Tuesday, 11 March 2008

What's outside today 44 - Vauxhall VXR8

Tear-stained hankies today when the man from Vauxhall came to take this one away - it's brilliant.

The VXR8 is the successor to the much-loved Vauxhall Monaro, and like the Monaro, it's really an Australian Holden, in this case the sportiest version of the latest Commodore.

This car is aimed at BMW's M cars, Mercedes AMG models, the RS Audis and the 'R' Jaguars but it's a lot cheaper and a lot less intimidating - you can just get in and drive the thing.

Much of the VXR8's appeal derives from this, its 6.0 litre Corvette-derived V8 engine; you might expect this to be a slow-revving, lazy affair, but it's actually quite zingy. The same goes for the automatic transmission fitted to our test car which was a quick-shifting six speeder, rather than a slushy, slurry four-speeder of the sort usually associated with US cars.

I haven't driven any of the less powerful Australian Commodores, but the VXR8 is so good, I wonder whether Vauxhall has considered bringing these cars over as a delayed replacement for the Senators and Omegas that were so popular with users such as the police.

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