As fast, poised and entertaining as the new VXR8 GTS is, here we come back to the same stumbling block that we started on. Much as you love the way it drives, this Vauxhall is never a £50,000 car.
It’s good: a more purposeful driver’s car, sure, as well as a slightly more expensive-feeling way to travel. And it’s as hilarious as ever on a quiet hairpin bend. But it’s not significantly better than the £35,000 VXR8 of four years ago.
And it’s not quite fast enough, special enough or sufficiently well appointed to tempt people away from the German performance options.
You suspect Vauxhall knows that much, which is why Luton’s expecting to sell just 25 new VXR8 GTSs every year – and even fewer Clubsports and Maloos – exclusively to dyed-in-the-wool Holden enthusiasts.
Thanks to the dollar-pound exchange rate, a car that was once a sensationally good buy in the UK has become a bit-part player.
And then there are the day-to-day running costs. We managed 17.1mpg in our VXR8 Clubsport test car, although cruising at 70mph in sixth returns a more affordable 31mpg. Servicing is every 10,000 miles, and is sensibly priced.