Vauxhall Corsa gets serious with hot VXR model

Vauxhall Corsa VXR

Vauxhall is the latest manufacturer to throw its hat into the performance supermini ring with a VXR version of its new Corsa.

Following the new-model Corsa's unveiling a few months ago, this sporty iteration joins a crowded market full of talented rivals, including the Ford Fiesta ST and Renault Clio 200 Turbo.

Developing 202bhp from its turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol motor, the Corsa VXR is able to cover the 0-60mph sprint in 6.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 143mph. In comparison, the Fiesta ST – the Corsa's natural rival – takes 6.9 seconds to get to 62mph and runs out of puff at 137mph. Combined fuel economy and CO2 emissions for the Corsa are rated at 37.7mpg and 174g/km respectively.

That power drives the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox, and Vauxhall is making some fanfare about the VXR's go-faster hardware, which includes unique suspension, developed in conjunction with Koni that features 'Frequency Selective Damping' – claimed to allow for both a comfortable slow speed ride and responsive handling at higher velocities.

Vauxhall Corsa VXR

Vauxhall Corsa VXR

The stability control system also features two stages for the first time. Competition mode disables traction control and reigns in the ESP, while Track mode disables electronic safety intervention altogether.

For customers wanting to maximise the potential of their VXR, an optional Performance Package is offered, which adds a limited-slip differential, larger Brembo front brake discs, firmer damper settings and larger 18-inch alloy wheels. These items were only available on hardcore Nurburgring and Clubsport editions of the previous generation Corsa VXR.

In typical VXR style, the Corsa wears its performance bent loud and proud. The large roof spoiler, twin exhaust pipes and enlarged air intakes will ensure no one confuses you with a learner driver.

The inside gets a similar makeover, with heavily sculpted Recaro sports seats, unique dials and a flat-bottomed steering wheel all making an appearance.

Full price and specification details will be announced closer to the Corsa VXR's showroom debut in May.