British brand Vauxhall – a former subsidiary of General Motors and sister brand to Holden, prior to its sale to France's PSA, alongside Germany's Opel – looks set to revive its VXR performance brand in the UK and Europe in 2022 with go-fast versions of its all-electric light hatch and SUV, the Corsa-e and Mokka-e.
According to British magazine Auto Express, the high-performance compact cars will differentiate themselves from lesser variants (pictured) primarily through visual and chassis enhancements, led by a more aggressive exterior styling package including bolder front and rear bumpers, large alloy wheels and rear spoilers – and in the case of the hot Corsa (imagined by X-Tomi Design at top of story), air vents above the front grille.
However, the VXR siblings look likely to be a case of all show, no go, with the publication claiming the pair will retain the same 100kW/260Nm front-mounted electric motor as their standard counterparts, connected to a 50kWh lithium-ion battery under the cars' floors.
That's a significant departure from the outgoing Corsa VXR (bottom), which used a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine to route 153kW of power and 244Nm of torque to the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox.
Despite its circa-50kW power disadvantage, the newly-electrified Corsa-e VXR shouldn't be as far off the pace of its predecessor as its on-paper specs might suggest, with the standard Corsa-e covering the 0-100km/h sprint in 7.6 seconds, versus the outgoing Corsa VXR's 6.8-second claim.
The electric motor's instant torque delivery from a standstill should also deliver a quicker 0-50km/h time.
Auto Express reports the Corsa-e VXR and Mokka-e VXR's aggressive styling will be backed up by a raft of upgrades under the skin, namely through revised steering and suspension, and retuned drive modes.
Speaking to the British publication about the VXR siblings' lack of power upgrades – particularly in light of their main competitors, the 147kW/290Nm Ford Fiesta ST and Puma ST – Vauxhall managing director Stephen Norman remarked: “This is, I would say, a vehicle with a higher level of performance than anybody would expect.
“I would say this is a performance car in the noble sense of the word performance – not silly supercar performance. This is not a vehicle that is going to be embarrassed by the ST range of one of our competitors.”
The 2022 Vauxhall Corsa-e VXR and Mokka-e VXR are expected to launch in the UK – and in Europe, badged as Opels under the OPC performance brand – in early 2022, with the SUV to hit showrooms first. They will reportedly be joined in time by VXR performance versions of the Vivaro van and next-generation Astra small car.
As with all Opel and Vauxhall models following Holden's recent demise, for now it's believed there are no Australian plans for the VXR twins-under-the-skin.