Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

A straight V8 engine that produces 425bhp and propels the car from 0-60mph in just 4.9 seconds, powers the VXR8. The advantage of this direct power - with no turbochargers or superchargers - is that you’re hit with the full force of the engine immediately instead of sitting and waiting for the turbo to kick in. Put your foot down and you are pinned back to your seat with the gurgling of the engine increasing in volume as you hit the 2,000 revs point.

It comes with a choice of either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox. The auto ‘box works well in the car and instantly drops a gear or two when you put your foot down. Put it in to manual mode and it will allow you to drop down a gear at any point, unlike some automatics that will only do it at a certain speed, although it does stop you changing up too soon.

Disappointingly you have to use the stick in manual mode, as there are no paddleshifts on offer.

Despite the brash and overbearing looks, even the previous VXR8 was more than just a ‘straight-line’ car and this version has even seen improvements. The limited-slip differential and over-sized tyres provide control over the huge amount of power going through the rear wheels and offer plenty of grip. It also comes with Magnetic Ride Control (MRC). This is standard on GTS models and adapts the suspension (springs and dampers have also been revised) according to the road conditions and driver inputs.

It also makes the handling more engaging than before without making the ride too bone shaking. Vauxhall has also introduced EDI (Enhanced Driver Interface). This connects to the on-board computer to give the driver real-time information on dynamics and performance on the car’s monitor. This gives data to the driver including G-force, power, torque and lap times.

It also allows drivers to download the data and analyse it, more useful if you are using the car on track than on the commute to work.