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VXR8 muscles in on Monaro; profiles.

VAUXHALL is preparing to bring the ultimate muscle car to the UK to replace the Monaro.

But it will be a practical 4-door saloon rather than a sleek coupe.

As with the recently-departed Monaro the newcomer will be based on a massively powerful Australian General Motors model, which in this case is the Holden HSV Clubsport R8.

Taking the name of Vauxhall VXR8, the new rear-wheel drive saloon uses the same engine as the outgoing Monaro VXR but gains even more power thanks to some tweaks beneath the bonnet.

Output rises from just under 400bhp to a new high of about 420bhp - and that is before it is supercharged.

The company says that despite being a roomy family-size model, the power-to-weight ratio is enough to produce a 0-60mph acceleration time of just under five seconds.

This is precisely half a second quicker than the Monaro VXR, with a similar 170mph top speed.

However, there is an even faster version on the horizon as Vauxhall plans to follow the July introduction of the standard six-litre V8 saloon with a supercharged model later this year.

Standard kit on both versions will include climate control, leather upholstery and electric operation of anything that moves.

There will also be a dashboard switch to turn off the stability system and traction control for those who may wish to try the car on their local race track.

Despite the awesome performance, Vauxhall says safety is high on the agenda. The car will come to a shattering halt from 60mph in less time and distance than its arch rival, the BMW M5.

An automatic gearbox will be offered as an option on the VXR saloon, albeit with a manual over-ride function.

Priced at pounds 34,995 in manual guise the newcomer is pounds 2,000 less than the coupe it replaces and pounds 28,500 cheaper than the BMW M5.


REMAKE, REMODEL: The new Vauxhall VXR8 will replace the Monaro
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Copyright 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 2, 2007
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