What is it?
It’s the Vauxhall VXR8, largely as we’ve always known it but now sporting GM’s new LS3 engine instead of the old LS2 unit. That means an increase from 6.0 to 6.2 litres, a modest power gain (411bhp to 425bhp) and, er, not a great deal else.
Oh, you get an oil cooler if you choose automatic transmission (shame on you), you can now order it in white and with 20in wheels, and they’ve made major revisions to the interior… well, they’ve changed the oil temperature gauge; everything else is unchanged.
What’s it like?
You will not be surprised to learn that the latest Clubsport R8 (as it’s known Down Under) is remarkably similar to the old one. Its power delivery feels slightly smoother, particularly between 3000rpm and 5500rpm, where its revs are delivered a little more freely than before.
But its performance is not even a modest step up from the old car; 14bhp doesn’t count for that much in something weighing over 1800kg, after all.
The chassis is ‘as you were’, so the big Vauxhall has debatable levels of traction (especially in the wet) and surprising amounts of lateral grip. When the rear end does break away mid-corner, it does so in a relatively progressive manner. Think of it as a friendly grizzly bear; damned entertaining, but always capable of tearing you to pieces.