Vauxhall unveils hardcore Astra VXR model

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The Luton-based manufacturer has taken the wraps off one of its upcoming Geneva motor shows stars and it looks set to be a pretty potent affair.

The Vauxhall Astra VXR Extreme, pictured above, will form part of the Vauxhall stand and aims to give customers an insight into what an upcoming high-performance, low-volume molten hot hatch will look like.

Based on last year's Astra Cup racecar, the VXR Extreme is a street-legal sibling that will employ a lightweight philosophy and possible engine upgrades to ensure it is quicker and more responsive than the current generation VXR.

Vauxhall officials are remaining tight-lipped about specifics but they have said the model will be, "shorn of weight thanks to liberal use of high-quality carbon components." So expect carbon fibre and lightweight aluminium alloys replacing heavier steel parts.

Inside, the hardcore road vehicle will get proper racing seats complete with six-point safety belts and a generally 'stripped-backed' approach to the dash and interior gadgets.

The current Astra VXR boasts a 276bhp, 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that is good for a sub-six second 0-60mph sprint (given the right conditions) and a top speed of 155mph.

Expect the Extreme version to flaunt a fettled engine and improved performance figures thanks to the weight-saving diet.

It is highly likely that the Astra VXR Extreme will pick up where the likes of Renault's hardcore Megane R26.R left off, featuring a roll cage and other race-ready components - so expect to pay a hefty premium over the standard VXR's £26,995 price tag.