New ride con­trol for Vaux­hall’s storm­ing VXR8

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE - Fred­eric Manby fred­

WHO says yel­low is a cissy colour for boys? Hark to the roar of Vaux­hall’s lat­est VXR8, built in Aus­tralia and based on the newly launched Holden E3 GTS and with a bas­ket­load of me­chan­i­cals from the Corvette ZR1.

Turn away now if you are sniffy about high- per­for­mance cars. With 425 brake horse and 405lb-ft the 6.2 litre rear-drive “su­per saloon” reaches 60mph in 4.9 sec­onds (slightly slower than the BMW pocket rocket pre­viewed on Page 2).

Top speed is an­chored at 155mph.

You may or­der one now, with first de­liv­er­ies in March. Cost: £49,500 through just six deal­ers with a to­tal of 34 equipped to ser­vice it.

For the first time Vaux­hall uses mag­netic ride con­trol, a sus­pen­sion sys­tem used, for ex­am­ple, by Maserati, Audi and Corvette, which adapts up to 1,000 times a sec­onds to road con­di­tions and driver in­puts.

“MRC works by send­ing an elec­tric cur­rent through damper units filled with ‘soft’ mag­netic par­ti­cles. These par­ti­cles har­den as the in­put reaches its max­i­mum value, pro­vid­ing driv­ers with ex­cep­tional lev­els of ride, han­dling and stop­ping power,” says Vaux­hall.

An­other “hot” fea­ture hav­ing its début at Vaux­hall is Launch Con­trol, which is en­gaged when driv­ers se­lect Com­pe­ti­tion Mode. “The sys­tem dic­tates the level of torque de­liv­ered to the rear wheels for max­i­mum ac­cel­er­a­tion, ac­cord­ing to sur­face con­di­tions. All the driver has to do is floor the throt­tle and let the car do the rest.”

Also new to Vaux­hall but fa­mil­iar on Ja­panese su­per­cars is real-time data on screen. Such as: G-forces, power and torque and lap times – even the de­gree to which their VXR8 is drift­ing. Hmm. Keep your eyes on the road.

A full leather in­te­rior is now fit­ted, and the in­stru­ment dis­play has been ti­died up. Body colours other than Haz­ard Yel­low are avail­able.

HOT OF­FER­ING: Vaux­hall’s VXR8 packs re­vised styling, a new cabin and a raft of new technology.

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