Westfield 1600 Sport Turbo review
195bhp Vauxhall VXR engine makes Westy a euro-friendly hit
If you think £27,499 sounds like a lot of money for a Westfield that’s designed for the road rather than the race track, you’ll probably be surprised to hear that the company has already received orders for 50 of them. And if you think the basic price is a bit steep, consider that the car you see here has a number of extras that add another £1890 to the price, taking the total close to £30K and within financial touching distance of a supercharged Elise.
The questions of ‘how?’ and ‘why?’ are answered by the magic phrase ‘European Small Series Type Approval’, which at a stroke has opened a large new market with an export-friendly exchange rate. The key to gaining the legislative green light is a new engine – the turbo 1.6 from the Corsa VXR, here tuned to produce 195bhp. There are further items that will be familiar to Vauxhall drivers in the dash, and in what must be a first for a car of this type, the steering column is adjustable for reach and rake, ensuring you can get the driving position just about perfect.
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It needs to be, because the Sport Turbo is properly rapid, especially on overboost, which allows torque to increase from 170 to 190lb ft for five seconds. There’s plenty of low-down torque, and throttle response is good across the range, but you lose the toe-to-the-tub aural assault delivered by the Duratec cars, and it’s a heavier engine. The Sport Turbo weighs in at 650kg, which is a tad portly for a Seven-esque machine. Just don’t tell the Europeans…
|Engine||In-line 4-cyl, 1598cc, turbo|
|Max power||195bhp @ 5850rpm|
|Max torque||170lb ft @ 2000rpm|
|Top speed||142mph (claimed)|