THE latest version of Vauxhall’s mini hot hatch the Corsa VXR will make its debut at next month’s Geneva Motor Show.
And when it hits UK streets in May it comes with a promise to raise the bar for small, fast hatchbacks.
We’re talking performance figures of 0-60 in 6.8 seconds and a top speed of 143mph, which is quicker than the outgoing car.
More importantly though, the VXR produces its 245Nm of torque from lower revs than the outgoing Nurburgring and ClubSport models, making the new VXR a serious performer from 50 to 75mph, which it can dispatch in 6.6 seconds in fifth gear.
Maximum power from its 1.6-litre turbocharged engine is 205PS and the Corsa can return 37.7mpg on the combined cycle with CO2 emissions of 174g/km.
Power is delivered to the front wheels via a six-speed transmission and Vauxhall has teamed up with damper supplier Koni to develop a new technology called Frequency Selective Damping.
It allows damping forces to adapt to the car’s movements, ensuring that body control is maintained when the car is driven fast, but ride quality is optimised at lower speeds.
The car’s ride height has also been lowered by 10mm all round.
For the first time, Vauxhall is offering a two-stage switchable electronic stability programme and traction control with the VXR.
Set in Competition mode the traction control is inactive, while the ESP is relaxed to allow less intervention, but for track use the ESP can be fully disabled.
Styling sees a more aggressive front end with large air intakes, side-sill extensions, scoop below the bonnet, a rear spoiler and twin exhaust pipes while bi-xenon lighting is standard.
Six exterior colours – including the unique Flash Blue – are available for the Corsa VXR, which boasts standard Recaro seats, leather flat-bottomed steering wheel, sports pedals, a heated front windscreen and Intellilink connectivity for Apple iOS and Android smartphones.
There’s also an optional Performance Package, which includes a Drexler limited-slip differential, larger 330mm-diameter Brembo front brake discs, 18-inch alloy wheels and more focused damper settings.
What’s your verdict?