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  • What the Press say about the Zafira VXR

    www.channel4.com/4cars
    Date: 2005
    By: Gavin Conway
    A funny MPV
    Even before you get behind the wheel, the Vauxhall Zafira VXR will make you laugh out loud - much in the way I did when a friend told me about his Morris Minor, powered by a small-block V8 developing a gazillion horsepower; or another colleague who wrote a feature about a shopping trolley scaled up so it was about nine feet tall. And powered by a big-block Chevy V8.
    So here's the deal. This is a respectable high-riding seven-seat MPV that does all sorts of clever things with its fold-flat seats - only, it's got the turbocharged 240bhp 2.0-litre powerplant straight out of Vauxhall's fireball Astra VXR. That means it'll make 60mph in 7.2 seconds and romp on to a distinctly non-PC 144mph - Chevy-big-block-shopping-trolley funny, I think you'll agree.
    Visually, the Zafira VXR tries to look hard by slapping on a deep front spoiler, chrome-ringed foglights, side sills and some very silly big-bore dual exhausts. 18-inch wheels fill the arches convincingly, but if you want the full "you-lookin'-at-me" effect, there are optional 19-inchers. This will work for those of us that know what we're looking at - the rest of the population will see a tarted-up MPV, because it's still the Zafira's MPV-ness that strikes you first.
    Overtaking is laughably easy
    The sell job continues inside, where the Zafira VXR gains grippy Recaro front seats, carbon-fibre-alike door trim bits, a chunky three-spoke steering wheel and alloy pedals. Given the typical MPV high-riding panoramic-view driving position, this all feels a bit incongruous.
    But not nearly so much as when you actually turn the key and head off down the road. The first thing you'll notice is that the ride isn't totally ruined by the sporting suspension. All Zafira VXRs come with electronic controls that look after damper settings, electronic stability programmes and braking systems in a way that allows fast, stable progress, even in such a high-sided vehicle.
    For those wanting an even more firmly damped driving experience, there's also a Sport button that firms the chassis up even more. Sadly, it also remaps the throttle in a way that's supposed to make it feel even more responsive, but in reality, just makes it unpredictable and over-enthusiastic.
    Frantic is really the best way to describe the power delivery of that 240bhp motor (40bhp more than the previous mad Zafira Gsi). Give it loads from standstill and the steering wheel squirms gently in your hands as the front tyres melt away in a blue cloud. Torque steer isn't a major problem, but I form the same impression I do with all very powerful front-drivers - which is, "power's going to the wrong end of this thing."
    Amusement to be had
    The ratios of the six-speed manual gearbox are quite well judged, which means you get meaningful response just about anywhere in the speed range. Overtaking is laughably easy. The only problem is that other road users are sometimes taken by surprise at the Zafira's ridiculous pace. You just don't expect to be slam-dunked by a Mummy-mobile.
    The performance is not an issue, but we'd never call this an enthusiast's car. Even though it sits on a hot-hatch underpinnings, its MPV bodystyle means that the centre of gravity is way too high. Fun to drive in the way that the Golf GTi, Astra VXR, Focus ST are? Absolutely no way.
    We suspect that the Zafira VXR will be bought by those who want to feel that they're not abandoning themselves to an MPV "life-stage" and all that that implies. And there really is huge amusement to be had in the incongruity of it all.
    So the £21,995 Zafira VXR will make you laugh, much in the way a big-block V8 powered shopping trolley will - and for largely the same reason.

  • #2
    Zafira B, 2.0iT (Z20LEH), www.autoexpress.co.uk, 1/11/05

    www.autoexpress.co.uk
    Date: November 2005
    By: Sam Hardy
    Meet the second of the VXR newcomers. If you need to move your family fast, and the hot Vectra hasn't got enough seats for you, Vauxhall has the answer: the Zafira VXR.
    Combining a 237bhp 2.0-litre turbo engine with uprated suspension, bold styling and the firm's clever Flex7 cabin layout, it's a formidable package. But how does the MPV's chassis deal with the power? And do the changes turn the Zafira into a stiff, uncomfortable car, unsuitable for family transport?
    With the same storming turbo as the Astra VXR, this Zafira has 37bhp more than the previous GSi, and a massive 320Nm of torque. The only people carrier to come close to this figure is Mercedes' turbo B-Class - yet it's still 47bhp shy.
    Claimed performance is predictably strong and, with the engine mated to a six-speed gearbox, the 0-60mph sprint is said to take 7.2 seconds, while the top speed is 144mph. The car feels as quick as those figures suggest, proving responsive at low revs and surging forward as turbo boost builds. Vauxhall says this is the world's fastest MPV - and you could certainly surprise owners of VW's Golf GTI and most other hot hatches.
    The rest of the driving experience is nearly as impressive. Sharing virtually the same chassis as the Astra VXR, the Zafira has electronically controlled dampers and clever software to minimise understeer and improve stability - not to mention big 321mm front brakes.
    Despite the bumpy roads of our test route, the early signs are good. The ride is stiffer, but shouldn't upset passengers, and the Zafira changes direction keenly, with accurate steering and minimal roll.
    As with both the Astra and Vectra VXR, it lacks feel, there's lots of torque steer under hard acceleration and the dashboard-mounted Sport button stiffens the ride too much. Yet the Zafira still corners very quickly with composure, offering hot hatch levels of grip in a very practical package.
    As our pictures show, plenty of skirts and spoilers have been added, and the Zafira VXR looks purposeful. Most of the cabin updates are a success, too, especially the part-leather Recaro seats and ergonomically sound three-spoke steering wheel. But the carbon fibre trim on the dash and doors looks a bit cheap.
    What's not in doubt is the Zafira's practicality. The Flex7 system allows lots of seating combinations, from two chairs to seven, and because the seats don't have to be removed, everything is easy to operate. With a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating, plus standard front, side and head airbags, the Vauxhall ticks all the right safety boxes, too.
    In addition to electric windows, air-conditioning and a trip computer, the VXR's standard spec tally includes an MP3-compatible CD stereo, alloy pedals and tinted rear side windows. But all this equipment comes at a price; £21,995 may be only £220 more than the previous GSi, but it's a lot to pay for a car that's in insurance group 17 and returns 30mpg fuel economy.
    However, with no other people carriers capable of getting anywhere near its immense performance and arguably the best seating system on the market, the Zafira VXR is in a class of its own.
    First Opinion
    People carriers that are fun to drive are rare. And models which can reach 144mph even more so. Yet the Zafira VXR does both. It may be expensive, at nearly £22,000, but with huge performance, great handling and bold looks, there's nothing else quite like it on the road. It's also brilliantly practical, safe and superbly equipped.

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    • #3
      Zafira B, 2.0iT (Z20LEH), Pictures – Interior




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      • #4
        Zafira B, 2.0iT (Z20LEH), Pictures – Details



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        • #5
          Zafira B, 2.0iT (Z20LEH), Pictures – Engine

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          • #6
            Zafira B, 2.0iT (Z20LEH), Pictures – Static







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            • #7
              Zafira B, 2.0iT (Z20LEH), Pictures – Action












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              • #8
                Zafira B, 2.0iT (Z20LEH), Specifications/Press Release

                Technical Specifications

                Engine

                1998cc 16v ECOTEC 4-cylinder turbo
                Max power: 240PS (170KW) @ 5,600rpm
                Max torque: 320Nm (236lb/ft) @ 2,400rpm
                Bore/Stroke: 86/86mm
                Compression ratio: 8.8:1
                Max turbo boost pressure: 1.2 bar
                Transmission
                Front-wheel-drive, six speed close-ration manual gearbox
                Performance
                0-60mph: 7.2secs
                Top speed: 144mph
                Fuel economy mpg (litres/100km) on 98 Octane fuel
                Urban: 21.1 (13.4)
                Extra-urban: 38.2 (7.4)
                Combined: 29.4 (9.6)
                CO2 emissions: 230g/km
                Brakes
                Front discs: 321mm
                Rear discs: 278mm
                Wheels and Tyres

                18-inch five-spoke alloy 8Jx18, 225/40 R18 tyres
                (optional 19-inch alloys with 235/35 ZR19 tyres)
                Dimensions
                Length/width/height: 4467mm/1801mm/1635mm
                Wheelbase: 2703mm
                Kerbweight: 1665kg
                Gross vehicle weight: 2200kg
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                • #9
                  Specification and Equipment

                  Specification and Equipment
                  EXTERIOR FEATURES

                  VXR matt black mesh grille, body-coloured ‘V’ insert and larger air dam/bumper
                  VXR front fog lights with chrome surrounds
                  VXR side sills
                  VXR roof spoiler
                  VXR rear bumper
                  Twin trapezoidal chrome-effect exhaust pipes
                  Unique VXR badging
                  Choice of four VXR-specific paint colours
                  18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels
                  Heated electrically adjustable door mirrors
                  INTERIOR FEATURES

                  Recaro sports seats with leather-trimmed side bolsters
                  Three-spoke leather-covered VXR steering wheel
                  Aluminium effect VXR gear knob
                  VXR carbon inserts on dashboard and doors
                  Unique VXR instrument panel
                  Aircraft-style parking brake
                  Air conditioning
                  IDS2-plus chassis with ESP, CDC and EBD
                  Sport Switch
                  Multi-function trip computer
                  CD/MP3 stereo system with steering wheel controls
                  Front, side and curtain airbags
                  Flex 7 seating system
                  Remote alarm with folding key
                  OPTIONS AT EXTRA COST
                  Leather pack (with heated seats)
                  Winter pack (including heated seats, headlamp washers, third row heating outlets)
                  FlexOrganiser boot tidy system
                  Electronic Climate Control (in lieu of air conditioning)
                  19-inch alloy wheels
                  Satellite navigation and stereo upgrades
                  Portable removable DVD player
                  Rear seat Twin Audio
                  Front and Rear Parking distance sensors
                  Adaptive Forward Lighting with bi-Xenon headlamps.
                  Cruise Control
                  Twin Audio
                  Bluetooth Mobile phone kit.
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                  • #10
                    Prices and options
                    Price: £21,995 on-the-road
                    Includes number plates and delivery to retailer, 12-months’ Vehicle Excise Duty and new vehicle first registration fee of £38.00
                    Leather Pack (leather seat facings, heated Recaro sports seats, front passenger seat height adjust, centre rear seat head restraint) £1,000
                    Winter Pack (High-pressure headlight washers, electrically heated front seats) £320
                    Smoker Pack (cigar lighter and ashtray) £50
                    FlexOrganiser option pack (3D storage net, side net pocket, four side rail hooks) £50
                    Electronic Climate Control £275
                    Cruise Control £200
                    Fixing points for accessory dog guard (dog guard available from retailer) £50
                    AFL lighting with bi-xenon bulbs and high-pressure washers £750
                    Alloy effect roof rails £100
                    19-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels with 235/35 R19 ultra-low profile tyres £500
                    Front and rear parking distance sensors £350
                    Two-coat metallic or pearlescent paint £335
                    CDC 40 stereo/radio with integral six-disc CD autochanger and graphic display £400
                    CD70 stereo/radio/cd with MP3 capability and sat nav with colour monitor £1250
                    Roof-mounted removable DVD player (retailer fit) £695
                    Rear seat Twin Audio system with single headset £100
                    Mobile phone system with Bluetooth (not including phone or cradle) £300
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                    • #11
                      Introduction
                      • The world’s fastest MPV charges into showrooms
                      • 240PS, 0-60mph in 7.2 seconds, top speed 144mph
                      Family life doesn’t have to mean kids get all the toys! The proof is in the New Zafira VXR – a car that offers performance and driving dynamics combined with the family-friendly flexibility of a seven-seat MPV.
                      First seen at the Geneva Motor Show, the new model is now on sale at Vauxhall dealers and replaces the iconic Zafira GSi – the first MPV to make the school run fun.
                      But the new car is even more thrilling, thanks to the 240PS, 320Nm 2.0-litre turbo engine shared with the much-lauded Astra VXR. Putting its power to the Tarmac through a six-speed manual gearbox, Zafira VXR will hit 60mph from a standstill in 7.2 seconds, and go on to reach a top speed of 144mph, making it the fastest production MPV ever made.
                      To ensure that the car can be agile and responsive through the bends - even with the vastly differing load weights of between one and seven passengers - Vauxhall’s innovative IDS2-plus electronic chassis control is fitted as standard. Huge brakes (321mm discs at the front) with distinctive blue brake callipers ensure the VXR can stop safely and effectively, even when fully laden.
                      The hottest Zafira’s dramatic look is underlined by the exterior styling, with the VXR trademark honeycomb grille, a reshaped front bumper with a central air intake and integrated fog lights. Deep side sill extensions lead to a new rear bumper incorporating twin trapezoidal exhaust tailpipes. A tailgate-topping spoiler and massive18-inch alloy wheels with 225/40 ZR 18 tyres complete the look. If you still don’t think the Zafira looks like the daddy, then supercar-sized 19-inch alloys are an option.
                      The interior is equally dramatic to look at, although it still maintains the practicality Zafira drivers expect. Front seat occupants enjoy the comfort and support of Recaro sport seats in a combination of leather and fabric. VXR trim strips on the instruments and carbon-look panels on the door inserts mark out the most dynamic Zafira , and the sports steering wheel and gearshift lever incorporate the VXR logo. Like its predecessor, the VXR uses the ingenious and easy-to-use Flex7 seating system which allows New Zafira to be turned from a seven to a six, five, four, three or two-seater in a matter of seconds without having to remove any seats.
                      What’s more, all this is available from only £21,995 on-the-road, meaning you don’t have to break the bank in order to spice up your family life.
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                      • #12
                        Stylish design
                        • New Zafira’s sharp style taken to the extreme
                        • Unique body styling, colours and wheel designs
                        • Special VXR interior
                        There’s a school of thought that suggests an MPV should be a dull looking device that places function above form. But luckily, it’s a school that Vauxhall’s designers have never attended.
                        The Zafira VXR builds on the impressive sleekness of New Zafira – a car that proves beyond doubt that MPVs can be as good looking as they are practical. The unique VXR styling package takes the already pin-sharp lines of New Zafira, and adds some distinctive, purposeful features.
                        At the front, the smart jewel-like headlights, available with optional bi-xenon lamps and Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL), are enhanced by the addition of extra chrome-rimmed foglamps in the front bumper, tucked safely back to avoid flying stones and road debris.
                        The deep front spoiler features a large mesh cooling intake, while deep side sills further accentuate Zafira VXR’s ground-hugging stance. The arches are filled with smart 18-inch alloys in an exclusive VXR design, while even meatier 19-inchers are a keenly-priced £500 option.
                        At the rear, Zafira VXR has a reprofiled bumper and twin-trapezoidal tailpipes, while four bold colours are available – Flame Red, Arden Blue, Star Silver and Black Sapphire.
                        And the unique styling cues aren’t only restricted to the exterior. Inside, Zafira VXR gets a three-spoke sports steering wheel, a leather-trimmed gear lever and unique cvarbon-fibre detailing on the dash and door inserts, while the specially-tailored Recaro sports seats are bolstered with rich charcoal leather. A full leather trim option is also available.
                        This sporty environment might not be what you’d expect from an MPV, but it doesn’t mean Zafira VXR loses any of its versatility. The unbeatable advantages of its Flex7 seating system remain, making it the most practical performance car that money can buy.
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                        • #13
                          Dynamics
                          • Performance car handling with MPV practicality
                          • Highly tuned set-up with IDS2-plus – a new generation in chassis design
                          • Massive 321mm disc brakes
                          It’s all very well making a car go fast in a straight line, but enthusiastic drivers require so much more than that. And that’s the reason that Vauxhall’s engineers have developed IDS2-plus for Zafira VXR, making it the perfect choice for Britain’s challenging roads.
                          Based on the critically acclaimed IDS-plus (Interactive Driving System) chassis pioneered on models such as New Astra and New Vectra, New Zafira VXR benefits from some of the most advanced chassis technology on the market, using sophisticated electronics which have previously only been seen on supercars. It operates in such a manner that all of the driver assistance systems operate in harmony with each other.
                          The IDS2-plus system networks all driving dynamics systems via CAN data buses into one interactive system. Linked components of this system are driving stability control system (ESP), traction control, Understeer Control Logic (UCL), the four-channel anti-lock system, Brake Assist and Continuous Damping Control (CDC). The new upgraded software allows more precise adjustments of the damping, which improves not only braking stability, but also traction, roadholding and handling precision. At the same time, the honed responsiveness of the chassis also contributes to ride comfort, making the Zafira more refined than many less sporty rivals.
                          While the default chassis set-up allows excellent handling and impressive suspension comfort, drivers favouring a sharper, stiffer response can simply press the ‘Sport’ switch on the dashboard and instantly enjoy a firmer chassis set-up.
                          Under the skin, Zafira VXR shares much of its DNA with Astra VXR, and that means it has an effective combination of Macpherson struts at the front and a torsion beam at the rear. The spring and shock absorber rates are specially tuned to a special VXR formula, while uprated steering geometry plus performance bushes and bearings give Zafira VXR an exceptionally sharp and dynamic feel.
                          To cope with the power, the braking system is shared with the Astra VXR. That means Zafira VXR gets massive 321mm ventilated disc brakes at the front , along with a tailored ABS and EBD package. Two wheel sizes are available, either 18-inch or 19-inch alloys of an exclusive VXR design.
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                          • #14
                            Safety and Quality
                            • 5-star Euro NCAP rating
                            • Pedestrian-friendly bonnet and bumpers
                            • Premium build quality
                            It might be a performance model, but Zafira VXR is still packed with the same innovative passive and active safety features as New Zafira, that aim to protect both you and other road users.
                            New Zafira’s safety package uses an inherently stable chassis package combined with the latest electronic aids to keep the car in check and hopefully avoid a collision, or determine the severity of an impact and activate the correct safety features should an accident occur. The IDS2-plus chassis technology further improves that safety, with sharper steering and braking responses and better body control.
                            Active safety devices available to help the driver in extreme situations include ABS, ESP-plus, Brake Assist, Understeer Control Logic, and CDC Continuous Damping Control, helping to deliver incredibly safe and secure chassis behaviour.
                            But there’s much more to it than that. As well as exceptional pedestrian safety, courtesy of energy absorbing bumpers and a collapsible bonnet, Zafira VXR offers excellent protection in the event of an accident. By using the same safety systems and testing methods as the top-scoring Astra, New Zafira achieved a top five-star Euro NCAP rating.
                            But then that’s hardly surprising, as the newcomer is packed with passive safety features. Twin front, side and head curtain airbags help cushion the impact of an accident, while Vauxhall’s acclaimed Active Head Restraints are also available, moving upwards and forwards to reduce the risk of whiplash in rear end collisions. Furthermore, if an airbag is deployed in an accident, the hazard warning flashers are automatically switched on and all doors unlocked.
                            New Zafira has also been designed to ease the pain of repair costs after an accident. Low-speed shunts are easily and cheaply repaired to keep insurance costs low. The car contains a ‘crashbox’ between the bumper cross members and the body, which is effectively a bolted-on metal section that absorbs impacts, and in the event of a minor bump can simply be removed, discarded and replaced without the need for any expensive jigging or straightening.
                            The inherent safety is matched by Zafira VXR’s quality of finish. The cars are finished in a £300 million start-of-the-art factory in Bochum, Germany, on one of the cleanest and most modern production lines in the entire motor industry.
                            A ‘zero defects’ principle in the factory ensures each and every Zafira VXR is finished to the most exacting of standards, while a comprehensive pre-delivery inspection is carried out for further peace of mind.
                            Materials used are also of the highest quality, with top-grade plastics and fabrics in the cabin. The result is a family car with a distinctly premium feel – one that speaks for itself as soon as you settle behind the wheel.
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                            • #15
                              Value for Money
                              • Prices from only £21,995 on-the-road
                              • Just £220 more than old GSi
                              • On sale now
                              Being the coolest family on the block isn’t going to break the bank – because the new Vauxhall Zafira VXR delivers value for money that’s as strong as its performance!
                              Offering hot-hatch looks, performance and driving dynamics combined with the family-friendly flexibility of a seven-seat MPV, the newcomer is available from retailers now, costing as little as £21,995.
                              That’s only £220 more than the previous-generation Zafira GSi, despite the new car’s 40PS power increase, IDS2-plus chassis technology and more generous standard equipment.
                              Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, rear spoiler, side skirts, air conditioning, part-leather trim, a CD-MP3 player, electric front and rear windows, alloy pedals, steering wheel-mounted stereo controls, a trip computer, alarm, electric heated door mirrors and dark-tinted rear side windows as standard.
                              Those wanting to make even more of an impression can add 19-inch alloys for just £500, AFL Adaptive Forward Lighting with bi-xenon lamps for £750, brushed alloy-effect roof rails for £100, plus front and rear parking sensors to keep everything looking as smart as it should for £350.
                              On top of the already impressive standard equipment in the cabin, buyers can specify options including Electronic Climate Control for just £275, a Bluetooth compatible mobile phone system for £300, a FlexOrganiser load bay system for £50 and leather trim for all seven seats at only £1,000.
                              And it’s not only the keen pricing that makes Zafira VXR attractive. Despite the highly tuned engine, it requires no regular trips to the dealer, unlike many turbocharged performance cars that need servicing every few thousand miles. Instead, New Zafira VXR benefits from Vauxhall’s 20,000-mile annual health check and 40,000-mile/24-month servicing programme, making it easy for owners to calculate their annual running costs.
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