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Vauxhall’s Attempt to Bring Muscle Cars to the UK

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Vauxhall has been the second-largest selling car company in the UK for over 20 years, which goes to show that this is a brand that people rely on. When you think of Vaux-hall, it is likely that you picture their practical range including cars like the Astra, Cor-sa and Viva. It is unlikely that you would picture muscle cars, but the company does actually have history in this market.

Vauxhall’s Muscle Car History
Vauxhall’s VXR range consists of high-performance vehicles that are aimed at young drivers. It is parallel to the OPC range by Opel Performance Centre and the HSV range by Holden Special Vehicles in Australia. It all started with the Lotus Carlton super saloon, which inspired the Vauxhall/Holden Monaro in Australia. This historic muscle car was hugely popular, with the body being used by several brands around the world, making it an important and influential car. The Monero has since stopped production.

Lack of Demand in the UK
Following the success of this, Vauxhall established VXR to attempt to build a muscle car brand. Whilst there were a handful of great cars that were made, they never found success with these cars in the UK. This is because there has never been great demand for this type of automobile, plus the rise of petrol costs and road tax acted as another deterrent for motorists. Unfortunately, it is difficult to see this changing anytime soon and especially with the 2040 petrol and diesel ban and the current economic climate.

The Vauxhall VXR8 GTS was the most popular and a car that any muscle fan will appreciate. Based on the Australian HSV Clubsport R8, the VXR8 GTS is a cool looking car that will certainly turn heads, but it is all about performance with this car. It is capable of 0-60 in under 5 seconds, which makes it comparable to iconic vehicles like the Dodge Viper and the Corvette Z06. The 576 bhp supercharged 6.2 litre V8 engine provides immense power to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual gear-box, so it is great fun to drive and offers impressive ride comfort. It also has an abun-dance of impressive technology inside the sleek looking cabin. The VXR8 GTS is cheaper than its rivals too and an affordable way to get over 500 bhp.

Lack of Sales
Despite its impressive statistics and performance, the VXR8 GTS has failed to break into the mainstream in the UK much like the cars that came before it. As a result, it seems that Vauxhall have given up on the muscle market and focused on their practi-cal range, evident through the number of used Vauxhall’s available at places like Un-beatable Car.

It is a shame, but it seems that there simply is not enough demand in the UK for mus-cle cars and this looks unlikely to change in the near future with the upcoming ban and a great deal of uncertainty in the UK at the moment. Instead, Vauxhall have con-tinued to focus on their reliable range of affordable family cars as this is what the UK public demands.


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