Come the end of 2016, General Motors will cease its manufacturing operations in Australia, and while the Holden name will stick around, the face of the Aussie car industry will be forever altered. But it isn’t just the Land Down Under that will suffer from the loss of its domestic manufacturing base, as GM product lineups across the world will lose range-topping models. Here in the U.S. we’ll say goodbye to the Chevy SS sedan while over in Europe they’ll bid adieu to the Vauxhall VXR8. But not before getting the send off it deserves.
Vauxhall has put out a series of videos promoting its entire line of VXR performance cars, but the only one we really care about is the 6.2 liter V8-powered VXR8. It may not be around for much longer, but it has had a good run.
Jeremy Clarkson, formerly of Top Gear, famously had a go at the VXR8 back in 2008, though he had to make due with the 6.0 liter naturally-aspirated V8 making just 414 horsepower. Today’s VXR8 churns out 577 horsepower from a supercharged 6.2 liter V8, coupled with 545 lb-ft of torque. That’s just the tip of the performance iceberg too. Modern features like Launch Control and a fully-independent multi-link suspension at the rear end allowing this hulking brute to easily work its way around almost any corner.
It’s a decidedly un-European car in an era where high gas prices and draconian emissions standards have forced most automakers into marketing much smaller “performance” cars. There seems to be fewer places where cars like the HSV GTS, Vauxhall VXR8, and Chevy SS sedan can survive and thrive. Will our grandchildren ever know the wonder of modern American muscle?