Corsa you can

Dear Opel: Send us this hot hatch for Christ­mas

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News - STU­ART MARTIN stu­art.martin@cars­guide.com.au

THE hot hatch mar­ket could have an­other Euro­pean con­tender. Opel’s Corsa has just been re­leased in Bri­tain in its most pow­er­ful in­car­na­tion yet, the VXR Nur­bur­gring Edi­tion.

Aus­tralians haven’t seen a de­cent hot hatch from GMs­ince the Holden Barina SRi bit the dust in 2005, but with the im­pend­ing re­turn of Opel, there may be a Holden-badged suc­ces­sor.

Of­fi­cially there’s noth­ing more from Opel on its Aus­tralian model line-up be­yond what was re­vealed by Opel busi­ness and prod­uct plan­ning vicepres­i­dent Frank We­ber.

All are un­der study, be­cause it only makes sense to come to the mar­ket with a cer­tain port­fo­lio size and where you are also dif­fer­ent from what Holden has,’’ he said at the Geneva mo­tor show.

But given there’s a chance of a pro­duc­tion hot As­tra, the ver­sion from Opel Per­for­mance Cen­tre has a shot of mak­ing the boat as well.

On sale in Bri­tain next month with a Vaux­hall badge and a $33,975 price-tag, the VXR Nur­bur­gring edi­tion uses the same 1.6-litre turbo four of the ex­ist­ing VXR. The pow­er­plant pro­duces 151kW (up from 141kW) and be­tween 250-280Nm (up from 230-266Nm) with the ben­e­fit of an over­boost func­tion.

Mod­i­fied en­gine man­age­ment and tur­bocharger sys­tem, sports ex­haust with re­duced back pres­sure and an ap­petite for 98RON PULP— all have con­trib­uted to the rise in power. The hot lit­tle mite has a me­chan­i­cal lim­ited-slip diff to tem­per the anger from the front wheels, which also takes care of any throt­tle-in­duced un­der­steer or torque steer.

It has lighter but larger Brembo brakes and re­cal­i­brated sta­bil­ity and anti-lock brake sys­tems. The VXR is good for 0-100km/h in un­der seven sec­onds, with a top speed of 230km/h.

Heated de­bate: Opel’s hot lit­tle Corsa (left and be­low) hits the track for test­ing

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