Performance Vauxhall - - ASTRA NURURGRING -

pe­cial edi­tions have been around al­most as long as car man­u­fac­tur­ers have been try­ing to flog us their wares, and are of­ten em­ployed to­wards the end of a spe­cific model’s life as a way to prop up flag­ging sales and to en­sure the car in ques­tion ‘goes out with a bang.’ Of course there are two kinds of spe­cial edi­tions; those that are sim­ply the prod­uct of an overzeal­ous mar­ket­ing depart­ment and that come with noth­ing more ‘spe­cial’ than stick­ers and trims, and those that of­fer a demon­stra­ble ad­van­tage over the ‘reg­u­lar’ cars they’re based on. Ho­molo­ga­tion spe­cials can some­times be lumped into this lat­ter cat­e­gory, giv­ing us icons like the Chevette HS and HSR, As­cona and Manta 400 and Nova Sport, but it also in­cludes road-ready spe­cials.

The As­tra VXR Nur­bur­gring un­doubt­edly sits very near the top of the tree of Vaux­hall per­for­mance spe­cial edi­tions as it built on ev­ery­thing that made the VXR so great in the first place; ac­ces­si­ble per­for­mance, ev­ery­day re­li­a­bil­ity and just a hint of un­to­ward au­to­mo­tive hooli­gan­ism. Granted Vaux­hall weren’t ex­actly spar­ing with the Nur­bur­gring graph­ics and badges but they also chucked in those cool wheels, the bril­liant white paint and, of course, that bark­ing Re­mus ex­haust sys­tem. All cool gear we’re sure you’ll agree, but th­ese cars are now old enough to have fallen into the hands of the Vaux­hall faith­ful, peo­ple like Adam Ben­ton. Now Adam’s not like the ma­jor­ity of UK tuners, for starters he runs his own Vaux­hall tun­ing busi­ness,

per­for­mance VaUX­HaLL En­hance Per­for­mance, but, and here’s where he dif­fers from most, he’s not ob­sessed by power and chas­ing mas­sive bhp fig­ures. In fact he’d much rather have a ca­pa­ble all rounder, a car that can ac­tu­ally use ev­ery last one of its bhp.

“I’ve al­ways been a huge fan of the BTCC and loved it when Vaux­hall were com­pet­ing in the cham­pi­onship,” he ex­plains. “That’s led to me be­ing more in­ter­ested in build­ing an all rounder, a car that can ex­ploit its per­for­mance with­out be­ing too pow­er­ful and un­us­able.”

That’s not to say that this VXR

pro­to­type eibach rear anti-roll bar looks great in con­trast­ing or­ange

aem wa­ter/meth in­jec­tion keeps temps down to aid power

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