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Old November 13th, 2003, 11:20 PM   #1
Magic Mtn Dan
Posts: n/a
Performance Car of the Year! (According to CAR magazine) Lookee here

Rule Britannia! The Vauxhall VX220 wins CAR magazine's Performance Car of the Year 2003

On a cold, wet day in October, eleven of the best performance cars of 2003 disappeared into the depths of the Welsh valleys for the ultimate road test... Only one has emerged from the mist to be crowned CAR magazineís Performance Car of the Year, the £25,000 Vauxhall VX220 Turbo!

Itís no Ferrari, but the Vauxhall VX220 proves thereís more than one ďdark horseĒ in the pack. This was no ordinary test for Vauxhall. CAR magazineís Performance Car of the Year award is the ultimate showdown of the best driverís cars in the world today. With over £1.5 million worth of projectile missiles on the tarmac, including the Ferrari 360 CS, Porsche 911 GT3 and the BMW M3 CSL and new Z4, Vauxhall and British motoring have stamped their mark with the VX220 Turbo.

CARís Performance Car of the Year is not about rating cars against each other Ė how can a £10,000 Ford SportKa honestly compete with £133,000 Ferrari? The cars are judged against strict criteria based on what the manufacturers themselves have tried to create and develop - design, engineering, safety, value and driver appeal. The winner is a well designed, well engineered driverís car that is guaranteed to spark a warm glow of anticipation every time you reach for the keys. Not only did the VX220 Turbo put clear distance for the dollar between itself and the other finalists, but it was also the most solid all round performer in testing.

38 cars were involved in the initial testing sessions at GMís testing site at Millbrook and the top 11 performers were then taken to Wales for the final on-road tests.

CARís Editor Angus Mackenzie said: ĎItís been a fantastic venture to bring so many high performance cars together and itís a breath of fresh air to see an unlikely winner. To tell you the truth, I didnít really expect the VX220 Turbo to go all the way, but it won because it fulfilled each of the criteria better than any other car on test.Ē

It seems like British car manufacturing is back in business. With the best Italian and German car companies having representatives in CARís Performance Car of the Year, the Vauxhall VX220 Turbo has surely surpassed itself. Once again we can be proud of an affordable finely produced British performance car. Letís just hope itís not the last time a British originating automobile ďout-prancesĒ its European counterparts.

The full review of testing will be published in the December issue of CAR - on sale now.

Test Criteria

A coherent and expressive appearance inside and out is important, with clever use of materials or design that enhances functionality as well as quality.

The total engineering concept must be consistently executed, with solutions that improve performance and driver appeal while reducing waste and weight.

Both primary and secondary safety devices should exceed minimum requirements, but primary safety equipment must not unduly compromise driver appeal.

Not an absolute, but a rating of each car against the price and equipment levels of its logical rivals in the relevant market segment.

Driver appeal
Contenders must score highly against baseline roadholding, handling, acceleration and braking parameters, but also display good ride quality, consistent feedback and linear response to control inputs.

The Contenders

Alfa 147 GTA
Mercedes E55 AMG
Alfa GTV 3.2 V6
Mercedes CLK55 AMG
Ariel Atom 2
Mini Cooper S Works
Aston Martin DB7 GTA
Mitsubishi Evo VIII FQ-300
Audi S4 Avant
Nissan 350Z
Audi TT 3.2 V6 DSG
Noble GT3R
Bentley Continental GT
Peugeot 206 GTI 180
BMW Z4 3.0
Porsche 911 GT3
Porsche Cayenne Turbo
Caterham Superlight R400
Renault Clio V6
Daihatsu YRV Turbo
Seat Leon Cupra R
Daihatsu Copen
Skoda Fabia vRS
Ferrari 360 Challenge
Stradale Smart Roadster
Ford SportKa
Smart Brabus
Jaguar XJR
Subaru Impreza STi PPP
Lotus Elise 135R
Vauxhall Astra GSi
Maserati Coupe
Vauxhall VX220 Turbo
Mazda RX-8
Volkswagen Golf R32
Mercedes SL600
Volvo S60R

Story by Vauxhall: 16th February 2000

Vauxhallís keenly awaited new two-seater sports car, the VX220, will make its world debut at the 70th Geneva International Motor Show (2-12 March 2000).

Powered by the new aluminium 2.2-litre ECOTEC engine with 147PS on tap, the VX220 reaches 60mph in under six seconds, and can reach a top speed of 137 mph.

Its performance potential has been maximised through a mid-engine configuration and lightweight aluminium chassis with independent, double wishbone suspension on all four wheels. The result is highly responsive steering and fast, sure-footed cornering.

The final production version of the VX220 features the same design cues - muscular wheel arches and flanks - as its concept predecessor presented to acclaim in Geneva and later in London last year.

Integrated into the carīs body, striking features include the three-dimensional headlamps and tail lights, the large air intake ducts behind the doors (to provide additional engine cooling) and the two vertically arranged exhaust pipes.

"The VX220 is the natural conclusion to our philosophy of creating a pure sports car," says Dr. Doris Bernhardt, head of the VX220 project. "Every decision was based on whether it made the car a more dynamic drive."

A safe but uncompromising sports car is the result, through such features as a roll-over bar, ABS, a driver airbag and seat-belt tensioners but without luxuries such as power steering, air conditioning and central locking, to keep the weight to a minimum.

The interior of the VX220 reflects its performance sportscar character. Instruments have been kept to a minimum with just two dials Ė engine rev counter and speedometer Ė with LCD displays activated when needed.

Sculpted sports seats are complemented by a leather steering wheel and aluminium gear knob. The optional leather interior is available in black, blue, red or beige.

The fold-down roof of the VX220 is easily stowed away and fits neatly behind the seats. A silver-coloured hard top is available as an option. The boot of the VX220 offers a loading space of 206 litres, located behind the mid-mounted engine.

All aluminium chassis
The VX220ís bonded aluminium chassis guarantees high torsional rigidity despite the carīs low weight Ė necessary for precise control and optimal crash worthiness in case of a frontal or side impact. An integrated, steel roll-over bar provides additional protection.

A combination of the VX220ís powerful engine and a kerbweight of around 850 kg means top of the class power to weight ratio of 5.8 kg/bhp. The composite body rides on double wishbone suspension. Advanced geometry and compliance tuning optimises wheel control to maximise grip and handling.

The high speed cornering abilities of the VX220 are further enhanced by a wide track (1450mm/57 in at the front, 1488mm/58.6 in at the rear), a low centre of gravity and precise steering. Four ventilated, 288mm disc brakes provide the stopping power with ABS as standard.

Specially developed Bridgestone Potenza tyres (175/55 front and 225/45 R17 rear) are fitted to 17 inch alloy wheels, which retain the five spoke design seen on the 1999 concept, with widths of 5.5 inch at the front and 7.5 inch at the rear.

New aluminium lightweight engine
Low weight and high performance characterise the new aluminium 2.2 litre ECOTEC engine which powers the VX220. The engine is constructed from aluminium alloy and weighs a mere 138 kg.

In the VX220, this engine produces 147PS at 5800 rpm with a maximum torque figure of 203Nm Ė with 90 per cent of this available at 1800 rpm. In addition to the performance, this engine is fuel efficient delivering around 35mpg (according to MVEG standard) while also complying with the future Euro IV emissions standard. VX220 uses a compact, 5-speed cable operated gearbox.

Production starts in July at a new factory on the Lotus site in Norfolk. The car is due to go on sale in the UK in September.

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Old November 14th, 2003, 01:58 PM   #2
Henry Verheyen
Posts: n/a
Re: Yeah - we all want to be a race car driver

Vauxhall = Lotus = Opel

Sounds to me as if the Lotus Elise is still the best concept out there for "tracking"

We'll see when the Lotus starts showing up on race-tracks here.

Lotus Elise

Opel Speedster

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