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2012 Astra VXR - Rockingham Launch



  Trophy #490
Thought this may be of interest to a few on here. I was invited to drive the new VXR around Rockingham and its surrounding areas for the UK's press launch, and I have to give credit where credit's due as I was very impressed! I hated the original Astra VXR but this was great; its handling, steering, and brakes were all brilliant. I gelled with it immediately which I cannot say about its predecessor! Only slight irritation were the huge A-pillars which obstructed the view when cornering.

The engine's its best part though. It's got 276bhp and even more torque, so it felt properly quick on road and track. The LSD was a huge help and the infamous VXR trait of atrocious torque steer was at least manageable. It can catch you out at first, but you soon learn.

Its price was hard to swallow, though. It's £26,995, but with a few options you're nudging towards £30k. To be fair, the basic spec's pretty good, but thirty grand gets you into some serious metal, and I reckon this car would be far from the top of many people's lists!

Anyway, here are a few photos from the day. I'm due to drive the new Focus ST next week and I'm still yet to drive the Megane 265 at length so I'll have to reserve proper judgement until then, but I'll go out on a limb and say the VXR's definitely a worthy rival now as it's such a great all-round hot hatch. I expect the Megane will still be the better car to drive, but it's a step in the right direction for Vauxhall!

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  Mk4 MX-5, Smart 451
I really like it, I know what you mean about the a-pillars, we had an astra on holiday. As said though, 30k? I'd rather stump the extra and get a Boxster.
 

Flat Eric

ClioSport Club Member
  F31 35d, Berlingo Na
That's a decent looking car from the front. Still unsure on the rear though. :)
 
  182/RS2/ Turbo/Mk1
Would imagine most are going to be bought on finance and vauxhall tend to offer reasonable deals on that front.
Cant see many people handing over best part of 30K of cold hard cash for one.

Nice to see them finally fitting an LSD though.
 
  Trophy #490
Would imagine most are going to be bought on finance and vauxhall tend to offer reasonable deals on that front.
Cant see many people handing over best part of 30K of cold hard cash for one.

Nice to see them finally fitting an LSD though.

Yeah, the LSD was a hugely beneficial inclusion on this car. As was the hydraulic steering.

Just completed the feature for it. It's available to read here: http://joshtimlin.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/2012-astra-vxr.html
 

Gally

ClioSport Club Member
Nice looking car. Very impressed. Except the front grille/badge area. Looks like a Bluemotion!
 

Martin.

ClioSport Club Member
I quite like it. Would have to be the blue though. The white looks horrible IMO.

And as said the grill does look a bit poor, blue motion polo like.
 
  182/RS2/ Turbo/Mk1
Its a Vaxhaul, it will be boring to drive, even with a powerful engine. IMO

Absolutely mate, couldnt agree more.
The decent front suspension setup and the excellent limited slip diff are all irrelevant to how a car drives, its all about what badge it has.

lol
 
  123D Coupe + MK1 MX5
I like it, more sore than I did when I first saw pictures of it at the original press releases.

Shame the Original VXR was so crap to drive as I really liked the look and sound of them.
 

Ricardos

ClioSport Club Member
  LY 200 EDC
Pre scrolling down and reading the first post i was thinking Pah, Vauxhall, BUT it's not too shabby. With the black and diamond cut wheels it looks (dare i say it) new shape Megane esque in some ways. With the likes of the Scirroco and Megane maybe they feel they want some of the action. I've seen Vauxhall in recent years more of a fleet/company car setup, i like the fact Renault have the motorsport history/heritage and have the RS brand
 
I'm not really a fan of the looks tbh.

Looks nasty in white that grill and the back end especially the spoiler.

In the red though looks much better. Still something I wouldn't consider buying.
 
  Trophy #490
Should have pointed out that the spoiler is part of the Aero Pack, which is a £995 option. The other one's much more subtle. I read through the entire press pack and specced one up to over £33k! Madness.
 
  M135i
I like it - however...... when will Vauxhall make a nice steering wheel and more importantly, a nice gearknob????


The gearknob's in all VXR's are all absolutely massive and are just hateful to use when you want to start shifting gears quickly. From what I've seen of the interior of the new one, this looks the same unfortunately.
 
  Trophy #490
I like it - however...... when will Vauxhall make a nice steering wheel and more importantly, a nice gearknob????


The gearknob's in all VXR's are all absolutely massive and are just hateful to use when you want to start shifting gears quickly. From what I've seen of the interior of the new one, this looks the same unfortunately.

I didn't mind either! The steering wheel felt nice and although the gearknob isn't the best of shapes, it didn't particularly annoy me. The worst part of its interior design is the pointless compartment in between the front seats, as every single time I wanted second, fourth, or sixth, my elbow clattered into it!

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KielT

ClioSport Club Member
  Arctic 182, GTD
That looks amazing I think, I really like it. And I love the interior!
 
  Trophy #490
Interior was very nice. Its price is a tad high as lots have said but once you're sat in it, it definitely feels like a very premium car. Centre console's lovely. Way better than the Megane with regards to interior quality.

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Stava

ClioSport Club Member
I can't help but think 'Mazda' when I look at the front. Still, nice looking car, quite like the rear end for some reason.
 


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