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Vauxhall Corsa VXR – new vs old

The Vauxhall Corsa VXR has always been the immature rascal to the stoic Volkswagen Polo GTI or the sophisticated Peugeot 208 GTi. With this 2015 model, the marque is aiming to take on the best in class.

It has some proper credentials this time round – branded performance components from performance experts at Koni and Drexler have furnished the Corsa VXR with everything it needs to dominate the road.

So what’s actually changed compared to the last model? Check out our side by side comparison and see for yourself.

New Corsa VXR in blue – old model in red


The slightly fussy face of the last Corsa has been comprehensively restyled for the 2015 model. New slimmer xenon headlights flank a larger, more gaping grille which, itself, sits below a new air vent on the edge of the, now more sculpted, bonnet.

Wider lower front air intakes enhance the width of the front end while the side of the car is now more sculpted with feature lines running down the bottom side of the door and over the rear haunches. Wheels similar to the ones fitted to the Astra VXR fill the arches.

Slight modifications have been made to the shape of the boot lid and newer tail lights also improve the visual width. A slightly more prominent rear diffuser now houses two beefy Remus exhausts for an even more aggressive exhaust note.

New Corsa VXR on the left (in Opel OPC form) – old model on the right


The interior has seen the most extensive upgrades – frankly, it was where they were most needed – the old Corsa looked very tired inside. The instrument binnacle, dashboard, centre console, steering wheel and switchgear have been totally replaced and now look a lot more upmarket.

The latest version of Vauxhall’s infotainment system features and has a centre console-mounted touch screen to control it. In fact, as far as we can tell, the only similar detail is the shape of the leather-bound gearstick.


Despite getting performance upgrades, the older Vauxhall Corsa VXR was not renowned for its handling prowess. The new model seeks to rectify this with the fitment of high-tech Koni dampers featuring variable stiffness according to the road conditions. These units drop the ride height by 10mm over the standard Corsa.

To enhance the Corsa’s new-found agility, its steering system has been retuned to provide more feedback and to respond faster to inputs. For those aching to take their Corsa VXR to a track day, you can now totally deactivate the traction and stability controls.

New Corsa VXR dial on the left (in Opel OPC form) – old model on the right


The 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine has been subtly updated for the new model. An extra 13hp takes the total power figure to 202hp and torque sits at 181lb ft. Enough to catapult the Corsa VXR to 60mph from rest in just 6.8 seconds and onto 143mph.

The more potent engine can now breathe better thanks to the dual Remus exhausts that now proudly protrude from the rear diffuser. These should help increase performance while sounding better in the process.

Now what?

Check out our preview of the new Vauxhall Corsa VXR then check out the cars it has to beat – the Volkswagen Polo GTI and the Ford Fiesta ST. Then head over to our car configurator to see how much you could save on your next car.

Vauxhall Corsa VXR

Small fast hatchback is huge fun to drive
£20,185 - £22,595
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Vauxhall Corsa

A cheap, practical small car with a smart cabin
£12,975 - £18,565
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