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New Vauxhall Astra VXR revealed

  • Most powerful production Astra ever revealed
  • 277bhp and 400Nm available, top speed 155mpg
  • On sale in 2012, prices expected to be around £28k

Vauxhall has released details of its new Astra VXR, which is due to go on sale in Spring next year.

The hot version of the popular hatchback will be the fastest production Astra in Vauxhall’s history and it’s based on the recently launched Astra GTC.

Under the bonnet is 2.0-litre turbocharged direct injection engine that produces 277hp of power and 400Nm of torque. As a result it is capable of getting from 0-60mph in around 5.8 seconds – an improvement of  0.4s on the previous Astra VXR. Top speed is 155mph which isn't limited.

Although it is based on the new GTC, Vauxhall says a number of modifications have been made to the chassis to turn it into a hardcore coupe. It also includes a specially developed mechanical limited slip differential on the front axle to give it extra grip.

Vauxhall has also fitted Brembo brakes and its fully adaptive FlexRide system that adjusts the damper, throttle and steering controls according to the driver’s preference. In the VXR drivers can choose a Sport button, but there's also a VXR button for more extreme driving.

In a bid to get the handling characteristics right Vauxhall carried out numerous tests on the Nordschleife circuit in Germany and a large part of those tests were overseen by Le Mans 24-hour race winner Jo Winkelhock.

Of course there have also been some exterior mods to make the car look more aggressive and to improve aerodynamics. The VXR features specially sculpted front and rear bumpers, side skirts, a roof spoiler and two exhaust tail pipes in a trapeze shape. Inside, the VXR’s cabin gets bespoke performance seats with embossed logos in the backs, a flat-bottomed VXR steering wheel and upgraded instruments.

More details, including pricing and exact on-sale dates, will be revealed early next year but we expect it to be around £28,000. Orders for the VXR will be open around March 2012.