Took both the VXR and the 888 CDTi out yesterday at Thurlby Motors. Was only interested in the 888, but know the salesman, so when he said, take my VXR out while you're waiting, who was I to argue?
Took the VXR first, went to pull away, fierce clutch, got a kick in the back (didn't stall it thankfully ). The steering is very very precise, booting it in first and second in the dry it gripped well and shoved you in the back. Acceleration is very strong in all gears, grip levels are fantastic, although I wasn't impressed by the brakes, I don't know if they are all like that. I have to say the engine sounded a bit rough considering its only done about 4k, but certainly no arguing with the performance, or the way the chassis handled it either. Couldn't give it too serious a hammer as the missus was with me and she was already .
The 888 was a whole different ball game. This car drove much more like a normal car than the VXR did. Clutch was a pleasure and booting this car in second or third gives a tremendous shove in the back, especially considering it's a diesel. It sounded much better than the VXR strangely, no roughness, in fact once on the move, you simply couldn't tell it was a diesel othen than the 4k redline. The brakes (four pots) were simply awesome, just how they should have been on the VXR. The handling didn't seem quite as tight, but then it was no where near as twitchy either.
Well, the VXR is brilliant no doubting that. Point to point this car is awesome, but it's not something that wants to be driven slowly AT ALL !!! I'm sure in traffic and everyday use this would be tiresome to drive, you get the feeling it requires 110% concentration, 110% of the time. It's a complete thug which should leave you like this
For me though the 888 is the better car, ok it doesn't look as aggressive as the VXR, nor is it as aggressive to drive. But it does handle exceptionally well, isn't as twitchy, has a serious amount of torque (around 400nm), should average mid 40's to the gallon (I do 70 miles a day so this is a consideration) and the brakes are how the VXR's should be. Overall it's just easier to live with.
If I wanted a toy, then the VXR it would be, but I just can't help feeling for my daily commute it would be too tiring. Just need to convince the missus now that we should get the 888