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. 

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Editor-at-large
The Vauxhall isn't the £30k car that it once was but it still undercuts its rivals by a compelling margin

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.

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It’s similarly expensive to tax, and while that will surprise to no one, it’s worth mentioning that most of its rivals are potentially only a facelifted tweak away from qualifying for the £285-a-year band K.

In contrast, the VXR8 is a massive 108g/km of CO2 beyond the point where the 255g/km band M even starts, meaning that from now on it’ll never cost less than £500 a year to keep on the road.

On the residuals front the GTS should prove a little more resiliant than the Jaguar XFR-S and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, due to its cheaper starting price, but it'll still lose nearly half its value in three years.

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