GM's Fiesta ST Competitor Is As Loud As Legally Possible

The Opel/Vauxhall Corsa VXR is a 202 hp hot hatch that GM just won’t bring to America to take on the Ford Fiesta ST. But is America missing out on anything at all?

Maybe the Corsa couldn’t satisfy all US regulations. Whatever, in Europe, things are looking bright for the Corsa VXR thanks to what Vauxhall calls ‘Lex Ferrari’:

An amendment in the European regulation allows performance cars over 190PS output and 102PS/ton to produce one extra decibel. The Corsa VXR twin-pipe exhaust is exactly in line with legal pass-by-noise regulations.


Said twin-pipe exhaust was developed with Remus and features a new exhaust manifold with an integrated turbocharger.

The 1.6 got new injectors and intercoolers as well to produce 206 torques and 202 hp, which together with the upgraded short throw shifter gives the VXR a 6.5 second acceleration to 60mph and a top speed of 143mph. Yes, that’s faster than your Ford Fiesta ST .

And there’s more.


Maximum torque is available between 1,900rpm – 5,800rpm, and Vauxhall says the new car can accelerate from 50 to 75mph in just 6.4 seconds in fifth gear. That comes handy in traffic just like the 25 ft-lb of overboost you got to play with.

The suspension is clever too. The magic is down to Koni’s dampers. They call it Frequency Selective Damping. It’s completely mechanical, and offers excellent body control at high speeds with improved ride quality when you step off the gas. The rear axle has new geometry for a modified roll rate as well as a new torsion profile rod, different spring rates, anti-roll bars and rear-axle bearing bushes.


The standard tire package includes 215/45 R17 Michelins accompanied by 308mm front brake discs.

The second-gen Corsa VXR comes with a two-stage ESP and traction control. Drivers can choose the Competition Mode in which the traction control is inactive while the ESP is toned down. For track use, the ESP can be fully disabled.


Of course there is a Performance Package! For £2,400, you get:

  • A Drexler limited-slip differential
  • 330mm Brembos
  • 18-inch alloys with super sticky Michelin Pilot Supersports
  • More focused FSD damper settings

Recaro seats are standard.

Vauxhall sold 9,000+ of the first generation Corsa VXRs in the UK, and looking at this car, I can’t see why would it be any less successful. After all, this is GM Europe giving us affordable speed, and that’s a good thing.


Feels right, doesn’t it?

Photo credit: GM Europe

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