Geneva 2012: Vauxhall Astra VXR

* Vauxhall Astra VXR hot hatch * Upgraded chassis; 276bhp engine * Price from 26,995...

Geneva 2012: Vauxhall Astra VXR

The new Vauxhall Astra VXR will cost from 26,995, Vauxhall has announced at the 2012 Geneva motor show.

The Astra VXR goes on sale in the spring and will go head-to-head with hot hatches such as the VW Golf GTI and the forthcoming Ford Focus ST.

See also: All Geneva motor show 2012 news

The VXR is based on the three-door Astra GTC. Its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine produces 276bhp and 295lb ft of torque, which is enough to give it a top speed of 155mph. The Astra VXR can cover the 0-62mph dash in 5.9 seconds..

The cars front-wheel-drive chassis set-up incorporates stiffer suspension, Vauxhalls Flexride adaptive dampers and a mechanical limited-slip differential. The system will be controllable, with two buttons that can ramp up the chassis, steering and throttle to differing performance modes.

The VXRs styling builds on the regular GTCs package, adding sideskirts, new front and rear bumpers, a roof spoiler and twin exhaust pipes. Inside, there are different seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and upgraded instruments.

For 995 buyers can opt for an Aero Pack, which comprises a bi-plane roofline spoiler, extended side skirts and 20-inch forged bi-colour alloy rims.

Orders for the Astra VXR can be placed from today, with first deliveries expected in July

Vauxhall is also showing the new Mokka SUV and Insignia BiTurbo at the Geneva motor show.

Leo Wilkinson