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The Difference: VXR Astra, VXR220 and Sport Hatch

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  • The Difference: VXR Astra, VXR220 and Sport Hatch

    Ladies and Gents following lots and lots of confusion regarding differences in engines, components and models etc.
    The below may cause more or answer some questions......
    ENJOY
    Easy one first. The Astra/Zafira VXR is a hybrid turbo that is different to the VXR 220 hybrid turbo. The VXR220 was used in development but the production version was changed. If someone is offering ‘VXR turbos’ then they are probably a hybrid design as per VXR220 , its possible they are the Astra/Zafira ones as they are now part numbered and available , but I didn’t think any parts were available yet.
    Lotus development in Astra G. Lotus spent 10 weeks developing the base Astra 1.6 and a further period consulting on the other engine/suspension packages. 90% of the work was on the base car from which we developed the various set ups dependent on engine and trim. They did no specific work on the GSi set up , this was developed by OPC in Germany.
    Lotus development in Astra H. Lotus were consultants on the base car and were involved in damper tuning only. The main work was done by a guy called Michael Harder at Opel and he involved Lotus only for some specific damper fine tuning. The H chassis is much more tuneable than the G and Michael developed a matrix of front/ rear spring rates , damper tuning and axle stiffness. It was in this development phase that we , Vauxhall, asked Gavan Kershaw at Lotus to tune the passive VXR chassis. Michael would do the active CDC chassis off those spring rates.
    So did Lotus do work on the G? Yes , a lot , and the 1.6 is still rated as one of the best cars we’ve ever had. Did they do anything on the sports versions ? Yes they were consulted on damper/spring rates etc but the main work was Opels.
    Did Lotus do work on the H? Yes they helped with the base car tuning. Did they do anything on the sports versions? Yes they helped set the groundwork for the Opel team to work from on damper rates.
    Did Lotus do work on the VXR? Yes the passive chassis is a Lotus set up and differs vastly from the regular sports chassis.
    Is the VXR chassis more aggressive than the Sri? Yes in every area. Chassis is 15mm lower , front anti roll bar bigger , rebound springs added to front dampers to control roll , new front uprights and steering knuckle raised roll centre up by 30mm. Spring and damper rates increased by 40 and 50%. Rear axle is unique to VXR and effectively invokes oversteer.
    Net result is the car steers and pivots ‘sky hook’ style. Is more composed over bumps and delivers a more direct steering feel.
    Technically apart from the pick up points for the suspension being the same everything else is different.
    The Opel engineering team have done a great job on all the chassis’s for Astra and Lotus was used for UK tuning because of our roads that bear no resemblance to anything in Europe (except maybe Belgium) .
    Does that make the Sri a bad chassis and the VXR a better chassis. Nope it makes the VXR a more aggressive chassis compared to the Sri , that’s all.

  • #2
    great bit of info Dougie
    thanks mate

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    • #3
      Bloody hell!!! Now i have learned alot. Thanks, great info.
      Insignia VXR, quite nippy!

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      • #4
        Yeah, nice one Dougie ta for that.

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        • #5
          That clears that one up then. So fancy giving the same run down on the Vectra

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          • #6
            Yes agreed, thats a really good read. Nice to see the exact differences between VXR and SRi Models and what was involved on the chassis tuning.
            Good point on the VXR turbo's also. Just to help people, here is some info on part numbers and ways to identify if you have purchased the correct turbo....
            VX220 - VXR Turbo unit Part Number 93187491
            Astra - VXR Turbo unit Part Number 55559850
            As a quick visual check, the turbo has an Ident plaque on the compressor (inlet-alloy) housing. The Astra unit the plaque is silver and pink and you will find the above P/N on it 55559850 When the unit first was put on EPC it had a part number of 55557699 however i dont think we ever recieved any with this part number, as by the time the units became available, the number had already changed to 55559850.
            Non Astra VXR unit plaque are silver and blue.
            Another big difference if your plaque is missing, is that on the Astra VXR unit the compressor housing outlet (where the main boost pipe is hose clipped on) hase got as series of big grooves in it to aid hose grip and also a cast in flange that the hose butts up against. Non Astra VXR units do not have the grooves or the flange on them.
            Here is a picture of an Astra VXR unit.

            Here is a close up of the compressor housing.

            Hope this is of some help.
            sigpic
            29 Years as Vauxhall Tuners

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            • #7
              So from all the info, from both Dougie and A11 VXL where there any functional differences between the various types of turbos. Where the non VXR units better at low end spin up, as there have been some comments re turbo lag, but many from the press.

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              • #8
                We have done some back to back tests on Astra G's with the VXR turbo V the standard unit. With the car running the same map, therfore the same amal valve duty cycle and air mass demand from the ECU. The VXR unit does spool up slightly slower however it maintains its boost allot longer. We have also compared the VXR unit to what was the hybrid that most people were using before the VXR unit became available at such an affordable price. This was very interesting as the VXR unit span up far quicker than the other unit but could still deliver the goods at the top end. There is a full report on our site inc graphs towards the bottem of the latest news.
                Interestingly now if you drive a C20LET engine ( Cav/Calibra) you are reminded just how quick the new Astra's G+H are onto boost, the Cavalier felt super quick onto boost back in 1993 however it feels a bit slow compred to the current KKK's
                Progress progress
                sigpic
                29 Years as Vauxhall Tuners

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                • #9
                  The main change between VXR220 hybrid and Astra VXR turbo unit was the requirement to maintain boost for a longer a period and deliver it sooner.
                  Overall we feel the latest VXR unit is more suitable to the Astra/Zafira than the old one
                  Stu

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                  • #10
                    and goes by the name The VXR Mothership
                    beam me up Stuie

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                    • #11
                      I like that handle stu!!!! breaker breaker 10 4

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                      • #12
                        When i looked in to having the turbo changed on my old Zlet Zafira the VXR220 unit was priced at some thing over £2000 but the Astra VXR was only £600 still cheeper than the std LET unit £959.
                        Alot of people sold the VXR unit at a big discount i got mine for £425.

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