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Future models - HSV - Astra VXR

Turbo Astra VXR still undecided

Force-fed: OPC-tuned VXR delivers 176kW and 320Nm of torque.

Holden says 176kW Astra VXR concept is likely to join HSV range, but is no certainty

24 Feb 2006

HOLDEN and its performance arm Holden Special Vehicles are still assessing the viability of importing the turbocharged Astra VXR into Australia, according to GM Holden boss Denny Mooney.

Although the Belgian-built turbocharged three-door hatchback was displayed at both the Sydney and Melbourne motorshows, there is still no confirmation from Holden as to when it would go on sale, or for how much.

"It’s not a certainty as yet," Mr Mooney told GoAuto, adding that it still had a very high probability of getting the green light.

HSV used Sydney to "test the waters" for the possibility of releasing its first front-drive small car since the Pulsar-based 1988 Astra SV1800.

Far from being just a concept, HSV made clear its intention to add the OPC-developed turbocharged four-cylinder coupe to its V8 line-up in 2006, and even took orders in Sydney.

But now it seems Ford's five-door Focus ST-based XR5 - also revealed in Sydney - will beat the VXR into Aussie showrooms by becoming available in May at a price of $35,990.

While the Ford-badged (non-FPV) Focus XR5 delivers 166kW and 320Nm from its turbocharged five-cylinder Volvo engine, the VXR offers 176kW and the same peak torque. Both feature a six-speed manual transmission exclusively.

HSV says the VXR, to be positioned above Holden’s forthcoming 147kW Astra SRi, will feature 19-inch alloy wheels, Recaro sports seats, sports instrumentation, stability and traction control, 0-100km/h performance in 6.2 seconds and an estimated price of $43,000.

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