Revamped Vauxhall Musclecar Goes Headtohead With M3

his month sees an old favourite I 1 return to our shores as Vauxhall unleashes the new VXR8. We're not convinced by the chrome moustache topping the grille - in fact the glitz has been laid on a bit thick - but all the important bits we know and love remain.

The 6.2-litre LS3 V8 from the previous model is retained, producing 4l9bhp and 4051b ft of torque -enough to thump the new saloon to 60mph in a claimed 4.9sec. You can choose between six-speed manual and automatic gearboxes, both driving the rear wheels through a traditional mechanical LSD.

The facelifted VXR8 also features the Corvette ZRTs Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) suspension system which adapts

Not for shrinking violets: the newly facelfited VXR8

to road conditions and driver inputs, making alterations up to 1000 times a second. The damper units are filled with magnetic particles that react when an electric current is passed through them, altering the viscosity of the damper fluid.

Gadgets include EDI (Enhanced Driver Interface), which shows realtime data (G-force, power and torque, lap times, even drift angles) on a five-inch monitor. Full leather trim, special HSV performance seats and iPod and Biuetooth support are all standard.

However, the basic price has shot up to £49,500 (the last generation car started at a little over £35,000), bringing the VXR8 into close competition with the likes of the BMW M3 and Mercedes C63 AMG.

3l4mph. That's what TranStar Racing claims will be the top speed of its 2500bhp Dagger GT (above), which the American company plans to have on the road by 2014. The proposed supercar is to be powered by a 9.4-litre twin-turbo Nelson Racing V6 engine, although there will also be a supercharged 836bhp 7-litre for the more environmentally aware... Other claims for the drag racing-inspired GT include a standing quarter-mile time of 6.6sec at a peak of 204mph.

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