Holden is considered somewhat of an exotic brand, mostly because its vehicles aren’t made available in Europe or the United States. Save for a few exceptions, such as the VE Commodore-based Pontiac G8 and Chevy SS, Holdens mainly remained on Australian soil and a few surrounding countries.
And that has caused some frustration with U.S. enthusiasts, especially among those that were hoping for General Motors to revive the Chevy El Camino by importing the Holden Ute. That didn’t happen, but GM eventually brought the Commodore Stateside last year as the Chevrolet SS.
The Detroit giant also imported the Australian sedan to the United Kingdom for its Vauxhall brand, but, unlike North America, the Brits got the angrier, HSV-prepped version of the Commodore. Sold under the VXR8 GTS name, the high-performance sedan is being marketed as a competitor for the more popular BMW M5 and the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG.
And judging by the numbers, the Vauxhall is an impressive machine, with 577 horsepower and 564 pound-feet of torque coming out of a supercharged, 6.2-liter, V-8 engine. That’s more than what the BMW M5 Competition Package gets under the hood, but is it enough for the rebadged Holden to take on one of Germany’s finest sedan?
The folks over at Autocar embarked on a mission to find out and put both vehicles through handling and rolling start drag race tests with Steve Sutcliffe behind the wheel. Who won? Well, you’ll just have to hit the play button to find out.
The Vauxhall VXR8 doesn’t get nearly the same amount of love as the Audi RS6 Avant, or any of the equally powerful German estate models. But completely dismissing the VXR8 isn’t fair to the Vauxhall, something EVO found out first-hand during a recent comparison run between the two.
It goes without saying that high-performance estate models don’t get any better than the RS6 Avant. Audi is one of the pioneers of the segment and the latest RS6 Avant holds true to all of Ingolstadt’s capabilities in building a car that still runs incredibly despite carrying all that weight.
Ultimately, EVO found the RS6 Avant impressive given the standards Audi has set for it. But it didn’t possess the kind of "fun" EVO wanted out of its, which is saying something. The 1:26.5 lap time of the RS6 was impressive in a lot of ways, and certainly much faster than the 1:29.9 seconds the VXR8 pulled out of its hat.
But as far as entertainment value was concerned, Evo gave the nod to the Vauxhall not so much because its more fun to drive, but because you get a whole lot of raised heartbeats doing so. Audi has always been about efficiency, and it’s no different with the RS6 Avant.
An overzealous man took his Vauxhall Astra VXR Nurburgring Edition to the track that bears its name and ended up crashing it into a twisted heap. Coming off a turn at one of the corners of the notorious Green Hell, the driver of the Astra lost control of his car, sent it careening into the barricade and smashed into it with so much force the car ended up turning over landing right back to its upright position.
The driver looked to be in OK shape after the crash, but the same, unfortunately, cannot be said for his special-edition ride, which pretty much lived up to its Nurburgring name a little too hard.
Check out the video to see how the crash occurred.
The BBC’s best automotive journal, Top Gear, has a problem with proper German sports saloons built for businessmen and that is that they are all just too similar. So that is why Richard Hammond decided to introduce a pair of very special GM cars from Australia. First up was the Vauxhall VXR8 Bathurst Edition. Aside from being the most popular track on the V8 Super car calendar, it is also a blindingly fast version of what we here in America have come to know as the Pontiac G8. The Bathurst comes complete with a set of racing stripes on the hood and a supercharger underneath it. The VXR8 wears some very race inspired bodywork to go along with the 560 HP and the bargain £44,995 price tag.
Continued after the jump.