Vauxhall Astra VXR Extreme. The name says it all, really.
The Astra VXR was by no means a slouch, but it seems Vauxhall thought otherwise. The manufacturer has just revealed details and images of the road-legal VXR Extreme, the fastest production Astra ever created.
The Astra VXR Extreme gets an extremely healthy 300PS (287bhp) from its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine ─ 20PS (19.7bhp) more than the standard Astra VXR. The use of direct injection and ‘variable camshaft phasing’ help make it the most powerful four-cylinder Vauxhall has ever produced. A 6-speed manual gearbox and limited-slip differential help with taming the power.
Nothing too extreme so far, but we’ve not got to the weight reduction. The Astra VXR Extreme is about 100kg lighter than the Astra VXR, thanks to carbon fibre components such as the diffuser, aerodynamically-optimised rear wing, bonnet, engine cover and suspension cross-bracing. The roof, for instance, weighs 2.6kg instead of the steel roof’s 9.3kg.
More power and less weight should make for a potent mix, which is why the Astra VXR Extreme has some beefy anchors in the form of a Brembo six-piston brake system and 370mm discs up front. 19-inch ‘ultra high-performance’ tyres and adjustable dampers are said to play a key role in providing as much grip as the Astra Cup race car.
Part of the reduction in weight comes from the removal of the rear seats. In their place is a safety roll bar, while the driver and passenger can strap themselves into Recaro bucket seats with six-point safety belts. A suede-covered steering wheel with yellow stitching completes the deliberately short list of creature comforts. Loads of space for shopping, mind you.
Vauxhall said it had plans for a low-volume production run if we all make enough noise about it. While an official price is yet to be disclosed, the combination of rarity and carbon fibre goodness will make make the VXR Extreme verge on expensive.
Expect to see the Astra VXR Extreme debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
Vauxhall Astra VXR Extreme images