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