Road test: Corsa goes the extra mile

HOW much do you think a Vauxhall Corsa can cost? Here’s a clue. The cheapest costs £9,495. So, how much more could one cost?

The one you see here is a cool – or steaming – £24,090. That is £22,295 for the “basic” VXR Nurburgring 1.6i 16v Turbo and £1,795 for extras such as the metallic paint, darker rear glass, plus navigation, audio and adaptive forward lighting kit.

The base VXR costs a thumping £18,900 but the Nurburgring has another 13bhp and 14lb ft more torque. It is the only car in its class – a small select group – with a mechanical limited slip differential to harness the power through the front wheels. It has Brembo front brakes and stiffer Bilstein suspension. Top speed is 143mph and the 0-60mph time is 6.5 seconds. The tweaked engine develops 202bhp and 184lb ft of torque. The official economy is not all that frightening either. The company’s quotes are nudging 28mpg urban, 46mpg extra urban and 37mpg overall. The CO2 is 178g/km. Like all Vauxhalls it has a 100,000 mile warranty.

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Considering its tweaked suspension and ultra-shallow tyres, the Nurburgring gives a decent enough ride, without knocking you to bits until you fail to slow down enough for a speed hump. Even then, there are not many rattles.

The Drexler LSD does its job in sharing power between the front wheels so a maximum power start gets almost all the energy on to the road.

There are VXR components such as the honeycomb face, rear spoiler, instruments and flat-bottomed leather wheel, and a big bore, thin-walled tailpipe exits at both rear corners.

A cruise control system may help you to stick to speed limits and air conditioning is included in the package. The extra-cost navigation worked quickly to adapt to route changes and has touch-screen input, with integrated mobile phone, Bluetooth, sockets for the familiar electric gadgets, plus CD and stereo radio – all for a bargain £750.