The Vauxhall Astra VXR may have ruled the roost as the marque’s most powerful front-wheel drive offering for a while now, but it’s set to be replaced at the top of the pile by the Geneva debutant you’re looking at – the VXR EXTREME, as it’s known as, takes the pony count to 300, which is 20 more than the ‘base’ VXR.
It’s derived from last year’s Astra Cup race car, which competed in the Nurburgring Endurance Championship. In essence, this is a lighter, more powerful street-legal race sibling to the Astra VXR, which was introduced in late 2011 as the high-performance variant of the Opel/Vauxhall Astra GTC.
Weight has been reduced by 100 kg, courtesy of liberal use of carbon fibre – and aluminium – components. On the CF list are an aerodynamically-optimised rear wing, diffuser, front spoiler, bonnet, suspension cross-bracing, engine cover, wheels as well as on the rear wheelhouse ventilation and roof. The latter weighs just 2.6 kg to the normal steel roof’s 9.3 kg.
The variant’s 2.0 litre turbocharged DI four-pot is paired to a six-speed manual ‘box, which transmits power through an LSD. Other notable bits include a Brembo six-piston brake system (with 370 mm diameter discs up front) and adjustable suspension. The VXR EXTREME sits on 19-inch alloys, wrapped with specially-developed 245/35 rubbers.
Inside, the back seats have been taken out and a safety roll bar put in place of the omitted rear bench. Up front, the car gets Recaro bucket seats, with six-point safety belts from Schroth and a CF-reinforced, suede-covered steering wheel with fine yellow decorative stitching.
No plans yet for the VXR EXTREME to go into production as of now, but Vauxhall says that a low-volume series run is a possibility if public reaction is positive.