We review the Vauxhall Corsa VXR from price to economy and all its features

KNOCKHILL doesn’t have much in common with Hollywood. The Hills are graced with sheep, not A-list movie stars.

But Tinseltown could be on its way to the twisty turns as a substitute for the Nurburgring. It may be 13 miles shorter than Germany’s notorious track but it is equally as tricky in a short burst.


Racy … the new Corsa

Perfect timing then for Vauxhall to launch their own Corsa Nurburgring model on this very track. Sir Jackie Stewart once dubbed the Nurburgring as “The Green Hell”. This Corsa will simply leave your mates green with envy.

It’s most powerful supermini they have ever produced and I had a first drive in Scotland this week.

It was named after the most notorious circuit in the world, where it was tested to the limit. That is a dangerous game for a humble supermini unless it’s very good. And it is.

Using a regular 189bhp Corsa VXR as a starting point, Vauxhall’s performance division revised the turbo and fitted a new exhaust and an Electronic Control Unit raising power to 202bhp.

The result is a front-wheel-drive VXR with breathtaking grip, agility and acceleration. Vauxhall bosses allowed me to drive it like I’d stolen it on Fife’s finest Tarmac.

One heavy stomp of the right foot and the VXR hits 62mph in just 6.5 seconds and goes up to 143mph without even breaking sweat.

But the incredible stuff happens on the limit. I threw the Corsa into corners at high-speed like a movie car chase and, even though I was hanging out of my seat, it hung on. The tyres might screech but it hangs on like a leech. The power figures might not feel like a big leap from the standard VXR which hits 62mph in 6.8 seconds and has a top speed of 140mph — but the difference is simply the diff. Limited Slip Diff (LSD) to be exact.

That’s a mechanical tweak in the gear arrangement allowing for the wheels to spin at different speeds. So, as the car corners at pace, whichever wheels are most connected to the road get most speed automatically transmitted to them.


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It’s the first Vauxhall to get the race car LSD set-up since the Omega two decades ago. This Nurburgring LSD arrangement leaves you on a total high of immortality.

It also felt remarkably smooth on the track but it will be interesting to see whether the ride comfort suffers on our potholed roads.

Average fuel economy is a respectable 37.2mpg, although this will plummet if you use the VXR Nurburgring the way it’s intended.

Loads more revisions add even more desire to the standard VXR’s bulging bodykit. It rides 20mm lower than a regular VXR at the front plus it has new 30 per cent lighter Brembo brakes while the Corsa’s ABS, traction control and stability control have been recalibrated. Helping the special edition to stand out are a stainless steel dual exhausts, stonking new forged aluminium wheels and and Nurburgring logos on the B-Pillars and front spoiler lip.

There are also two new colours — Grasshopper and Henna… green or copper to you and I. Inside, black and red Nurburgring lettering adorns the sill plates and front Recaro seats, with bespoke white stitching on all seats, as well as the handbrake and gearshift console. The only let-down was the old-style dash and console — it lags behind the Astra for cockpit class.

The only bad thing is the price at £22,295 — which takes some justifying for a supermini.

It costs £3,395 more than the regular Corsa VXR and £5,485 more than a Renaultsport Clio Cup. But it’s cheaper than the Citroen DS3 Racing and on par with the Mini John Cooper Works. They’ve been huge successes, so this Nurburgring is also worth the price.

This is the ultimate A-list Corsa. Whether in Knockhill or Hollywood, it’s a box office smash.

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