Vauxhall models, usually released as Opel outside of the U.K. The Vauxhall VXR8 Bathurst S looks decidedly non-British, with its strange hybrid styling. It comes with 552 hp generated by the merger of a Walkinshaw Performance 122 supercharger and the newest Corvette-derived 6.2-liter LS3 V8 engine. The The Vauxhall VXR8 (a.k.a. Pontiac G8 GXP) is loosely based from both the Holden and G8 models, featuring the GM-sourced LS3 V8 found in both models. Unlike the G8 GXP, though, the 2010 VXR8 Bathurst S features a true manual 6 speed transmission. The $82,400 (£44,985) price tag makes this the least expensive 500 hp car currently available in the UK.
This excessive power is 20bhp over the previous generation VXR8 and 127bhp over the present normally ventilated car. Torque is also enhanced by 127lb-ft making the total 527lb-ft. The Barthurst S receives more rigid height-adaptable springs and customized, individually adaptable coil-over dampers. Standard stopping power comes from six-pot brake calipers and four-pot calipers for both front and rear, respectively. The feature that gets most interest in the VXR8 Barthurst S is what the carmaker calls the “Bi-modal exhaust” which also comes with the non-supercharged variant. The system, which is 2.5 inches in diameter, allows two settings: 92 dbA for street driving and 102 dbA for optimum.
The Bathurst S dispenses 560 V8 horsepower, compared with the standard car’s 431 horsepower, and produces searing acceleration throughout the rev-range and a spine-tingling, banshee wail when you hit the loud pedal.
The Bathurst S Edition joins the normally aspirated Bathurst Edition at the top of the Vauxhall family tree, with both cars receiving a raft of technical and cosmetic upgrades over the standard VXR8. Only a limited number of Bathurst Editions will be sold through selected Vauxhall retailers.
To exploit the Bathurst’s greater power potential, six-pot front and four-pot rear callipers are now standard on both models, along with stiffer, height-adjustable springs and Walkinshaw-developed coil-over dampers. The bespoke damper units have 15 separate valve settings with independent corner adjustment for the owner’s preferred setup.
Dynamically, both Bathursts retain the VXR8′s much praised ride quality, but body control is enhanced and the handling made more exploitable for the enthusiastic driver.
At the heart of the Bathurst S is Walkinshaw’s 122 Supercharger, which not only boosts power by 30 per cent, but escalates torque from an eye-catching 550Nm to an eye-watering 715Nm. Such is the strength of the LS3 V8 engine that extracting bigger figures would have been possible, but retaining the VXR8′s driveability and durability was Walkinshaw’s priority.
In fact, the 122 Supercharger is so much more than just a bolt-on blower. The comprehensively engineered package also includes a large capacity intercooler, high-flow fuel injectors, a separate cold air intake and Walkinshaw-developed ECU map, while the standard manual gearbox is upgraded with a high-torque capacity clutch.
Both Bathurst models retain the VXR8′s standard colour palette, and can also be specified with optional 20″ alloy rims at £1500. List price for the Bathurst Edition is £37,995 – just £2757 above the standard VXR8 – while the Bathurst S costs £44,995.