Right around the same time customers in the US start taking delivery of their Chevrolet SS performance sedans, buyers in the UK will be hopping behind the wheel of the new, high-output Vauxhall VXR8 GTS. Looking to take on the BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, the supercharged VXR8 GTS ups the power even more by borrowing its engine from the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. The GTS will hit UK dealers by the end of this year with a price of 54,999 pounds (which converts to around $83,500, including taxes).

While its predecessor shared GM's LS3 V8 with the outgoing Corvette and current Camaro SS, the updated VXR8 GTS packs the LSA engine used in the ZL1, only its output has been trimmed slightly to just 576 horsepower and 545 pound-feet of torque. That's an increase of 150 hp and 140 lb-ft over the old model. Performance figures haven't been released yet, but the naturally aspirated VXR8 has a limited top speed of 155 miles per hour and a 0-60 time of 4.9 seconds, so work from there. The exterior has undergone numerous styling changes for improved aerodynamics and air flow to the engine bay. Interior changes focus on styling and comfort, including a redesigned instrument panel and the new performance seats.

In addition to the engine, handling and performance are also optimized with wider tires, Magnetic Ride Control and bigger brakes (including forged calipers and two-piece rotors) as well as technology systems like brake torque vectoring and launch control. Scroll down for more official info on the Vauxhall VXR8 GTS. We don't know about you, but we'll keep our fingers crossed for a similar version of the SS here in the States.
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VAUXHALL UNVEILS NEW 576BHP VXR8
Watch out M5 & E63 AMG, it's back and it's supercharged!

2013-05-29

New VXR8 GTS gains 150bhp and 140lb ft of torque...
...yet costs just £5k more than outgoing model
Supercharged LSA V8 engine now standard
Substantially revised exterior & interior
Raft of new technology, including Brake Torque Vectoring and Fwd Collision Alert

Luton – An Eaton supercharger, 6.2-litre V8 driving the rear wheels, nearly 600bhp and a soundtrack guaranteed to make your hairs stand on end: welcome Vauxhall's new VXR8 GTS, which can be ordered from today with first deliveries at the end of the year.

Based on sister company HSV's new GEN-F GTS, the VXR8 GTS is the most powerful production car ever to emerge from Australia. And with an on the road price of just £54,999 in the UK it allows owners the least expensive membership into the 500bhp+ club.

'The very fact that cars like the VXR8 GTS still exist proves that there is a small, but immensely passionate band of customers out there who want to drive something which is unique and special,' said Stuart Harris, Vauxhall's Head of Carline Brand. 'In its new GTS form the VXR8 offers colossal power and torque in a package that is more technology-led than ever before, yet still retains that unique VXR8-character that no BMW or Mercedes can match. It's also around £20k less than its main rivals – the M5 and E63 AMG – yet has more power than either.'

Engine

At the heart of the VXR8 GTS is a new supercharged LSA V8 (identical to that used in the recently launched Chevrolet Camaro ZL1), delivering 576bhp and 545lb ft of torque, an increase of 150bhp and 140lb ft respectively over the outgoing, LS3-engined VXR8. Performance figures will be released soon, but bear in mind that even the naturally-aspirated VXR8 achieved a 0-60mph time in 4.9 seconds and a limited top speed of 155mph...

The new VXR8's Eaton supercharger has 4-lobe rotors, 9psi boost and 1.9 litres of air per revolution. Unlike a turbocharged car, the Eaton supercharger provides the VXR8 with stronger and more linear performance across its entire rev-range. Other LSA features include:

Stand-alone water to air charge cooling system
Separate transmission and differential cooling system
Water to oil engine cooling system
Bi-modal air-intake system
High-flow exhaust manifolds and exhaust system with Bi-modal silencers

Delivering drive to the rear axle is the latest MG9 spec 6-speed manual transmission with oil cooler and twin-plate clutch (an optional 6-speed automatic transmission is also available).

Design

The new front-end design of the VXR8 GTS has bold graphics and shallow ramp angles that emphasise width and stance. The focal point of the new look is a 'twin-nostril' grille and an all-new fascia that helps to deliver both an aggressive look and an air intake surface large enough to cool the LSA V8.

In fact, a total of 130,000 square millimetres of open frontal surface was needed to deliver the cooling required for the new engine – 75 per cent more than the outgoing LS3-engined car.

Daytime running lights – which can now operate when the headlights are turned on – and 20-inch 'Blade' forged alloy wheels complete the front-end design.

At the rear, the VXR8 GTS has distinctive LED tail lamps, while the 'diffuser' rear fascia houses quad exhaust outlets finished in shadow chrome. A unique body-coloured performance rear spoiler with black accents helps set the GTS apart still further.

Inside, the VXR8's cabin design has undergone a raft of design changes. An upgraded instrument panel with suede-style inserts, a new instrument cluster, gauges, centre console, appliques and door trims combine to deliver a more premium look and feel.

Standard in the VXR8 GTS, all-new VXR Performance Seats are wrapped in Onyx leather trim and feature 8-way electric adjustment and seat heaters for both the driver and front passenger.

Dynamics

To cater for the extra performance offered by the LSA engine, the VXR8 GTS is fitted with an all-new Brake Torque Vectoring technology. Brake Torque Vectoring helps reduce understeer by generating a 'rotational moment' in the rear axle while the car is under power. The Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system detects the understeer, applies braking to the inside rear wheel and transfers torque to the outside rear wheel, preventing the front end from washing wide.

The VXR8 GTS also receives third-generation Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) with three independent settings: Touring, Sport and Track. Hardware and software improvements combine to deliver greater body control, sharper handling and a significantly more pliant ride quality, compared with the outgoing model.

Wider tyres also offer drivers more grip. Continental 255/35 R20 (front) and 275/35 R20 (rear) were chosen as standard equipment, due to their exceptional performance in both wet and dry conditions.

To assist drivers in manipulating the various electronic vehicle performance systems, a new Driver Preference Dial has been developed. Located behind the gear lever, the Driver Preference Dial adjusts settings to one of four modes: Touring, Sport, Performance and Track. The vehicle's ESC, Traction Control, Launch Control (manual transmission only), and Bi-Modal Exhaust, as well as its Brake Torque Vectoring and new Electronic Power Steering, are then adjusted accordingly.

The VXR8 GTS's braking capacity has been dramatically increased with the fitment of AP forged 6-piston calipers with two-piece discs front and rear. Combined with the increased disc diameters, the calipers – forged from 6061 T6 aluminium – offer a vastly improved strength-to-weight ratio and deliver noticeable improvements in brake modulation and feel. The rear brake pad size has also been increased by 12 per cent.

'With our new forged calipers, larger rotors and increased pad size, we're confident that the GTS brake package is the equal of anything in the world,' said HSV's Chief Engineer, Joel Stoddart.

Technology

The VXR8 has now come of age, and features an array of technologies never seen before in this model.

In addition to the Side Blind Zone Alert with Reverse Traffic Alert, Automatic Park Assist, Front and Rear Park Assist, Reversing Camera and Passive Entry/Push Button Start, the GTS also picks up a number of additional driver convenience and safety technologies.

Head Up Display is standard and shows a raft of driver information on the windscreen, such as vehicle speed, engine temperature, and even G-forces!

Forward Collision Alert is another technology fitted standard to the GTS, and is the first system of its kind to be available in a Vauxhall product. A camera, located above the rear-view mirror scans the road ahead up to 14 times per second. When a crash is predicted, the driver is alerted with an audible tone and a visible alert on the car's HUD. Anticipating hard braking, the system applies sufficient brake pressure to close the space between the brake pads and discs, thus delivering a quicker brake response time.

Using the same camera technology, the VXR8 GTS also has Lane Departure Warning. Designed to combat driver fatigue, a warning indicator and audible sound alerts the driver to any unintentional lane departures.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 64 Comments
      Jay
      • 1 Year Ago
      Reggie you don't have to buy this car. Holden do an outstanding job on tiny budget. Just had a glance at Top Gears Test Track power lap times. BMW M5 01:26.2, Vauxhall VXR8 Bathurst 01:26.3. Really a fantastic result given that the underpinnings of the Vauxhall are the humble Holden Commodore. Even the HSV Maloo Utility is faster than half of the European cars with massive development budgets. Fuel prices artificially high in Europe? Maybe you pay way too much tax on fuel, no conspiracy there. Take it up with your politicians. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Top_Gear_test_track_Power_Lap_Times Holden do a great job with a tiny amount of money.
      Scooter
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Less is more..." Its too busy, too many adornments tacked on to a bland style. Pricing and competition is going to ensure the SS gets a short three year run, the G8 only ever sold about a 1/3 of what Mustang, Charger, and its brethren Camaro sold. It wreaks of overpriced niche car.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Scooter
        [blocked]
          • 1 Year Ago
          [blocked]
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        theautojunkie
        • 1 Year Ago
        ....which is all the more reason to sell specialty cars like this, regardless of you harping on the buyers demographic of car sales, Vauxhall/Opel still have long term enthusiasts of that European brand. No one wants to see their favorite car kick the corporate bucket....
        aatbloke1967
        • 1 Year Ago
        Holden has an agreement with Vauxhall (a separate subsidiary company from Opel) to sell the HSV models in the UK. Yet again, you have no concept of what you're talking about whatsoever.
        VXR
        • 1 Year Ago
        You do realise these models are special order only and from six UK dealers, right? Even if they don't sell any, they don't lose any money.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @VXR
          [blocked]
        Dixon Ticonderoga
        • 1 Year Ago
        Wait, you\'re comparing the sales of BMWs biggest selling car, with a price range that starts at \"college graduate affordable\" and ends at \"Holy crap why would you spend that?!?!?!?!?!\" and comparing it to the highest end performance model of an entire brand? That doesn\'t even make sense.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        Murad
        • 1 Year Ago
        You missed the point. Now there's a new body style of VXR8 with a different, more powerful engine, among many other improvements. Everyone knows the VXR8 has been available in the UK for a while. Now you have a new and improved one.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Murad
          [blocked]
        VXR
        • 1 Year Ago
        There's two or three VXR8s in Plymouth and the surrounding area alone, one a bright yellow 2012 GTS, so I don't know where you got your figures for no sales. Just go to Pistonheads and look at the Holden section of the forums.
        Daniel D
        • 1 Year Ago
        Meanwhile Vauxhall are very happy with the HSV, which is why they have been importing them in one guise or another for over a decade. Apparently they don't agree with you or your long winded analysis and since they can make the business case to support a new HSV every year, I'm inclined to believe they have more of an idea what the market wants, then someone who just hates everything Australian. With your side diversion onto all things wrong with the Germans, its worth noting BMW touted last year as the best one sales wise in their history. Again many, many, many people don't agree with you on that score - including quite a few poms.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Daniel D
          [blocked]
        Bandit5317
        • 1 Year Ago
        Citing Top Gear (the TV show, anyways) as a serious review source is one of the most ridiculous things you can do. I love the show because it's very entertaining, but they have incredible bias towards certain manufacturers and against others and they often completely ignore or only lightly touch on important subjects such as fuel economy, price, and possible competitors.
      purrpullberra
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's sporty and aggressive looking from the front but... it has too many angles and creases that don't really go together well, all plastic of course, such that it doesn't look like something a sane person would spend $83k on. I know the car isn't awesome because of its looks but it's mechanicals and I get that. But it is terribly low-rent looking compared to the BMW and MB mentioned as (hoped for) competitors. Even the SS is a more adult, sober and handsome looking upscale sedan than this. It should probably only come in grey, gray, gunmetal, pewter or silver. ;) Kidding. I think anything but white! It's that upper set of openings.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @purrpullberra
        [blocked]
      Bobby Tiger MacRae
      • 1 Year Ago
      0-60 MPH is way off 4.9? no way 4 flat,,,,,,,,
        icemilkcoffee
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Bobby Tiger MacRae
        Yeah- that sounds rather underwhelming for 576hp
          mikemaj82
          • 1 Year Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          Not when you consider the car weighs well over two tons with a driver and full tank.
      VIPER94
      • 1 Year Ago
      Its a better looking SS!
      Farmboy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Not hard to picture this with a Pontiac badge. That would have been hot.
      bubba_roe
      • 1 Year Ago
      Seeing a lot of Subaru in this thing.
      winningeachday@gmail.com
      Great looking car. Not sure how many Brits will buy these with premium fuel at almost $10 / us gallon.
        aatbloke1967
        • 1 Year Ago
        @winningeachday@gmail.com
        Most will be company cars - the income tax on the perquisite is far cheaper than the actual running costs.
          aatbloke1967
          • 1 Year Ago
          @aatbloke1967
          All modern company car schemes offer anything to lease that is RHD and tailored to UK specification. I personally know of three company directors with VXR8s in the East Midlands.
        NissanGTR
        • 1 Year Ago
        @winningeachday@gmail.com
        They do not pay anywhere near 10$ a gallon moron. Its closer to 5 dollars (pounds) for unleaded in their currency. If you took away the fuel tax its $2.50 (pounds) ignoring exchange rate.
          aatbloke1967
          • 1 Year Ago
          @NissanGTR
          Houghton, you fail to mention that the imperial gallon is significantly larger than a US gallon, that UK 95 RON fuel is the equivalent of US mid-grade to super unleaded, and that your quote is the cost to an American exchanging his greenbacks. That isn't the cost to a Brit in real terms using purchasing power parity measurements.
        mikemaj82
        • 1 Year Ago
        @winningeachday@gmail.com
        Really? With a car that costs this much you think they're going to worry about the price of gas?
        Daniel D
        • 1 Year Ago
        @winningeachday@gmail.com
        Most won't. Its a halo car for Vauxhall.
      theautojunkie
      • 1 Year Ago
      ....one more thing, don\'t limit my top end horse power, please....
      Matt
      • 1 Year Ago
      I was all excited for the Chevy SS and then I saw the HSV GTS and now the U.K. gets it too? For being referred to as a four door Corvette as well as a high performance flagship and embodying the spirit of SS, the Chevy SS now seems really underwhelming. I was ready to put my money where my mouth is but now? Not so much.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Matt
        I am confused. You were excited for the Chevy SS, but now you have second thoughts because it will be called something else overseas? What exactly is your complaint now?
          Matt
          • 1 Year Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          I was excited until I saw what everyone else is getting. The SS has an LS3, the FE3 suspension, a slushbox, and bland colors. The HSV/VXR8 has an LSA, the MRC suspension, a 6 speed, and better color options. I think that's a valid complaint.
        Daniel D
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Matt
        Yes Matt but would you pay close to 90000 USD for the GTS? Because mate thats what HSV charges. Now the Chev SS looks more the bargain it is. The US gets the SS cheaper than any other market - including the country it is built in. Buy one and enjoy it.
          Matt
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Daniel D
          It wouldn't be $90,000. The G8 GXP was the GTS and it was $39,995 but the Australian price was $82,990. I would be expecting it to be high 60s and I would pay that, just need to save a bit extra. Straight currency conversion doesn't work because 3 series and A4 Audis are over $100,000 there.
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