The lads at Vauxhall, the British version of Opel, have been keeping busy with their tuneriffic VXR editions of the Vectra and Monaro.
Let's start with the Vectra. It comes in hatchback (pic after jump) and wagon bodystyles, and its turbocharged 2.8L V6 is good for 276 horsepower (280 PS) and a 6.1-second 0-60 time. (The wagon does it in 6.3.) A button on the dash lets the driver switch the suspension settings between regular and sport modes.
This is all very nice, and it makes us think about a potential (and hopefully probable) Saturn Aura Red Line. We think that a Saturnized grille with VXR-style bodywork and 300 horsepower underhood would do the trick. Pretty please, Ms. Lajdziak...
As for the Monaro, well, this is going to make fans of the recently-departed Pontiac GTO very angry. You see, the Vauxhall Monaro VXR500 (above) is a limited edition version of the rebadged Holden, and in this guise, the 6.0L LS2 gets added jolt via a supercharger, upgrading it to 493 horsepower (500 PS) and 500 lb-ft of torque. 0-60 now takes less than 5 seconds and the badass Vauxhall tops out at 180.
I told all you Pontiac fans you'd be mad about this...
(Vectra VXR hatch pic, press release after the jump)
VECTRA AND MONARO – NOW WITH EVEN MORE VXR!
Engine power and suspension upgrade for 2007 Vectra VXR
Limited-edition supercharged Monaro VXR hits magic 500PS mark
Vectra and Monaro VXR models are already some of the most powerful cars on the road, but that hasn't stopped Vauxhall giving them even more grunt.
New 2007 model year versions of the Vectra VXR have had the power boosted from 255PS to 280PS, thanks to a redesigned induction system, modified engine components and retuned electronic engine control software. These revisions to the 2.8-litre V6 turbo engine knock four-tenths of a second off the 0-60mph sprint time, taking it down to just 6.1 seconds for the hatchback and 6.3 seconds for the estate.
To match the engine's extra power, Vauxhall's engineers have also tweaked the chassis to give more dynamic handling. Modified spring and shock absorber settings and correspondingly retuned IDSPlus2 chassis control software is said to optimise the pitch, roll and turn-in characteristics to make the most of the increased performance without ruining the Vectra VXR's impressive refinement. The difference between the normal chassis setting and the Sport setting, which is activated by the dashboard-mounted Sport Switch, has been further increased too, making sure that the Vectra's handling can cope with the most enthusiastic driver's demands.
Meanwhile the Vectra's big brother has had an even more dramatic power boost, thanks to a supercharger.
The limited-edition VXR500 is based on the standard 6.0-litre Monaro VXR, but uses forced induction to take the power from 403 to 500PS and torque up from 530Nm to a massive 677Nm. In addition to the positive displacement supercharger, the conversion also includes an upgraded fuel system, clutch revisions and bespoke engine tune.
It's expected that the VXR500 will have a sub five second 0-60 time and a top speed in excess of 180mph, and yet it is surprisingly relaxing to drive, as most of the torque is available low down in the engine's rev range.
This limited edition model is available for only £35,995 on-the-road. That's less than half the price of any other coupe with 500bhp!
While the Vectra VXR is available to order now from any Vauxhall retailer, the VXR 500 can only be sourced from Greens Vauxhall on 01634 246755.