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New Vauxhall Astra VXR debuts at Geneva – price £26,995

Sat, 10 Mar 2012 00:00:00 -0800

New Vauxhall Astra VXR debuts at Geneva

The new Vauxhall Astra VXR (and sister car Opel Astra OPC) have debuted at Geneva 2012. Price £26,995.

Vauxhall managed to release a chunk of details on the new Astra VXR as far back as November, but Geneva 2012 was the first time we’ve seen it (and sister car the Opel Astra OPC) in public. And it looks pretty good.

There was a feeling that Vauxhall weren’t the main focus for GM at Geneva, with the Opel offerings seemingly more high profile. But badges apart (and the odd bits and pieces) the OPC and VXR are the same beast so it matters not a huge amount.

The 2012 Astra VXR gets a healthy 276bhp and 295lb/ft of torque which, with all that passing through the front wheels might pose a problem. But Vauxhall say they have that licked with not just the HiPerStrut suspension system but a new mechanical limited slip diff to keep it all together.

Under the skin – power apart – the Astra VXR is based on the GTC, which makes most of the promise likely to be fulfilled with Vauxhall’s FlexRide adaptable chassis dynamics offering the ability to dial in settings to suit. Just to make sure you can wring what you need out of the VXR, it gets not just a ‘Sport’ button to sharpen things up but a ‘VXR’ button too to take things to the max.

The new VXR handily undercuts the Scirroco R by a chunk (and has a bit more power and torque) and, although costing nearly £1,000 more,  it outdoes the Megane 265 on equipment and power.

But a lot will depend on how the Astra VXR drives and how well Vauxhall promote it. We would question how committed GM are to Vauxhall – which may have an impact – and we wouldn’t be shocked to see GM focus on Opel at the expense of Vauxhall in the not too distant future.

And it does look like Vauxhall didn’t have enough budget to put a video together for the VXR, all they’ve got available is the Opel version. But ignore the badges and they’re much the same.

And who knows? You may have to get used to buying your Vauxhall with Opel badges before too long.

(7 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)

By Cars UK