Vauxhall plots electric Vivaro VXR van

  • Interview with Vauxhall MD reveals high performance plans
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  • VXR branding already applied to Vauxhall's faster cars

Artist's impression of the Vauxhall Vivaro VXR - Parkers Vans and Pickups exclusive

We already knew that Vauxhall was planning an electric Vivaro van, but the boss of the UK operation has revealed to Parkers Vans and Pickups that a high-performance, battery-powered VXR model will also be offered to bring a silent-but-speedy option to Britain’s commercial vehicle drivers.

We've mocked-up what this might look like in the image above - but read on for more details of our conversation with Vauxhall's MD.

Wow! But why would Vauxhall do an electric Vivaro VXR?

‘High performance still sells cars and vans, so it’s a no-brainer for us,’ Vauxhall managing director Stephen Norman said. ‘The new generation of VXR models will be fully electric.’

There’s no precise date on the launch of the new Vivaro VXR, but it will follow the first electric Vauxhall VXR hot hatch due in 2020.

‘There’s no reason why we shouldn’t offer an electric VXR on our vans,’ said Norman on the eve of the 2019 Frankfurt motor show.

‘When a van driver gets in his electric Vivaro, when he puts his foot down he will enjoy the instant performance on tap very much indeed.’

Electric vehicles are big news for Vauxhall, then?

Vauxhall, which will manufacture 100,000 vans in Luton in 2020, is busy electrifying its entire range of vehicles. The new Corsa-e electric car is being launched at the show and Norman predicts it will make up 10% of all Corsa sales in the UK within a year. 

‘Today I think 200 miles is an acceptable threshold for battery range,’ he said. ‘Anything less than that, and people worry. But in three years’ time, it could be 300 miles. Battery technology is changing quite quickly.’

How much would it cost?

There's no pricing yet, but you'd have to expect to pay a little more than for a conventional diesel-powered Vivaro - which is already available with a 180hp engine, giving strong performance.

However, much of that difference would theoretically be made back in cheaper running costs - electric vans are much less expensive per mile than diesel models.

More details when we have them, but if Vauxhall is going to start using the VXR badge on its vans it will certainly make for an interesting alternative to the Ford Transit Custom Sports and VW Transporter Sportlines of the world.

Also read:

>> The Parkers guide to electric vans

>> Vauxhall Vivaro full review

>> Ford Ranger Ranger Raptor review - high performance pickup tested