Vauxhall heralds new

Wizard of Oz

Vauxhall VXR8 GTS, rear
Vauxhall VXR8 GTS

A NEW Wizard of Oz is about to cast a spell on petrolheads and thrill seekers.

It comes in the shape of Vauxhall's new VXR8 GTS, the most powerful production car ever to emerge from Australia.

And with a price of £54,999 it will allow UK owners the least expensive membership into the 500bhp+ club when cars arrive at the end of this year.

Based on sister company HSV's new GEN-F GTS, the supercharged VXR8 GTS has a 6.2-litre V8 engine - identical to that used in the recently launched Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 -driving the rear wheels, 576bhp and a snarling soundtrack.

Performance figures have yet to be released, but even the naturally-aspirated VXR8 achieved a 0-60mph time in 4.9 seconds and a limited top speed of 155mph.

Style-wise, a new front-end design features bold graphics and shallow ramp angles while the focal point is a ‘twin-nostril' grille and fascia that helps deliver both an aggressive look and an air intake surface large enough to cool the engine.

Daytime running lights - which can now operate when the headlights are turned on - and 20-inch forged alloy wheels complete the look.

At the rear, the VXR8 GTS has LED tail lamps, quad exhaust outlets finished in shadow chrome and a unique body-coloured performance rear spoiler with black accents.

Technologies never seen before in this model include stuff like Side Blind Zone Alert, Automatic Park Assist, a reversing camera and head-up display on the windscreen showing vehicle speed, engine temperature and even G-forces.

Forward Collision Alert is another technology fitted standard to the GTS, and is the first system of its kind to be available in a Vauxhall product. A camera, located above the rear-view mirror scans the road ahead up to 14 times per second.

Vauxhall's Stuart Harris said: "The very fact that cars like the VXR8 GTS still exist proves that there is a small, but immensely passionate band of customers out there who want to drive something which is unique and special.

"In its new GTS form the VXR8 offers colossal power and torque in a package that is more technology-led than ever before, yet still retains that unique VXR8-character that no BMW or Mercedes can match.

"It's also around £20,000 less than its main rivals - the M5 and E63 AMG - yet has more power than either."

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