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Vauxhall set to unveil Astra VXR Sprint at Autosport

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  • Vauxhall set to unveil Astra VXR Sprint at Autosport

    Vauxhall set to unveil Astra VXR Sprint at Autosport
    Visitors to this weeks NEC Autosport show are in from a treat, as Vauxhall unveils the stunning Astra VXR Sprint.
    Produced by the new VXR Performance Centre, this new one-off car is a lightweight high performance version of the Astra VXR, designed to take the Astra VXR to the extreme for serious track day use. And with ‘serious’ use planned, the Performance Centre has put together an impressive specification for the new track car.
    Ultimately the firm plan that the Sprints 2-litre Turbo engine will be tuned to produce 330bhp. To achieve that a revised engine map, Miltek exhaust system (with motorsport catalyst), hi-flow reworked airbox, hi flow charge cooler, revised cooling system, lightened flywheel, optimised turbo plumbing and a larger capacity turbocharger will all be fitted.
    The standard six-speed gearbox is retained, but is now matted to a high performance clutch and a limited slip differential (with a shorter action selector mechanism), to help transfer all that extra power to the road.
    And with so much power, it’s important that the chassis be tuned to keep the tyres in touch with the tarmac. The Sprints chassis has therefore been uprated and features KW coil over dampers (adjustable for bump and rebound), with adjustable spring platforms. The cars suspension geometry will also be revised for optimum performance, and heavy duty anti rollbars fitted at the front and rear.
    High Performance light-weight 8x18-inch alloy wheels help keep the un-sprung weight of the car as low as possible. With 235x40 Toyo R888 tyres, the car is expected to deliver crisp and responsive handling on the track, but still be road legal.
    When it comes to slowing things down, the Astra VXR Sprint is more than equipped to do the job. AP Racing 4-pot calipers with 343mm grooved and vented discs have been fitted up front, with additional venting ducts to help keep things cool. The rear is not forgotten and is also equipped with larger discs and calipers.
    Safety for track day cars is important. With this in mind a rear roll cage has been installed, which also has the advantage of adding some extra stiffness to the shell. Both the driver and passenger are treated to Recaro race style seats and a 4-point Racing Harness. With extra engine instruments fitted in the cabin to help keep the driver informed, it’s expected those in the driver seat will feel like they are in control of a full blown race machine.
    From the outside there won’t be much to tell the Astra VXR Sprint apart from its VXR brother. However, look closely and you’ll spot new bonnet vents designed to help increase air flow in the engine bay to keep things cool. Combined with the lower ride height and large uprated wheels, the car is set to really look the part.
    Although still in development, the VXR Performance Centre will be showing the first stage of the cars build at Autosport 2006. The finished car will be seen at various track events throughout the year, as well as on the Vauxhall Sports Car Club stand at many of the events the club will be attending throughout 2006.
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