats (an optional extra at £800) or gadgets such as the adaptive xenon headlamps (£850).

    And all the while, you can make calls using your Bluetooth-compatible hands-free phone system (£300) and sample your favourite music via MP3 (£800, together with CD and satellite navigation). As far as executive toys go, this latest flagship Vectra is every company car driverís dream.

    Of course, such luxuries donít come cheap. Add this little lot to the standard £25,515 VXR estate Ė as well as other essential extras such as climate control (£275) and metallic paint (£350) Ė and the price tag will soon soar.

    Whatís more, if you take advantage of the tow pack (£700), Flex Organiser (£50), power tailgate (£500) and alloy-effect roof rails, you will be writing a cheque for a grand total of £30,140. That pitches the car against some highly desirable premium machinery Ė although nothing which will turn as many heads as the outlandish Vectra.

    The latest VXR is not the most sophisticated performance car on the market, but it delivers a lot of pace for the money Ė and the practicality to match. Its engine gives awesome thrust and also sounds good, while the chassis copes well with all that power. But it isnít rewarding enough for drivers. Once you look at Audi and BMWís price lists, some enticing, if more compact, go-fast estates are within reach.

    As with other VXR cars, interior isnít dramatically different from standard, with only aluminium trim setting it apart. But Vectra can be specified with huge range of options such as £800 sports seats.

    Engine: 2.8 V6 turbo, 276bhp
    0-60mph: 6.3 seconds
    Econ/CO2: 26.9mpg/252g/km
    Price: £25,515

    Rating: 3/5
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