The VXR8 is a comparatively cheap way to acquire seriously momentous power. Even if you were willing to sacrifice size and output to preserve a V8 engine and four doors, something like the Mercedes C63 AMG is still north of Vauxhall’s starting point.
And it’s hardly poorly equipped: the 8-inch touchscreen, 20-inch wheels, brake torque vectoring, dual-zone climate control, leather trim, BOSE audio system, reversing camera and adaptive dampers are all standard. The entire options list consists of a £1300 sunroof and £500 to add a steel spare wheel that eats into boot space.
However, once the buying is complete, some of that saved money will have to be reinvested in running costs. Vauxhall quotes a combined economy figure of 18.5mpg (we averaged 17.9mpg). To put that into perspective, Ferrari claims 18.8mpg for the V12-engined F12.
The Vauxhall VXR8 GTS’ closest European rival – the equally powerful Mercedes E63 AMG S – manages 28.5mpg combined. During its time at MIRA, where not every minute is spent flat out, the V8 was emptying its 70-litre tank at a rate of 7.1mpg. That kind of thirst would run it dry in just over 100 miles.