To be honest my first reaction was—a Vauxhall, and Nürburgring—who are they kidding! But I looked into this a bit more and, apparently, to be fair, Opel does have reasonable bona fide links to the Ring. Be that as it may, I’m still not convinced. I know I featured a piece on the Aston Martin V8 Vantage N400 recently, and it could be argued that their marketing spin is no better than Opel’s. Or Vauxhall’s, depending on where you buy the car. But, that was an Aston Martin, a genuinely desirable brand, not a Vauxhall—a future clapped out chavtastic wannabe.
Have a read of this intro from the GM press release:
There are plenty of hot hatches on the market, but it’s the Astra VXR that’s the undisputed Ring leader…
And to prove it, Vauxhall has pulled the wraps off the Nurburgring edition, named after the car’s spiritual home, where much of its pre-production development was carried out.
Okay, fine, Opel tested the car on the Nordschleife during its development, but how does pulling the wraps off the Nürburgring edition prove that this car is the “undisputed Ring leader”? I’ve read some creative lines in press releases and promo material before, hell, I’ve even written a few in my time, but this is something else. I could accept that claim from Porsche, or BMW, but sorry, I don’t care how German Opel is, or how many laps around the Ring the Astra did in pre-production, a claim such as this should be reserved for truly special cars. Think, Carrera GT. Don’t think Astra.
I don’t even think they’ve upped the power, the brochure (see link below) claims 176kW, isn’t that what the VXR has as standard? So, what we have here is a few lazy stickers, a Nordschleife map embossed into some Recaro seats and some painted white wheels (to be fair these do look like OZ Ultraleggeras). Oh, the car does come with a Remus exhaust that “adds a significant power increase of up to 15PS”. To top it all of the car is adorned in “carbon fibre-effect” detailing.
Carbon fibre-effect. As I said, a chavtastic wannabe.
Maybe I am just too cynical and being a bit harsh. Download the brochure (1.7mb PDF) and tell me what you think.