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A perspective on the Monaro VXR

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  • A perspective on the Monaro VXR

    I have always been a huge fan of Vauxhalls, right back before the VXR range. Couldn’t tell you why, just liked their style, Many say they are cheap, unreliable and slow, but I think Irmscher is one of the best suited styling companies to any manufacturer, and of the 2 brand new Vauxhalls I have owned, none have EVER gone wrong.
    The VX220 Turbo was the one that made me think in general terms "This could be it, Vauxhall are finally catering for a modern market". I was so impressed I drove it 3 times! What came next was the VXR Range, and for me, the lines, curves and presence of these vehicles define in its pinnacle of glory what beautiful vehicles are all about. Some will say beauty is a thing of the past, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The look of the VXR is one of quality, performance and originality.
    The Zafira and Meriva VXR are great cars, but it is the likes of the Astra, Vectra and Monaro that I personally think define what VXR range is all about. The view of an Astra side on is jaw dropping; if it could be compared to a human it looks as detrimental as a bodybuilder's bicep. The best thing of all is its ability to carry this with its drive; it does not break the Golden Rule of looking faster than it is. And what is more impressive than seeing an eye-catching electric blue Vectra VXR approaching in your mirror, only to see its sleek shape glide past and catch glimpse of those subtle yet aggressive exhausts hanging out of either side. Feel like taking it on? No. Didn’t think so.
    So the Monaro then. This Australian originating muscle car has always been near the top of my list to drive. So I found a 6.0 VXR version in black with the LS2 engine, and phoned the dealer. Before setting off and having started the engine, I was shocked to hear "So you have driven one of these before then?" I said "No, why?". I was told "Just wondered, you seemed to know about it not starting unless the clutch is down". I then explained my position and the fact that I always do this to avoid false neutrals. All was well and off we went.
    Got a bit bored in Wimbledon I must say. You see it's built up round there and I was frustrated not being able to take it out of 1st gear. So to the A3 we roared. I loved taking off from a standing start, as the acceleration is so immense you cannot help but feel the loss of propulsion, no matter how quick you change up the box. The power is delivered in big wafts, and an effective, hard working V8 growl. In fact the sound is something that you never have and probably never will hear again in a Vauxhall. The acceleration in this car is phenomenal. It reminds me so much of the BMW M5 (W to 04 reg), which I have driven twice. I would even go as far as to say that it is quicker than the M5 in higher gears (4th upwards). We were going through Gatso's at the speed limit (50mph) in 4th gear. Yes I changed down a few times to test it from 2nd and 3rd gears, and in both gears the car pulled away hard and strong, ploughing past cars and crushing them into micro-machines in the rear-view mirror. I was a tad surprised that it managed to do this so well even in 4th gear. The torque is above and beyond what I was expecting. Despite all this, and even applying smooth acceleration round slight bends, the back end was firmly planted and I felt confident to give it more and more and more. The back end never flicked, wobbled or twitched, not once.
    I felt that this is a car you really have to have your eyes peeled on the horizon for when taking it up to its limits. But in addition your foreground and peripheral vision are just as important, as other vehicles will not be anticipating your approach speed and will often pull out in front of you. The G Force of straight-line speed never seems to diminish through the first 3 gears, and it is almost the same with 4th gear too.
    I would love to have one if these cars, I really would. I love its simplicity, coupled with an absolute determination to fulfil the purpose for which it was built. Not in Black mind as it's impossible to keep clean. No a nice Red or Yellow, possibly Blue. I don't understand how anyone can criticise this car. Where else can you find 398BHP Brand New for under £35'000? Where else can you find for the same price Super-Saloon interior comfort and good reliability (i.e. Its not a TVR). All this as well as its most outstanding feature... It's looks.

  • #2
    Great write up.
    If you ever around Kent let me know. We 'enhance' alot of Monaro's and the changes with a simple exhaust and remap are staggering. If you thought the std VXR was good, just wait to see what WORTEC can do.
    Agree with you comments on the old M5 in 4th and above, some of the slightly more fettled cars have upset some NEW M5 owners, who have then stopped to have a chat to find out what the hell it was!!!!
    Just about to unleash our first TWIN TURBO 6.0, should be fun!!!!
    Have a Black and a Silver 12 month old 6.0 VXR, both up for £29995.
    Temptation...........mmmmmmm. :wink:
    Insignia VXR, quite nippy!


    • #3
      Originally posted by caspy
      If you ever around Kent let me know. We 'enhance' alot of Monaro's and the changes with a simple exhaust and remap are staggering. If you thought the std VXR was good, just wait to see what WORTEC can do.
      ...and a top job they do as well.... I've had several upgrades done in the past and always coming back for more... cant do any more now... ran out of money.... any one in need of a spare kidney :P


      • #4
        Originally posted by BO55 VXR
        any one in need of a spare kidney :P
        Yeah, how much do you want for it? I'm in need of a spare.
        As already mentioned, the WORTEC upgrades are superb value for money and fitted by a very dedicated team. Highly recommended!!