Vauxhall through the Ages: The Australian send-off

By: Mark Higgins, Unique Cars magazine

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The Australian Commodore's last hurrah also provided the British marque with their most powerful car ever

Australia was responsible for a significant slice of Vauxhall’s history when it became the provider of the marque’s most powerful car in its 117-year history, the HSV built GTS-R that was exported the UK and rebadged the Vauxhall VXR8 GTS-R.

It was unlike anything British roads had seen since the Vauxhall Lotus Carlton; a practical four-door sedan with supercar performance.

The VXR8 GTS-R was more Blundstone than Brogue with its unsubtle looks and brutish performance.

Its power came from an evolution of the previous GTS’s supercharged 6.2-litre V8 engine, it produced 437kW and 740Nm of torque. Zero to 100km/h took a mere 5.1 seconds and it had an  electronically limited top speed of 155mph, some 21mph shy of the Vauxhall Lotus Carlton, which wasn’t speed limited.

Like the last-of-the-line HSVs  the VXR8 GTS-R was no ordinary VXR8 and was exclusive to the UK being right-hand drive. Its immense power was sent to the rear wheels via a limited slip differential and the GTS-R retained the previous GTS’s clever torque vectoring system but added an upgraded braking system with six-piston, monoblock callipers and 410mm discs up front. In addition, the GTS-R wore all-new 20-inch forged alloy rims of ten-inch width at the rear.

Visually, the GTS-R had a subtle refresh, with a new front fascia, splitter, wings and carbon fibre vents, while at the rear there was a new-look diffuser, spoiler (with carbon fibre upper), lower panel and quad exhaust outlets with diamond-shaped exhaust tips.

In October 2017 the Vauxhall VXR8 GTS-R became a victim of the closure of Holden’s Australian manufacturing operation..

They certainly were exclusive with just 15 Vauxhall VXR8 GTS-Rs sold in the UK, at an on-the-road price of A$144,000.

 

Vauxhall Through the Ages: Part I - Vauxhall's first car

Vauxhall Through the Ages: Part II - Britain's first racecar

Vauxhall Through the Ages: Part III - Britain's fastest car

Vauxhall Through the Ages: Part IV - The H-Type Ten-Four

Vauxhall Through the Ages: Part V - The Cresta

Vauxhall Through the Ages: Part VI - The XVR Concept

Vauxhall Through the Ages: Part VII - The Firenza HP DroopSnoot

Vauxhall Through the Ages: Part VIII - Vauxhall's first hot hatch

Vauxhall Through the Ages: Part IX - The world's fastest sedan

 

Classic Australian Family Car Value Guide home page

Muscle Car Value Guide home page

Japanese Classic Car Value Guide home page

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