Home Technology Emerald Green Vauxhall Astra GTC VXR | Spotted

Emerald Green Vauxhall Astra GTC VXR | Spotted


VXR has always been a hit and miss brand. The Corsa VXR, for example, always had a place alongside the Ford Fiesta ST and Renaultsport Clios as a rugged, heady hot hatch that gave a middle finger to the more focused attitude of its rivals. On the other hand, there was the Vectra. A car that I’m sure many will have a weird soft spot for, but let’s face it, it was a load of rubbish. And the less said about the Meriva VXR, the better.

But here we are in 2023 and Vauxhall’s performance arm seems a distant memory. Now under the Stallantis umbrella, which has gone all in on electric power, the chances of seeing a new VXR with scorched wheel arches and a crooked exhaust are zero. Granted, it’s tried to warm up the range a bit with the GSe plug-in hybrid, but that’s hardly going to get the next generation of boy racers going, is it? Not that they can afford them, as an Astra GSe will cost you over £40,000. Good thing you can relive the glory days of VXR for a fraction of the price.

Arguably Vauxhall’s beefed-up Astra GTC was the car that absolutely lived up to the VXR formula. Swollen wheel arches and a small roof spoiler increased the aggression over the standard car, while 20-inch wheels and gloss finish on the front bumper added a touch of sophistication. It was also a more cohesive design rather than the bolt-on body kit look of most other VXRs (which is attractive in its own right). Vauxhall did offer a non-aero kit variant with smaller wheels, but it appealed to almost no one and hardly any were sold.

Not only did the Astra GTC VXR look more refined, Vauxhall spent time making sure most of the 280bhp from the car’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine made it to the tarmac – rather than the front tyres. to light up. A Drexler mechanical diff helped pull the GTC VXR out of turns and did a pretty good job of eliminating torque steer. You’d still get the odd jerk of the steering wheel under acceleration, but nowhere near past VXRs. Three-way FlexRide adaptive dampers seemed space-age at the time, delivering a mix of ride comfort and precision that, again, was unlike anything we’d seen from VXR.

Of course people went crazy for them. Vauxhall sold thousands of them, keeping used values ​​at bay and the advertisements well filled. There’s the usual mix of blue, black, red and white, but this particular car is finished in the extremely rare Emerald Green. It’s not clear if that was due to a lack of popularity or if it was a limited edition color (PHers, do your thing), but what’s certain is that the GTC VXR looks fine in green.

Now I’ve been looking for an Emerald Green Astra GTC VXR on the classifieds for months and suddenly two have recently become available. This particular car is box fresh with just 11,000 miles on it, although it carries a hefty premium of £18,900. Alternatively, there’s this 54,000-mile car for £12,979, but the red calipers suggest some work has been done. Either way, you’re arguably grabbing one of the VXR’s best creations in less arguably the best available color for less than half the price of the new Astra GSe. It may not have been one of the best hot hatches of its time, but that’s a bargain that will be hard to ignore…


Engine: 1,998 cc four-cylinder, turbocharged
Transfer: 6-speed manual transmission, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 280 @ 5,500 rpm
Torque (lb ft): 295 @ 2,400 rpm
MPG: 34.9
CO2: 189g/km
Year registered: 2017
Registered mileage: 11,000
Price new: £26,995
Yours for: £18,950

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