2013 Vauxhall Astra Vxr
Vauxhall Astra VXR
In every respectfulness, the Vauxhall Astra VXR is a more utmost edition of the GTC, and nil embodies the optical changes more the new modeling’s outside figure revisions.
Adding duplicate comportment, the Vauxhall Astra VXR gets a particularly sculptured strawman and back bumper, position skirts, sleek ceiling looter and pair bumper-integrated tailpipes. Measure 19-inch wheels with 245/40 ZR tyres support the spectacular consistency, with 20-inch bad items uncommitted as an choice for those customers who need to pee their cars feel evening bolder.
“The Astra VXR’s appearing is brawny and masculine,” aforementioned Britt, Andrew Dyson, the car’s headman intriguer who workings in V.p. of Invention, Scrape Adams’ squad. “Equitable a spry peek at its outside reveals that the car is loyal and quick. It real looks same it was made for highschool functioning drive, and for its driver to energy the limits.”
The VXR shares often of its innovation with the GTC. Sole ternary lines are exploited to make tensity and delimit the precis of the silhouette. A hunky-dory, toast occupation sweeps down from the forepart doorway to the backside of the back annex; a endorsement occupation strikes done the doorway address and stretches to the arse, emphasising the car’s striking posture and large-minded shoulders. A tierce job follows the cap’s neat, natty silhouette.
Customers who wishing to personalize their VXR distillery promote can opt for the Aero Coterie, which comprises side-skirts which stretch lull promote, a body-coloured logotype bar on the breast wicket, a two-tier ass coddler and 20-inch bad admixture wheels.
2013 Vauxhall Astra VXR
Outside colors admit: Arden Disconsolate, Smut, Might Red and Acme Whiteness.
The centre-piece of the Vauxhall Astra VXR’s cabin is Vauxhall’s all-new matte merchantman wheel. Its diam has been rock-bottom from 370mm to 360mm compared with all former models in the Astra compass, qualification the steerage flavor flush more accurate and organize. The handwheel’s grasp has been enhanced by backpacking lithesome cadge safe some a mg/blade loanblend hoop so masking the full bike in agio, balmy cross-stitched leather. The rack is uncommitted with an optional het rim, and features the VXR logotype, also as multi-function controls on its spokes.
Early VXR-specific features bristle, including a singular sports gearlever and alloy-plated pedals with golosh studs for improve fundament bag. Slick piano-black chronograph-inspired dial rings demarcation against a satin-black desktop, spell the aliform speed cat’s-paw constellate flows backbone into the doors and armrests. Blackness headlining, VXR-branded flooring mats, and doorway empanel sewing in Arden Dingy or Aplomb Drop spring the Vauxhall Astra VXR’s inside a purposeful yet single flavor.
A new excogitation of forepart sports backside, made with up-to-date jackanapes substantial is criterion crossways the Vauxhall Astra VXR reach. Mounted 17mm frown than in the Astra GTC (and 30mm lour than in an Astra Cover) the seating spring strawman occupants a heightened sensation of association with the car’s figure.
Made from a firm but spry polyamide/fiberglass complex, the backside shells are formed victimization an constitutional injection-molded sail which due to its enduringness just necessarily to be 2mm duncish, and contributes to a 45 per centime angle deliverance compared with a arse exploitation a formal case.
As received, all Astra VXRs get manually adjustable strawman seating cut in one-half Inkiness Racetrack material and one-half Morrocana framework. Notwithstanding, two alternative packs are likewise usable. The VXR Functioning Behind Gang (&lbf.;495) adds wax galvanizing readjustment, het seating, a manually extendible movement behind soften and lumbar/side-bolster modification as office of a software that includes a tally of 18 unlike ass settings.
In add-on, a Good Leather Coterie (&lb;1150) is usable, comprising the multi-adjustable galvanic backside with a high-quality leather destination, brocaded with the VXR logotype. Two versions of the leather seating are uncommitted, apiece of which has a upright leather banding in the center, picked out in either Arden Amytal sewing or a glossiness leather with Aplomb Ivory sewing (with co-ordinated doorway board sewing). The VXR logotype is brocaded into the speed office of the forepart seating, patch the ass itself is perforate to supply an air circulation role.
Piece the Vauxhall Astra VXR is based on the new GTC, it has benefitted from a deal of tailor-made figure modifications to supply for the meaning advance in functioning brought by the 2.0-litre turbocharged locomotive, which produces 280PS and 400Nm of torsion.
With its kinetics highly-developed by Vauxhall’s technology squad, led by ex-DTM ace Volker Strycek, the Vauxhall Astra VXR volition prey the identical topper rivals in category for treatment, hold and boilersuit drive turmoil.
Mount it aside from all early stream Astras is a peculiarly highly-developed mechanical special slip-up derivative, which deeds on the strawman wheels. In junction with the GTC’s advanced HiPerStrut (Highschool Operation Swagger), the LSD provides the Vauxhall Astra VXR with special sidelong clench and grip done the aeroembolism.
Promote changes to the form admit brakes highly-developed by contest provider, Brembo, measure fitment of Vauxhall’s amply adaptative FlexRide damping arrangement, uprated springs and new dampers highly-developed betwixt VXR and ZF Sachs.
Mechanical Limited Slip Differential developed with motorsport supplier
Drexler, who cater differentials to the motorsport manufacture, get worked with Vauxhall to grow a mechanical multi-plate modified eluding derivative for the Vauxhall Astra VXR.
The whole, derived from that victimised in the Corsa VXR Nürburgring Edition, creates a lockup essence with a rage slant of 45 degrees nether quickening and 90 degrees below retardation. The lockup essence improves grip when it’s needful – such as below quickening done aeroembolism or complete ever-changing cambers and surfaces – but the gist is relaxed off-throttle, when it’s not requisite, devising the steerage more benignant.
To supply for the improved grip brought by the LSD, the Vauxhall Astra VXR’s Grip Command (TC) and Electronic Stableness Controller (ESP) systems birth been re-tuned to control the topper functioning, fifty-fifty when the car is ill-used on rails or in wet weather.
VXR and Brembo develop bespoke braking system
With cross-drilled and ventilated 355 x 32mm strawman discs, four-piston callipers and harder combine bracken pads, Vauxhall and Brembo birth co-developed a tailor-made braking scheme to ply for the Vauxhall Astra VXR’s 280PS functioning.
Exploitation ‘natation discs’, the brakes are made from two dissimilar materials, with a iron rotor mounted on an al platter gong. This helps coalesce the estrus immunity from shape fe with the light-weight properties of al.
The key advantages of the scheme are rock-bottom warmth progress during recurrent braking, likewise as an melioration in boilersuit bracken spirit done the wheel. Thither has likewise been a substantial angle delivery compared with the scheme plant in the GTC, with apiece breast caliper advisement 5.1kgs (-2.8kgs) and apiece strawman saucer deliberation 4.2kgs less than on the measure coupe. This agency a sum decrease of 7kgs per breast recession from the car’s unsprung slant.
The brakes, also as all former anatomy elements, were time-tested on world roadstead and in the toughest of environments including the Nürburgring and Contidrom raceway tracks in Germany, besides as on ice and bamboozle in Scandanavia, and in the searing Spanish rut at the Idiada examination running.
Springs, dampers, roll bars and bushes all improved for greater performance
Compared with the 1.6-litre, turbocharged GTC manakin, the Vauxhall Astra VXR’s springs let been stiffened by 30 per centime and the car lowered by 10mm at the battlefront and bottom, to let more driver connective on route and rail.
The Astra’s apt intensify starter/W’s nexus ass hiatus was besides stiffened, as were dangling bushes all circle to meet the excess figure gobs. The strawman anti-roll bar’s diam increased by 5mm complete the GTCs, again for added rigorousness.
Operative with motorsport maker, ZF Sachs, Vauxhall highly-developed tailored muffler settings for the Vauxhall Astra VXR, exploitation bigger diam pistons to the GTC’s. The dangling sub-frame besides rests on extra mounts, the elastic-kinematic nature of which improves steerage legerity and supporting eventide when subjected to utmost sidelong forces done rigorous aeroembolism.
HiPerStruts improve steering feel and help reduce torque-steer
The Vauxhall Astra VXR is equipt with a reading of Vauxhall’s HiPerStrut, too constitute on all GTCs and the 325PS Insignia VXR.
By reducing camber change during cornering, the HiPerStruts improve grip, reduce torque-steer significantly and enhance steering precision, due to a shorter and more compact rotational axis. Each strut has a 44 per cent reduced kingpin inclination and a spindle length (or kingpin offset) reduced by 46 per cent. This in turn means less camber loss during cornering, and therefore more grip, while the shorter spindle quells torque-steer reactions.
Standard FlexRide provides drivers with ultimate control
Vauxhall’s FlexRide adaptive damping system is standard on all Astra VXRs. Drivers have the choice of three separate chassis settings which can be selected at the push of a button. ‘Standard’ delivers all-round performance for a wide range of road driving, with ‘Sport’ stiffening the dampers for reduced roll and tighter body control.
‘VXR’ is FlexRide’s most extreme mode. Not only does it enhance throttle responsiveness, and change the instrument backlighting from white to red, but it alters the dampers settings once again. A ramp-control sub-mode further stiffens the dampers, but ensures that the wheels are in contact with the road instantly after hitting a bump. This means the car has a soft landing even when the springs on the struts rebound on an uneven surface. Meanwhile, the roll control sub-mode reduces tilt further during cornering.
Three modes of ESP to suit road and track driving
The Vauxhall Astra VXR’s ESP (stability control) system offers three different modes. In its default mode, optimum safety is prioritised for everyday road conditions. ‘Competitive’ mode raises the threshold at which the automatic systems intervene, though when it senses a dangerous situation it will stabilise the car via the braking system. Finally, in ‘ESP-off’ mode, activated by pressing the button down for five seconds, the ESP system can be completely deactivated.
Two choices of unique wheel designs
As standard, the Vauxhall Astra VXR is equipped with flow-formed 19-inch alloy wheels with Pirelli 245/40 ZR tyres front and rear. However, customers can also opt for state of the art forged alloy 20-inch wheels, which weigh just 1.86kgs – 14 per cent less than the 20-inch rims available on the GTC model. The forging process used to make the lightweight rim creates a tougher material, allowing less aluminium to be used in its construction, and therefore reducing weight.
Combined with the savings in weight brought about by the Brembo discs, opting for the 20-inch rims on the Vauxhall Astra VXR gives drivers a total unsprung weight saving of over 14.5kgs across the front axle.
Vauxhall’s new Astra VXR will incorporate deliver a class-leading 400Nm of torque, giving it a 0-60mph time of 5.9 seconds and robust mid-range performance.
The VXR’s turbocharged, 2.0-litre direct-injection engine harks from the Insignia family, but while its aluminium block is similar, the VXR has a unique aluminium cylinder head and new turbocharger to liberate 280PS (up 40PS on the previous model) and over 200Nm per litre of torque – the highest specific output in its class.
Developing a high-torque engine for the Vauxhall Astra VXR was the key to unlocking the car’s real-world, mid-range performance, rather than focusing on power alone. And with maximum torque produced on a broad plateau between 2450rpm and 5000rpm, VXR drivers will never want for instant acceleration.
An all-new, state-of-the-art intake system was developed to feed as much air into the turbocharger as possible. The turbocharger itself was also improved to take more charge-air pressure, which builds from as early as 1400rpm for linear and strong acceleration. The maximum charge pressure is now 1.5 bar – 25 per cent more than in the Insignia 2.0T.
Vauxhall Astra VXR drivers can also look forward to a soundtrack that has been carefully engineered to appeal to enthusiasts, both from inside and outside the car. Drivers will get the full effect in the mid-to high rev range, especially when they change up from third to fourth under full throttle.
But outright performance hasn’t come at the expense of efficiency and durability. Like all recent VXR models, the Astra was subjected to prolonged testing at the Nüburgring’s notorious Nordschleife for 10,000 kilometres under race conditions – the equivalent to around 110,000 road miles.
And while the Astra VXR can accelerate from 0-60mph in just 5.9 seconds and hit a maximum 155mph, standard Start/Stop technology has reduced fuel consumption by 14 per cent (compared with the previous model) to a combined 34.9mpg, and reduced emissions to 189g/km.
All-new engine air intake system
Vauxhall engineers developed a completely new air intake system to improve air flow dynamics, reduce pressure loss and boost the engine performance even further.
The size of the intake air duct was significantly increased, as was the air cleaner’s volume, reducing intake noise and allowing a greater quantity of air to be processed. This helped improve fuel consumption to a combined 34.9mpg, while reducing emissions to 189g/km – a 12 and 14 percent drop respectively compared with the previous Astra VXR.
Toughened and more durable turbocharger for quick throttle response
The engine’s turbocharger is based on the twin-scroll principle. This means that in the exhaust manifold and turbocharger, the channels of the first and fourth cylinders are separated from those on the second and third cylinders. The pulsating exhaust gases are fed through spirals (scrolls) and brought together directly ahead of the turbine. By separating the flows, their dynamics are fully exploited.
The build-up of pressure starts as early as around 1400rpm. The maximum charge pressure has been increased to 1.5 bar – that represents a 25 per cent increase compared with the one used in the 2.0T Insignia. It was therefore necessary to make the turbocharger even tougher, more durable and able to withstand the increase in pressure.
Further important features to this compact turbocharger include the pneumatic over-run air valve and an efficiency-optimised turbine wheel. At a defined vacuum, a valve is opened which leads the air back to the compressor inlet. This keeps the speed of the charger at a high level. When the accelerator pedal is pressed again, charge pressure is then immediately available. To increase volumetric efficiency in the combustion chambers, the pre-compressed air is cooled by around 100 degrees Celsius in an intercooler before entering the chambers.
Optimised exhaust system for even better performance
Engineers also focused on reducing exhaust back pressure as a way of improving engine performance. Both the closed-couple converter (the catalyst near the engine) and the under-floor converter were tuned to reduce exhaust back pressure. Along with increasing the bore of the entire exhaust system, Vauxhall’s engineers achieved a 25 per cent overall reduction in exhaust back pressure, versus the system used in the Insignia 2.0T.
In line with the mechanical changes made to the intake, exhaust and turbocharger, elements of the engine control unit (ECU) governing charge air pressure, fuel injection rate and ignition were all re-tuned.
For drivers of cars like the Vauxhall Astra VXR, the soundtrack when you accelerate is almost as important as the time it takes to reach 100mph. So needless to say, engineering the right type of engine noise was an important part of the car’s development.
Using a recent amendment to European noise regulations on pass-by noise – also known as the Lex Ferrari rule – engineers were able to liberate 75 decibels for the Astra VXR, a full decibel louder than the Astra GTC 1.6T. In order to pass the Lex Ferrari test, the Vauxhall Astra VXR had to accelerate from 50kph to 61kph in third gear on a stretch of road measuring just 15 metres – normally a challenge for all but the most powerful cars.
With an underlying robustness in its character, the engine noise recreates the jet-like noise of its predecessor under mid to high revs, when heard from inside the cabin. And thanks to the removal of one of the GTC’s three silencers, there’s even a distinctive burble at idle.
The twin bumper-integrated tailpipes have parallelogram-shaped openings and are unique in this class.
Nordschleife – the ultimate proving ground!
Before the modified Astra VXR engine could go into production, it was subjected to a series of challenging tests, one of which was to circulate the Nordschleife segment of the Nürburgring at race speeds for 10,000 kilometers, roughly equal to 180,000 road miles.
To achieve this level of durability, the Vauxhall Astra VXR’s engine incorporates some novel features. Its high thermal endurance is supported by a water jacket which extends to the bottom of the cylinders, as well as oil-spray cooling for the underside of the pistons. Both camshafts in the engine respond automatically to an electro-hydraulic cam phaser, matching the valve opening times to the engine load status via the engine control unit. In addition, a higher overlap at lower speeds with continuously variable camshaft phasing ensures the turbocharger responds more quickly. The outlet valves are sodium-filled and all valves are actuated via low friction roller valve levers.
Other engine features are two counter-rotating balance shafts, low-maintenance chain drive for the camshafts and a cast-on oil filter housing, which is easily accessible from above. An oil change simply requires replacing the cartridge and is signaled by an interval indicator. Sensors measure wear and tear of the fully synthetic lubricant according to parameters such as the number of cold starts, as well as the overall number of starts.
MARKET & RIVALS
Volker Strycek, head of VXR product development and a former DTM driver and Nürburgring 24-hour winner, makes it clear about what his team wanted to achieve with the all-new Astra VXR. “Our goal was quite simple: to be the best in segment.”
And with the UK’s ‘hot-hatch’ market brimming with fresh and exciting products, the new Astra VXR had to raise the bar still further. Key to its success was the sophistication of its powertrain and chassis. With 280PS, the VXR produces more power than any of its current rivals, allowing it to accelerate from 0-60mph in a class-leading 5.9 seconds. But the killer punch is its 400Nm of maximum torque, giving it the highest specific output in its class.
The new VXR’s chassis will be equally competitive, with a mechanical limited-slip differential (unique in class as a standard item), HiPerStrut front suspension, and bespoke brakes, springs and damper settings.
As with the previous Vauxhall Astra VXR and the current GTC, the UK will be the new model’s biggest market. Around 10 per cent of all GTC volume will be VXR, equalling about 1200 units per year – the highest of any VXR model.
Key rivals will come from Volkswagen and Renault in the form of the Scirocco R and Megane Sport 265 (as well as the Focus ST, when it arrives in the UK). But the Astra VXR’s keen pricing – £26,995 on the road – will undercut the Scirocco’s by nearly £4,000, and that of the Megane 265 by more than £2000 when the Renault’s equipped with its optional Cup Pack, including 19-inch alloys and a limited-slip differential (both standard on the Vauxhall).
Other standard equipment on the Vauxhall Astra VXR includes FlexRide adaptive damping, DAB, USB, Bluetooth and LED tail lights.
Vauxhall’s unique Lifetime Warranty will also provide first owners of the VXR with the reassurance of comprehensive cover for however long they own the car.
The UK’s hot-hatch class has become significantly hotter in the seven years since Vauxhall launched the first Astra VXR. Back then, the class norm for power was between 200PS and 250PS (the first Astra VXR produced 240PS), whereas now it starts at around 230PS right up to the new VXR’s 280PS.
VXR customers can choose from a wide range of optional extras, including full leather upholstery and electrically adjustable seats, satnav with SD card and aux-in and Intelligent Adaptive Forward Lighting. One of the most popular options will be the VXR Aero Pack, which Vauxhall expects 85 per cent of customers to choose. For just £995, it includes 20-inch alloy wheels, a BiPlane Rear Spoiler and extended side skirts.
VXR – one of the fastest growing automotive sub-brands
The VXR brand has gone from strength to strength since the first car – a VXR220 Turbo – went down the line in 2004.
Buoyed by the success of Vauxhall’s BTCC programme, the VXR badge was soon applied to a wide range of models, from the V8-powered Monaros to the Corsa, Vectra, Zafira and even the humble Meriva. The original Astra VXR joined them in 2005 and instantly became the best-seller in the VXR range.
More recently, the range has been rationalised and now extends to just four models: the Corsa VXR/VXR Nürburgring, new Vauxhall Astra VXR, Insignia VXR and VXR8 family, including the VXR8 GTS, Maloo and Sports Tourer.