Continuing its ludicrous habit of turning mild-mannered and dull mass-market vehicles into near-uncontrollable, bloodthirsty, screaming banshees of the road, Vauxhall has unveiled the hot version of the Corsa.
The latest VXR model is immediately distinguishable from other models in the new Corsa range, because of its bonkers styling. Mirrors, front foglamp surrounds and centre-exit exhaust tailpipe all have a triangular theme, while the aggressive front and rear bumpers are proper manga.
Sweeping side skirts and an angular roof spoiler help accentuate the three-door Corsa’s muscular design, while a mesh front grille, blue-painted brake callipers and optional 18in alloys further set off the VXR’s performance appearance.
The ghastly interior is dominated by the sculpted, shell-backed Recaro sports seats and the race-car style flat-bottomed steering wheel. Drilled alloy pedals, piano black trim on the facia and unique VXR detailing on the dials and gear lever make sure the Corsa VXR look as crazy inside as it does on the outside.
Power – and this is the fun bit – comes from a compact 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, developing around 200bhp and giving a 0-60mph time of just 6.8 seconds and a top speed of 140mph. Like the Meriva VXR, it comes with an "overboost" facility that increases power and torque output for "safe" overtaking.
Despite wild performance, the VXR promises to be an affordable lunatic car to run, with a combined fuel economy figure is 35.8mpg.
The Corsa VXR debuts at the Geneva Motor Show in March, and will be available from Vauxhall retailers from mid-March. Prices will be announced nearer the time.