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by Jez Spinks

British performance car buyers can now order the new Vauxhall VXR8 – a rebadged version of the HSV GTS.

The 430kW Australian muscle car will be available in the UK towards the end of 2013, priced £5000 higher than before at £54,999.

With a conversion of about $86,500 at current exchange rates, it means VXR8 buyers get access to the V8-powered performance sedan for a few thousand dollars less than local buyers.

The HSV GTS will cost $92,990 when it goes on sale in September here, sitting at the top of the new Gen-F range.

Vauxhall VXR8 front

It will continue to provide Holden’s General Motors sister brand Vauxhall with its niche Aussie performance cars it has been offering in recent years.

Vauxhall continues to sell the HSV E3 Series GTS, Clubsport sports sedans and Maloo ute, using its sporty VXR branding that’s also applied to performance versions of the Corsa city car, Astra small car and Insignia medium car (Opel OPC vehicles in Australia).

“The very fact that cars like the VXR8 GTS still exist proves that there is a small but immensely passionate band of customers out there who want to drive something which is unique and special,” said Stuart Harris, Vauxhall’s head of carline brand.

“In its new GTS form the VXR8 offers colossal power and torque in a package that is more technology-led than ever before, yet still retains that unique VXR8-character that no BMW or Mercedes can match. It’s also around £20k less than its main rivals – the M5 and E63 AMG – yet has more power than either.”

Vauxhall appears to have simply photoshopped Vauxhall and VXR8 badges onto HSV images for its press pictures, though they forgot to remove the red ‘GTS’ logo from the lower air intake.