When a car is nicknamed 'The Thunder from Down Under', it gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect. The VXR8's 6.2-litre V8 delivers 425bhp, and can blast the car from 0-60mph in just 4.9 sec (5.0 for the auto). Go for the supercharged Bathurst S model, and the engine is uprated to 564bhp, cutting three-tenths off the 0-60mph time. Make no mistake, this is a genuine muscle car.
Vauxhall VXR8 ride & handling
The VXR8 has more going for it than just raw power; it clings on well in bends and switches direction neatly, too. The dull steering is disappointing, though, because it means you're never sure how hard you can attack a corner. Perhaps surprisingly, the VXR rides well - it's a bit firmer than most big saloons, but it's far from uncultured.
Vauxhall VXR8 refinement
Some will think that the V8 engine's growl is too quiet and too distant, but you can hear enough of a snarl to get you in the mood. The engine stays almost totally quiet when you're cruising at motorway speeds, too. There's a bit of wind- and road noise, but not enough to upset the calm.