Got my copy hot off the press yesterday - full run down, group test against Megane Trophy and Golf GTI and also retrospective look at the Focus RS - on of the car that the VXR has been influenced by.
What is the overall verdict?........... Good but still not good enough.
The review talked about the lack of steering feel and connectedness. Uncomposed nature over b-roads due to lack of suspension control and power through the front wheels. They tested it at the 'ring and it was brilliant but when they took it on the road - it lacked directness and involvement. The power was emmense and the delivery old-school.
In the group test - the Golf won due to its all-round capability. - The Megane was said to be sharper, more reponsive to steering and braking inputs and more organic than the VXR, which seemed to be detach the driver for the experience - serving up the goods but not as and when you'd expect so you have to drive by faith in the electronics and engineering to deliver, rather than by feel. - not good imo!.
In comparison to the Focus RS - the VXR is way behind in every area other than feeling punchier on boost. The RS gear shift is slicker, the power delivery more progressive, brake response sharper - VXR pedal has about half an inch of dead travel - the VXR overall seemed woolly and vague in comparison to the RS.
In fact - EVO had a complete turn around of opinion on the RS in this review as they had previously slated it. - They put it down to the fact the previous RS's were press cars which may have been slighly tweaked - this car was a privately owned production car loaned to them for the review. The owner of the RS drove the VXR and didn't give it much.
It seems that the car is confused - as it has a hardcore image and power but this isn't fully translated in response and feedback from the chassis, suspension or steering - it does perform but the driver isn't invited to the party.
I'm trying to make a good quailty scan of the reviews so you all can have a read.