BUY VECTRA ST200
One of the rarest Griffins ever made, the ST200 is one of the jewels in Vauxhall’s portfolio of performance metal from the Super Touring era…
Fancy one of the rarest performance Vauxhalls ever made? We show you what to look out for.
The Cavalier GSi2000 represented a huge step forward for Vauxhall in the late 1980s. Making use of the same C20XE ‘Red Top’ engine which propelled the Mk2 Astra GTE 16V to greatness, the GSi2000 featured independent rear suspension and a cool styling package seen by millions witnessing works drivers, John Cleland and Jeff Allam (not to mention an ever changing cast of supporting drivers), punish the model in the BTCC. Cleland won the championship with the GTE in 1989 and went on to do the same again with the Cavalier in 1995, but by that time, the Vectra B had replaced the mighty Mk3 in dealer showrooms.
While the Vectra never matched the Cavalier’s achievements on the track, it was still a force to be reckoned with. Celebrating the new arrival, Vauxhall launched the Vectra B SuperTouring edition with a production volume of just 1,000 units. 500 of the new car featured a 136bhp two-litre inline-four, while the remaining 500 were powered by a 175bhp 2.5-litre V6. Based on the existing SRi, the SuperTouring sported a Vectra B GSi front bumper, sixteen-inch alloys, an Irmscher rear silencer, uprated suspension and a host of nifty interior parts, including an oval dash plaque displaying a build number unique to each car.
As distinctive as the SuperTouring was, critics argued the new arrival was little more than a styling exercise. Eager to build a race car for the road, Vauxhall responded by commissioning an extra fifty cars to
be sent through the workshop of Motor Sport Developments (MSD) in Milton Keynes. Mechanical enhancements were the order of the day, and the new cars were given the now-legendary designation, ST200.
Like the V6-powered SuperTouring, the ST200 began life as a standard SRi and shared the same Irmscher-sourced exterior updates. The ST2oo differed from the SuperTouring, however, when it came to seventeen-inch Speedlines, Koni dampers, an AP limited-slip differential, four-piston calipers, a revised final drive ratio, X30XE camshafts and bespoke Recaro upholstery.
With a list price of close to thirty grand, Vauxhall struggled to find buyers for its vivacious Vectra. Consequently, only thirty-eight ST200s (including a lone estate) were assembled. Not even high profile media coverage helped to shift the car from dealer showrooms, which is why some ST200s were drafted into the Vauxhall press fleet.
Finding an ST200 today is tricky, with most survivors in the hands of collectors. Less fortunate examples have suffered from the ills of corrosion, neglect and accident damage. When an ST200 does come up for sale, be prepared to dig deep for what is one of the rarest raceinspired Vauxhalls ever produced.
As is the case with any decadesold Griffin, there are many areas to be concerned with, but with so many Vectra B GSi, SuperTouring and ST200 replicas out there, it’s vital you make sure you’re paying for the real deal. Read on to discover what it is you should be looking for.