The VXR brand is Vauxhalls performance arm that delivers faster and more powerful versions of regular Vauxhall vehicles much like AMG is to Mercedes and STI to Subaru. The VXR220 is a rare sight on the road with only 65 units ever made. It was based off the very good VX220 Turbo with added power, lower suspension and a stiffer more track oriented set-up. The VX220 was itself based from the Series 2 Lotus Elise platform and shared the same light weight, low slung roadster ethos.
The added power of the VXR220 over the VX220 Turbo model was a modest 15kW (20 hp), with peak torque rising a more impressive 50 Nm (37 ft-lb). Accordingly the 0-100 kph sprint dropped in time from 4.7 seconds to 4.2 seconds, helped by stickier tyres and Ohlins dampers getting power to the ground. Top speed also increased from 217 kph (135 mph) to 250 kph (155 mph).
“People loved it,” says Simon Hucknall, PR Manager for Vauxhall and VX Motorsports, of the VXR220. “It’s true to say there was a lot of snob avoidance, Lotus vs Vauxhall, but for those that saw beyond the badge, they recognised it was in many respects a superior road car.