Vauxhall are clearly concerned by the runaway success of the Ford Focus RS as they are considering giving the 2011 Astra VXR as much as 300bhp.
If a recent article at Autocar is correct the new Astra VXR will be more hardcore than the current version, reinforcing the VXR’s brand of extreme performance.
When the last Astra VXR was released it was competing in a market where 240bhp was top of the class. Since then the game has moved on and we now have 270bhp from the likes of Volkswagen, Seat and Audi while the Focus RS is showing just how easily you can deploy 300bhp through the front wheels of a hot hatch.
The problem that Vauxhall’s engineers have got is extracting enough power from the 2.0-litre engine without affecting driveability and reliability.
The next Astra VXR isn’t expected to arrive until 2011 but it will be based on the upcoming three-door Astra Sport Hatch, due to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in September.