Take it or leave it: second-hand picks for March 18 Car News

The limited-run Vauxhall Corsa VXR Nürburgring hatch tops our pick this week

Opel Corsa VXR Nuerburgring

£8295: How do you make a hot sedan even hotter? You upgrade the turbo, add a new exhaust, replace the ECU and name it after one of the world’s most extreme race tracks, of course.

And the performance overhaul that Vauxhall gave to the original Corsa VXR didn’t stop there. The Nürburgring model also gained inverted Bilstein monotube dampers and specially selected progressive springs, leaving it 20mm lower to the ground.

It also looked slightly different, with stainless steel exhausts, Nürburgring badging and a more aggressive body kit including air intakes, funnels and a rear diffuser. It also received a set of lightweight forged alloys, 30 percent lighter Brembo brakes and a torque-sensing mechanical limited-slip differential, which meant it was so much more than just a regular little hot hatch.

In the snout was a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, upgraded to produce 202 hp – a 12 hp increase over the base VXR. The car could therefore go from 0 to 100 km/h in just 6.5 seconds if you time your gear changes correctly with the six-speed manual gearbox.

The Corsa VXR Nürburgring lived up to its name with excellent agility, balance and grip, thanks in large part to that slippery differential. We said it would “just be used for cornering traction and yaw” when it launched in 2011.

Comfort wasn’t too bad either, with those upgraded dampers and springs providing a firm yet quiet ride on both public roads and racetracks.

The VXR Nürburgring cost £22,305 ten years ago. You can buy one for as little as £6,000 today, despite only 740 remaining registered in the UK.

The standard equipment inside the cabin wasn’t all that special (it was still a Corsa, after all), but Recaro seats, power windows, heated mirrors and air conditioning were all standard.

The example we found, in eye-catching Henna Red and priced at £8295, also had a few choice options, including satellite navigation, which is just what you need to guide you to different track days.

Fortunately, it has not been modified, which is something to be careful of when buying a hot hatch of this ilk.

Verdict: Take it

Renault Wind Turbine

£3995: A roadster derived from the Renault Twingo city car, the Wind has a removable roof whose design is inspired by the Ferrari 575 Superamerica. Unfortunately, that and the two-seat layout are where the similarities end. This particular 2011 example has high mileage and will soon require a timing belt change.

Verdict: Leave him

Audi RS5 Coupe

£16,990: There’s a lot to like about this chunky two-door Audi. Not only is it powered by a 444bhp 4.2-litre petrol V8, it also comes with £7,000 of extras including 20-inch alloy wheels, an upgraded sound system, heated front seats and a sports exhaust. It is also unmodified and comes with a full service history.

Verdict: Take it

Ford Ecosport

£15,689: The Ecosport used the Mk6 Ford Fiesta platform but could not live up to the class-leading qualities of the saloon. It disappointed with a low-rent interior, while its performance, handling and ride also left a lot to be desired. This example is expensive at £15,689; we recommend looking at a Volkswagen T-Cross for the same price.

Verdict: Leave him

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This notice was published: 2022-03-18 06:01:26

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