In a move that will make hot hatch fans roll their eyes in despair the next generation Astra VXR, due in 2010, will feature a smaller engine! In an attempt to make the hottest Astra more affordable in this current climate of high taxes and pricey fuel, the current 237bhp 2.0-litre engine will be replaced by a new 1.8-litre engine.
However, don’t panic … we’ll actually be getting more power from the new unit. The turbocharged 1.8-litre engine will produce 240bhp, so the 2010 Astra VXR will keep the fiery temperament of the current model with a 0-60mph time of six seconds and a top speed of 150mph. Not only that, but you’ll also be getting better fuel economy and kicking out fewer harmful emissions, although official figures aren’t released yet.
There’s also a possibility of an oil-burning VXR. Vauxhall’s new Insignia, a replacment for the Vectra due next year, will feature a range of new 2.0-litre CDTI units and there’s a chance that the 168bhp version could be fitted to the new Astra. That would give Vauxhall an entry in the undercrowded diesel hot hatch market, with only the Renaultsport Megance dCi and Golf GT TDi offering significant competition.
The next generation of Astra is due to hit showrooms in 2009, with the new VXR following sometime in 2010. Just in time to go head-to-head with the MkVI Golf GTI, which should be interesting!