Supercharging and upgraded suspension make for a pair of serious sedansEnlarge Photo
The VXR8 is already an impressive sedan, rated at 431hp (321kW), but the Bathurst S edition cranks that up to 560hp (418kW) and 528lb-ft (715Nm) of torque thanks to a Walkinshaw Performance 122 supercharger. That makes the car the UK's least expensive 500+hp car at £44,995 ($65,000). It's even in the running in the performance-per-dollar sweepstakes agains the bargain-priced U.S. version of the Cadillac CTS-V, rated at 556hp and priced at $59,999.
Helping to keep all that power under control is a set of upgraded six-piston front and four-piston rear brakes plus stiffer, height-adjustable springs and special Walkinshaw coilover dampers with 15 selectable settings. The goal of the new suspension was preserving the car's ride quality while helping to control body roll and improve transitional ability.
For those slightly less insane, Vauxhall also offers a VXR8 Bathurst edition, which does away with the supercharger of the Bathurst S.
Both Bathurst versions also get a distinctive exterior treatment including front fog light covers and ‘Bathurst’ badges, though the addition of a discreet ‘S’ badge reveals the supercharged model’s extra 129hp, while inside a console-mounted badge showing the car’s build number complements the ‘Walkinshaw Performance’ tread plates found inside each door opening.
The final touch is a sonorous and performance-enhancing exhaust that opens up the car's breathing, adding up to 10hp and offering two settings for performance and street use. Setting the exhaust to 'street' limits output to 92dbA, while ticking the 'optimum' setting raises the limit to 102dbA.
The standard Bathurst edition starts at £37,995 ($55,000), only £2,757 ($4,000) more than the standard VXR8.