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Diesel Astra VXR warms up

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  • Diesel Astra VXR warms up
    Date: Tuesday 8th November 2005
    By: Chris Thorp
    The prototype pictured in this week's Auto Express might look like just another family hatchback, but we can exclusively reveal that the Astra will send the VXR into the black.
    Under the machine's bonnet lurks a turbocharged oil-burner set to power a diesel hot hatch flagship. The car putting in countless hours' testing at Germany's Nürburgring circuit has a new bumper and a different front air intake for the potent engine. Hot on the tail of its 237bhp petrol-powered cousin, the diesel variant won't disappoint performance fans.
    While an official announcement has yet to be made by the company, it is likely that a highly tuned version of Vauxhall's 1.9-litre CDTI unit will be employed. The manufacturer recently displayed a 212bhp twin-turbocharged variant of this powerplant at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and that is an engine which would be ideally suited for use in the hot VXR-badged Astra.
    The final production version will be available only as a three-door, featuring the same bodykit as its petrol stablemate. That car's uprated suspension will also be fitted in the diesel, making it the most extreme oil-burning performance hatch on the market.
    However, it's not only the Astra that will get a new diesel range-topper, as plans are also in place to use the punchy powerplant in the Vectra VXR. Both high-performance derv delights are expected to go on sale in the UK towards the end of next year.