Future Models - Vauxhall 2009 VXR8
First look: Vauxhall’s W427-bashing VXR8 Bathurst
Blown away: Walkinshaw supercharger puffs up HSV Vauxhall VXR8-S to 420kW.
Blown 6.2-litre Walkinshaw V8 powers the wildest ever HSV sold in the UK
12 February 2009
VAUXHALL has released two Bathurst-badged versions of the HSV GTS-based VXR8 in the UK, including an astonishing new W427-slaughtering supercharged ‘S’ version that slams down 420kW of power and 715Nm of torque for less than $A100,000 – but don’t expect to see them in Australia any time soon.
Billed as the least expensive 500hp-plus car available in the UK, the Vauxhall VXR8 Bathurst S is built in Clayton by HSV and modified by Walkinshaw Performance (WP) in the UK using the same aftermarket components available in Australia through WP.
The standard Bathurst-edition VXR8 features a host of cosmetic additions, including the same “heritage stripes” featured by the 40th Anniversary GTS revealed at the 2008 Sydney motor show. Just 100 examples of the special GTS were to be built for Australia, priced at $82,500 – $2000 more than the standard GTS.
In addition, the UK’s VXR8 Bathurst also features the same coil-over adjustable suspension and six/four-piston front/rear AP Racing braking systems also offered here by WP, which is also owned by HSV owner Tom Walkinshaw.
However, the top-shelf VXR8 Bathurst S is an entirely different beast.
Fitted with the same ‘Stage 2’ WP Supercharger kit that’s available through WP here for Holden’s 6.0-litre V8 and HSV’s 6.0-litre (LS2) and 6.2-litre (LS3) V8s, Vauxhall says the factory-backed VXR8 S produces 560hp (about 420kW) and a blistering 715Nm of torque.
Those are similar figures to the 422kW at 6000rpm and 728Nm at 4250rpm numbers quoted for the WP Stage 2 LS2 kit in Australia. On its website, WP says “even higher output levels (are) attainable with the LS3 powerplant”.
Like the WP Stage 2 kit available here, the VXR8-S comprises a WP HH122 supercharger with Eaton internals in a Harrop Engineering housing, a WP supercharger inlet manifold and drive assembly, WP water-to-air intercooler package, WP cold-air intake and high-flow fuel-injectors.
WP offers the kit in Australia for about $15,500 plus $2100 for the exhaust, including full dyno tuning and a 12-month/20,000km parts and labour warranty, as fitted to any VE/WM-series Holden or HSV V8.
Bringing the performance of the $80,500 HSV GTS up to Vauxhall VXR8-S levels would therefore also total around $100,000 (less using a $63,720 HSV ClubSport, or even Holden’s $45,790 Commodore SS or Berlina V8 as a basis).
Of course, that’s significantly less than the $155,500 pricetag HSV charges for its W427 muscle-car flagship – just 200 of which will be built, powered by a 7.0-litre V8 that produces substantially less performance at 375kW/640Nm.
Not surprisingly, HSV argues the W427 is a more cohesive and refined vehicle than any aftermarket WP supercharger-equipped models, and says it has no plans to introduce a VXR8 Bathurst S-style model here, partly because of the tighter design rules for Australian vehicle manufacturers.
“The OE rules and regs are different in the UK to locally,” said HSV spokesman Simon Frost. “We would advise a customer interested in any of these performance upgrades to contact a Walkinshaw Performance supplier.”
For the record, Vauxhall’s standard VXR8 Bathurst is priced at £37,995 ($83,515 – about $6000 more than the regular VXR8 in the UK), while the Bathurst S costs £44,995 ($A98,900) – $A15,380 more than the naturally-aspirated VXR8 Bathurst in the UK.
While HSV’s limited-edition 40th Anniversary GTS is available only in white or red paint colours, Vauxhall’s Bathurst-edition can be had in any VXR8 colour and UK and VXR8 Bathurst options include 20-inch alloy wheels (£1500 or $A3285) and a “Bi-Modal” exhaust (£1600 or $A3500).
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