When it comes to muscle cars, the U.S. is arguably home to the greatest machines ever created. It’s here that the muscle car was born in the 1960s and revived decades later at the end of the Malaise Era. The offerings might not be as varied as they were back in the day, but there are quite a few choices from Ford, GM, and Chrysler. The range now even includes a couple of muscle sedans, with the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat being the most powerful such model to ever come from Detroit. But Europe has its very own Australian muscle in the form of the Vauxhall VXR8 GTS.

Holden-badged muscle cars have caused U.S. enthusiasts a lot of frustration lately, despite GM importing the latest-generation 2010 Holden Commodore with a Chevrolet SS badge. The General said no to the awesome 2013 HSV Gen-F GTS and rejected an El Camino revival based on the Holden Ute and its beefed-up, 2015 HSV GTS Maloo counterpart. Sadly, that’s not going to happen in the future as Holden is about to shut down all Australian manufacturing by 2017.

Meanwhile, gearheads from Down Under will continue to enjoy their Holdens and HSVs, while the British will get to drive around in the Vauxhall VXR8 GTS, a rebadged version of the HSV Gen-F GTS.

Continue reading to learn more about the Vauxhall VXR8 GTS.

  • 2015 Vauxhall VXR8 GTS
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    576 @ 6150
  • Torque @ RPM:
    545 @ 3850
  • Displacement:
    6162 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.2 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Vauxhall VXR8 GTS High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Vauxhall VXR8 GTS High Resolution Exterior
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2015 Vauxhall VXR8 GTS High Resolution Exterior
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Styling-wise, the VXR8 GTS is identical to its Australian counterpart, the HSV Gen-F GTS, sans the badge, which has been replaced with a Vauxhall crest. Some might argue that rebadging isn’t always the way to go, and I would agree, but this is one of those cases in which I wouldn’t change a thing. The Gen-F GTS is badass enough to travel the world with just about any badge. Heck, Holdens were hot with a Pontiac logo back in the 2000s, I don’t see how U.S. enthusiasts wouldn’t love them with a Chevy badge.

But I digress. The Gen-F GTS traveled some 10,000 miles to the U.K. with the same styling cues that made it Australia’s favorite muscle sedan. It has a sculpted body, a twin-kidney grille, massive air intakes in the front bumper, and a menacing diffuser at the rear. Granted, it’s not as pretty as a BMW or a Mercedes-Benz, but this sedan wasn’t designed to win beauty contests. Keep reading to find out what I mean.

Interior

2015 Vauxhall VXR8 GTS High Resolution Interior
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2015 Vauxhall VXR8 GTS High Resolution Interior
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2015 Vauxhall VXR8 GTS High Resolution Interior
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Speaking of Bimmers and Mercs, the VXR8 GTS is as premium as they get. Standard features include leather-wrapped sports seats that hold you in place when taking corners at high speed, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and plenty of soft-touch materials. The front seats are heated and eight-way adjustable. British customers will also find the HSV’s Sport Twin gauges in the instrument panel, an 8-inch display for the infotainment system, and a nine-speaker Bose audio system.

As for standard convenience and safety features, the Vauxhall comes with side blind zone alert, head-up display, enhanced driver interface, passive entry and remote start, automatic park assist, and forward collision alert.

Drivetrain

2015 Vauxhall VXR8 GTS High Resolution Drivetrain
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This is where the VXR8 GTS really shines. Powering this Australian-built sedan is a supercharged, 6.2-liter, LSA V-8 engine rated at 576 horsepower and 545 pound-feet of torque. The V-8 mates to either a standard six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic, both offered with a limited-slip differential. Shared with the previous-generation 2013 Cadillac CTS-V and the current 2014-2015 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, the powerplant enables the VXR8 GTS to outgun its main competitor in the U.K., the 2014 BMW M5, and come close to the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG.

Sprinting from 0 to 60 mph takes only 4.2 seconds, while top speed is set at 155 mph. Not bad at all for a vehicle with a Vauxhall badge, otherwise used on mundane Opels.

Drivetrain Specifications

Capacity 6162cc
Maximum power 576 HP @ 6,150 RPM
Maximum torque 545 LB-FT @ 3,850rpm
Configuration 8 cylinders, 2 valves per cylinder
Fuel/induction system Aluminum alloy cylinder block and high-flow cylinder heads with electronically-controlled bi-modal air intake
Emission compliance Euro 4
Maximum speed 155 MPH
Acceleration 0-60 4.2 seconds

Prices

2015 Vauxhall VXR8 GTS High Resolution Exterior
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Despite its near 600-horsepower rating, the VXR8 GTS starts from only £54,509 (about $84,878). Granted, that’s far from cheap for a mid-size sedan, but it’s significantly more affordable than its German rivals. Specifically, you’ll need to pay nearly £20K (around $31,150) more to get either the BMW M5 or the Mercedes-AMG E63.

Competition

2014 BMW M5

2014 BMW M5 Exterior
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One of the best-selling high-performance mid-size sedans in Europe, the BMW M5 gets its juice from a twin-turbo, 4.4-liter V-8 that generates 560 horsepower from 6,000 rpm and 502 pound-feet of torque from 1,500. The German four-door needs 4.3 seconds to hit 62 mph and 13 ticks to reach 124 mph on its way to a top speed of 155 mph.

If you want more power, the Competition Package adds extra 15 horses for a new total output of 575 horsepower, just one horsepower less than the Vauxhall. With this update, the 0-to-60 sprint comes in 4.2 seconds. But the M5 Competition Package is not the most powerful M5. The 2014 BMW M5 30th Anniversary edition packs 600 horses and hits 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds, but this version is no longer in showrooms and you’ll have to try your luck on the used car market.

The standard M5 retails from £73,970 in the U.K. and from $93,600 in the U.S.

Find out more about the BMW M5 here.

2014 Mercedes-AMG E63

2014 Mercedes E63 AMG High Resolution Exterior
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The AMG E63 is yet another that has a lot to say in the mid-size high-performance segment, and, much like the VXR8 GTS and M5, also has a V-8. The AMG-prepped unit displaces 5.5 liters, comes with a pair of turbochargers strapped to it, and cranks out 550 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque. But while it’s less powerful than the Vauxhall, the E63 is actually quicker from 0 to 62 mph, needing 4.2 seconds to hit the benchmark. Top speed, on the other hand, is also limited to 155 mph.

More power is available with the AMG E63 S, which uses the same engine but benefits from 585 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. Charging from 0 to 62 mph takes 4.1 seconds in this model, but the added power comes with an extra premium. If you’re wondering why the E63 S is slower in the U.K. than in the U.S., where it hits 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, it’s because British-spec cars don’t come with 4Matic. The standard model retails from £74,725 (about $116,370) in the U.K.

Find out more about the Mercedes-AMG E63 here.

Conclusion

2015 Vauxhall VXR8 GTS High Resolution Exterior
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The VXR8 GTS is an exotic car for both the U.K. and the European markets. The main advantage here is that gearheads are able to purchase a muscle sedan powered by an American small-block V-8. So if you’re looking for a piece of the American dream in a car that can seat up to five people, it’s one of the very few choices you have right now. The drawback is that the Vauxhall badge isn’t as appealing as Chevy or Cadillac and competing against established products from BMW and Mercedes-Benz isn’t easy, no matter the brand.

Also, the handling of the VXR8 is not as brilliant as the M5’s and the Australian sedan has been criticized for the lightness of its steering under load. But this is where the pricing comes in, as no other vehicle will bring you nearly 600 horsepower at the touch of a pedal for less than £60K. Compared to its German competitors, the VXR8 GTS is a bargain.

  • Leave it
    • * Needs a badge with better brand cachet
    • * Won’t be around for more than a couple of years
    • * Not for U.S. consumption

Press Release

An Eaton supercharger, 6.2-litre V8 driving the rear wheels, nearly 600bhp and a soundtrack guaranteed to make your hairs stand on end: welcome Vauxhall’s new VXR8 GTS.

2015 Vauxhall VXR8 GTS High Resolution Exterior
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Based on sister company HSV’s new GEN-F GTS, the VXR8 GTS is the most powerful production car ever to emerge from Australia. And with an on the road price of just £54,509 in the UK it allows owners the least expensive membership into the 500bhp+ club.

‘The very fact that cars like the VXR8 GTS still exist proves that there is a small, but immensely passionate band of customers out there who want to drive something which is unique and special,’ said Stuart Harris, Vauxhall’s Head of Carline Brand. ‘In its GTS form the VXR8 offers colossal power and torque in a package that is more technology-led than ever before, yet still retains that unique VXR8-character that no BMW or Mercedes can match. It’s also around £20k less than its main rivals – the M5 and E63 AMG – yet has more power than either.’

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