Official: Vauxhall reveals stripped-out Astra VXR Extreme front-drive track toy

Filed under: Performance, Geneva Motor Show, Europe, Hatchback, Opel, Vauxhall, UK

Vauxhall Astra VXR Extreme

More power, less weight. It’s a winning formula when it comes to performance automobiles, and one we’ve seen applied time and time again. It’s what Ferrari did to transform the 360 Modena into the Challenge Stradale, the F430 into the Scuderia and the 458 into the Speciale. Maserati does the same with the GranTurismo MC Stradale and Lamborghini with the Gallardo Superleggera. We could go on, but you get the point: it’s a formula typically applied to exotic Italian supercars, but of course it’s not exclusively their realm.

Taking up the opposite end of the spectrum is the new Astra Extreme, the hardcore new hot hatch which GM’s European operations will unveil shortly at the Geneva Motor Show. To be sold by Vauxhall in the UK as the Astra VXR Extreme and by Opel in Europe as the Astra OPC Extreme, the hottest of hot hatches takes the Astra Cup racer to the street with extreme aero and lightweight components.

General Motors has shed a good 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of excess weight through the use of carbon-fiber components. The roof, hood, engine cover and suspension bracing are all made of the lightweight stuff. The same goes for the aero kit, complete with front splitter, rear wing and underbody diffuser. Even the 19-inch wheels are made of carbon fiber, packing Brembo brakes that measure 14.6 inches with six-piston calipers up front. Even the cabin has been stripped out, dumping the rear seats in favor of a roll cage, with Recaro buckets and six-point harnesses up front. All that, and it’s still (Euro) street legal.

Vauxhall and Opel aren’t saying much about the power side of the equation, but do claim that the 2.0-liter turbo four – complete with direct injection and variable cam timing, is the most powerful it’s ever made. However much power it produces, it’s all channeled to the front wheels through a six-speed manual and limited-slip differential. All of which adds up to a limited-production track monster that looks ready to take on the likes of Renault and Honda for the front-drive N

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