Vauxhall Astra VXR Extreme: Geneva 2014

The Vauxhall Astra VXR Extreme is a hardcore 300bhp hot hatch with Renault Megane R26.R vibes

The Vauxhall Astra VXR has been treated to a hardcore upgrade courtesy of the VXR Extreme, unveiled at the 2014 Geneva motor show. It appears to take inspiration from a hot hatch classic, the Renault Megane R26.R, and like that car, it has been honed at the Nurburgring, and could be chasing to steal the lap record from the newly crowned SEAT Leon Cupra.

The Extreme takes the standard 2-litre turbocharged Astra and cuts weight, boosts power and improves grip levels and braking performance.

At 296bhp, its power output is up 20bhp over the standard Astra VXR, making this the most powerful front-wheel-drive car in Vauxhall’s history. The front wheels are driven via a six-speed manual gearbox and a mechanical limited-slip differential.

The boost in power goes hand in hand with a 100kg cut in weight, achieved in numerous ways. A carbonfibre roof weighs less than a third of its steel equivalent, at 2.6kg, while the use of aluminium for the front wings cuts weight from 2.2kg to 0.8kg apiece. The rear wing, diffuser and bonnet are among a list of components made from carbonfibre to further reduce mass and improve aerodynamics.

Perhaps the most extreme change, though, is the one most reminiscent of that Megane. The rear seats have been ditched, replaced by a roll cage, while Recaro bucket seats with six-point harnesses sit up front.

There’s no word on performance figures, and how the standard VXR’s 5.9sec 0-60 time and 155mph are bested, but expect around a five per cent improvement for each number.

Other tweaks for the Astra VXR Extreme include six-piston Brembo brakes with 370mm front discs, adjustable dampers and semi-slick Hankook tyres.

A production run hasn’t been confirmed, but with a Nurburgring endurance racing car as its base, everything about the Extreme is plausible, suggesting a limited-run model to boost the Astra VXR’s credentials in a bustling hot hatch class.

Most Popular

The Jensen Interceptor ‘Mk5’ is a 770bhp V8 hybrid restomod
Jensen Interceptor ‘Mk5’
News

The Jensen Interceptor ‘Mk5’ is a 770bhp V8 hybrid restomod

The groundbreaking Jensen Interceptor FF has been given an electrified overhaul almost 60 years after its launch, but it retains the all-important V8
28 Feb 2024
Toyota GR Yaris Gen 2 2024 review – first drive of the production ready hot hatch
Toyota GR Yaris – front
Reviews

Toyota GR Yaris Gen 2 2024 review – first drive of the production ready hot hatch

We've driven a prototype GR Yaris Gen 2 on track, now we've driven a production car on ice. Is it still looking good for the ultimate supermini?
27 Feb 2024
Renault Sport Mégane RS Trophy‑R – the car world's greatest misses
Renault Sport Mégane RS Trophy‑R
Features

Renault Sport Mégane RS Trophy‑R – the car world's greatest misses

Targeting a Nürburgring lap record proved the undoing of a potentially all-time-great hot hatch
29 Feb 2024