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HSV VXR

David Morley
13 September 2008
www.smh.com.au

This Euro-flavoured hot hatch is near the top of its class.

To drive a modern hot hatch is to suddenly have questioned your entire views on what makes a car a performance car.

The hot hatch has always been seen by the diehards (especially in Europe, where it rules the roads) as a viable alternative to any other sort of vehicle with performance pretensions, but here in Australia, our penchant for big rear-wheel-drive cars with big V8 engines has kept the hot hatch in the shadows for many years.

But not any more. Modern small cars from Europe now possess the handling and braking required for truly entertaining motoring.

And modern turbocharged engines are the sort of rip-snorting powerplants that make any drive, from an interstate run to a trip to the shops, loads of fun.

A quick look inside a showroom is likely to reveal a hot hatch or two, including the Golf GTI, Renault Megane Sport and Ford Focus XR5.

What really tips you off to the fact that Aussies finally "get" the hot hatch concept is the news that the last bastion of testosterone-fuelled blokedom, Holden Special Vehicles, now offers a hot hatch alongside its usual V8, rear-drive suspects.

The VXR, as it is known, is more or less a three-door Holden Astra with HSV badges and a crackerjack driveline.

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Sigh, just another car we can't drive.
 

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I don't know what 176 Kw and 32 Nm of Torque or mean but I think the fuel economy rating works out to just under 26 mpg combined driving. Sounds like a lot more fun to drive compared to our Astra and without a huge penalty in fuel efficiency. Too bad we can only get the Astra with the base engine...
 

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I don't know what 176 Kw and 32 Nm of Torque or mean but I think the fuel economy rating works out to just under 26 mpg combined driving. Sounds like a lot more fun to drive compared to our Astra and without a huge penalty in fuel efficiency. Too bad we can only get the Astra with the base engine...
176 Kw roughly equals 240HP and 320Nm roughly equals 236 ft/lbs torque.

Enjoy.
 

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Haha yes, the Top Gear episode where they tested it was hilarious. Even the Stig couldn't control it!
Yet Morley (the journo) said it was no problem. It is dead obvious that Top Gear hates Vauxhall and Opel, as well as anything american. The only exception was the Crossfire, but that was because it was a Mercedes underneath not unlike the one he [Jeremy] owned.:rolleyes: I find it very dubious that the Stig, with all his experience, could n't drive around any torque steer. They are the only professional clowns in the world, who get taken seriously.
 

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mikmak;151023 It is dead obvious that Top Gear hates Vauxhall and Opel said:
I'd have to disagree, everyone on Top Gear absolutely LOVED the 6.0L Vauxhall Monaro (our GTO), Jeromy Clarkson even said so and then proceeded to lick the car. It was rather amusing and freaky all at once. They also picked the 5.7L Monaro over the 300C and a Jaguar of all things in a previous show.
 

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GM just keeps giving us the dumbed down versions of the imports, for the most part. And noting for those of us that prefer smaller cars.
 

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If they find a way to put the XWD out of the 9-3 into it this problem would be solved.

I think People just like to complain, I own a Very torquey 2.5 litre V-Spec Sentra everyone complains about torque steer, sure if you romp on it with your hands off the wheel. but anyone driving with sporting aspirations will have a firm grip, and lots of leverage on the wheel, so shouldn't even notice it. but in no way is it uncontrollable...
 

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nah, i think Jeremy has a Ford bias when it comes to 'big3' brands.
The only Vauxhalls I can recall him having anything good to say about are the Monaro,the VXR (ie VE Clubsport equiv) & the VX220. 2 are Holdens & 1 is a Lotus (I think).
Everything else is a pos in his view. Perhaps he is right? They are not 'shopping basket' fans.
 

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What mods have HSV done to the vehicle. Maybe they have managed to tame it. I am sure HSV wouldnt just rebadge the Vauxhall without any changes.
 

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If they find a way to put the XWD out of the 9-3 into it this problem would be solved.
The next Generation DeltaII ASTRA OPC/VRX will have an AWD Option for sure.
They will also have the new 2.0Turbo from the Insignia with > 250hp and 260lbs/ft. :D
 

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What mods have HSV done to the vehicle. Maybe they have managed to tame it. I am sure HSV wouldnt just rebadge the Vauxhall without any changes.
I think HSV has re-fettled the suspension and some exhaust modifications for Australia. Ride and handling have been tuned to be better suited for Australian roads. Some journalists have said its a definite improvement over the rowdy European version. But its up to the driver in the end.
 

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When tested overseas the Astra-Focus comparison was all Focus.
But when HSV got there mits on it they did enough for it to from what i read, Turn it around.
 
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