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Opel UK celebrates 10 years of VXR cars

2014-06-26 10:03

LATEST OPEL HOT-HATCH: The current generation Vauxhall Astra VXR, known locally as the Opel Astra OPC, is one of the latest performance hot hatches to sport the VXR badge. Image: Opel

  • New VXR8 GTS completes 2014 VXR range
  • VXR range offers more power
  • Two pre-VXR performance Vauxhalls

LONDON, England - Vauxhall, the UK badge for Opel products, is celebrating 10ten years of its mighty VXR8 GTS - the latest performance latest addition to the VXR-badged cars.

GALLERY: 10 Years of VXR

With total sales exceeding 20 000, the VXR range has been embraced by British car enthusiasts who have built up a loyal following. As a result, Britain has been the leading market in Europe for Vauxhall/Opel performance cars, known locally as OPC.

There are five cars in Vauxhall’s VXR range: the Corsa VXR, 154kW Corsa VXR ClubSport, 205kW Astra VXR, 239kW Insignia VXR and 423kW VXR8 GTS.

CALIBRA STILL A FAVOURITE

The first cars to bear the VXR nameplate were the VXR220 and the Monaro VXR, both of which were launched at the 2004 British auto show. The VXR220 still resides in Vauxhall’s Heritage Centre in Bedfordshire, England.

The Monaro VXR was 40% cheaper than a BMW 6 Series at launch and developed 242kW from its 5.7-litre V8.

The automaker's sports cars and rear-wheel drive coupes haven’t been the only models subjected to VXR makeovers. The Zafira and Meriva were unlikely candidates for performance treatment but proved popular.

In 2014 two iconic performance cars that never wore the VXR badge are dcelebrating their quarter-century - the Calibra and Lotus Carlton (launched in 1989). The Calibra was unveiled at the 1989 Frankfurt auto show and rivalled cars such as the Sierra Cosworth and Lancia Delta Integrale. The Calibra was produced until 1996 and 40 000 were sold in the UK.

Vauxhall proved that it was still adept at causing a stir in the performance-car market when it launched the four-door Lotus Carlton. Its twin-turbo straight-six engine produced 281kW enabling it to reach 0-100km/h in 5.4sec and 283km/h.

10 years of Vauxhall VXR models:

Mid-year 2004 – VXR 220 and Monaro 5.7 VXR
August 2004 – Monaro 6.0 VXR
October 2005 – Astra VXR
November 2005 – Vectra VXR and Zafira VXR
January 2006 – Meriva VXR
March 2007 – Corsa VXR
June 2007 – VXR8
September 2009 – Insignia VXR
March 2011 – VXR8 E3 Saloon and Maloo
August 2011 – Corsa VXR Nurburgring
July 2012 – Astra VXR
April 2013 – Insignia VXR SuperSport
March 2014 – VXR8 GTS & Corsa VXR ClubSport
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