The Vauxhall VXR8's Credentials Beat Its Rivals

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The Vauxhall VXR8 and Jaguar XFR-S are “the wild children of the current super saloon crop” and Evo set out to determine which is the best. Engine and gearbox: “It isn’t often that a supercharged Jaguar is outpunched, but on this occasion the big Vauxhall puts its output figures to shame. The Jaguar uses an eight-speed automatic gearbox, which suits the car well and shifts cleanly in both manual and auto modes, while the Vauxhall uses a six-speed manual. That makes it a unique proposition in this sector and it also draws you into the process of driving in a way that no other super saloon does.” Ride and handling: “Both feel a little more relaxed in the way they ride over a bumpy road than the M5 or E63 – and that translates into a very different kind of driving experience. “The VXR8’s movement feels natural and gives you an idea of where the grip is. The VXR8 also feels very different to the German competition, but it takes less time to adjust than the XFR-S. It finds enormous grip, the front axle holds a line well and body control is strong, despite the slightly softer set-up. The rear tyres also do a decent job of harnessing that monumental power and torque, too, so the big Vauxhall isn’t the handful you might expect it to be.” Price and value: “For the sheer performance it offers, the VXR8 is a total bargain. It undercuts the XFR-S by some £25,000 without falling short in terms of performance or the driving experience.” Verdict: “For those buyers who aren’t put off by the badge or the image, the VXR8 is an easy car to recommend – particularly at that bargain price.”

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