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VXR; Vauxhalls are high-performance.

VAUXHALL is planning to play its sporty rivals at their own game with the introduction of a host of high-performance models bearing the VXR badge.

Latest to join the fray is the new red hot Astra VXR model, which costs pounds 18,995 and boasts scorching 0-60mph acceleration of just over six seconds and a top speed in excess of 150mph.

That price gives the Astra more performance per pound than any other model.

With a whopping 240bhp generated by the turbocharged 2.0-litre engine, it comfortably out-performs rivals such as the Honda Civic Type-R.

The performance is kept under control by a re-tuned chassis developed in conjunction with Lotus, while the vented front discs are the biggest ever fitted to any Vauxhall other than the Monaro.

Based on the standard three-door Astra Sport Hatch, the Astra VXR is distinguished by its exclusive 18in alloys, body-coloured V-grille, ground hugging side skirts, "egg-crate" front grille, rear spoiler and revised bumper assemblies plus some neat detail touches including colour-coded front and rear brake callipers.

And it's a similar story with the larger Vectra family model, costing pounds 23,995, with 227bhp for a 0-60mph time of 6.9 seconds and a 161mph top speed, comfortably out-performing Ford's rival Mondeo ST220.

The sporty VXR badge has even been added to the seven-seat Zafira, which scorches to 60mph from rest in just over seven seconds and has a top speed of 145mph. Costing just pounds 120 more than the GSi model that it replaces, the VXR has a list price of pounds 21,895.

Topping the pile is the awesome pounds 37,000 Monaro VXR, which uses the 6.0-litre V8 Corvette engine and records a 0-60mph acceleration in five seconds and a top speed in excess of 180mph. Hugely powerful cars are in great demand now and Vauxhall is keen to establish its VXR badge as a serious rival to the likes of the BMW M models and Mercedes-Benz AMGs.


Vauxhalls are high-performance POWER: The Vectra VXR produces 227bhp for a 0-60mph time of 6.9 seconds and a 161mph top speed
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Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 7, 2006
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