What is it?
The Vauxhall VXR8 Bathurst S, the most powerful production car ever to wear a Vauxhall badge.
There’s already been a supercharged version of the VXR8, but that car was powered by the old 6.0-litre LS2 General Motors V8. The new VXR8 Bathurst S gets the latest-generation 6.2-litre LS3 version.
Power is up by 32bhp over the previous supercharged VXR8, at 564bhp. That’s 139bhp - or more than a Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCi - more than the naturally aspirated version. With 547lb ft of torque, the Bathurst S is actually 21lb ft down on the old car - largely in the interests of gearbox longevity - but it’s hardly under-endowed.
Helping to put the power onto the road are stiffened, height adjustable springs, individually adjustable coil-over dampers, six-pot callipers at the front, and four-pot callipers at the rear.
What’s it like?
The VXR8 Bathurst S does not go about its business in a subtle way. The optional bi-modal exhaust system, even on its quieter 'street' setting, woofles on the over-run, and it sounds for all the world like the car is being pushed along on the edge of a thunderstorm. Every moderately enthusiastic poke of the throttle provokes an angry shriek from the supercharger that overlays the chesty V8 rumble.