1. Vauxhall’s most famous engine, the 2ltr 16V 20XE Red Top was produced from 1988 to 1994 and was fitted to the following cars: Astra GTE 16V, Calibra 16V, Cavalier GSi, Astra GSi 16V and Cavalier SRi 16V. It has now been fitted to just about anything you can think of though!
2. One of Vauxhall’s most famous special editions is the Nova Sport, a homologation special for rallying. It came with a 1.3ltr engine, twin carbs, Ashley exhaust and optional Irmscher cam. Today, they are highly sought after.
3. The most powerful production Vauxhall ever is the mighty VXR8 Bathurst S, which features a supercharged 6.2ltr V8, producing 560bhp and 528 lb/ft of torque.
4. In the UK, the turbocharged C20LET engine was only available in the Calibra and Cavalier Turbo, but in South Africa, the Mk3 Astra was sold as the 200tS, with limited slip diff and no cat. To our knowledge, only one has made it to the UK.
5. Vauxhall have had a long standing relationship with the Police. The Vectra C has proven to be a popular car, and you can pick up a 2.8ltr V6 Turbo ex-traffic car with 280bhp for around £3500 – VXR power for a fraction of the cost.
6. If you want a sporty carderived van, then there’s no rival to the Astravan Sportive. With a 150bhp 1.9 CDTi engine that can be mapped to 200bhp, it’ll rival many hot hatches.
7. Lotus worked on the 1.6ltr 16V engine in the 1993 Corsa GSi and were so successful with it that it made around 140bhp in testing, prompting Vauxhall to fit a notoriously restrictive inlet to get it down to 109bhp for insurance purposes.
8. At launch, the Calibra Turbo 4×4 could outpace the mighty Escort Cosworth to 100mph and had a greater top speed (152mph to the Cosworth’s 143mph).
9. Probably the most iconic Vauxhall of all, the Lotus Carlton, caused huge controversy when launched in 1990 due to a top speed in excess of 175mph. The Association of Chief Police Officers called it ‘An outrageous invitation to speed.’
10. In the early ’70s Vauxhall planned to sell a Ventora with a Chevy V8, creating a genuine British muscle car. Unfortunately the 1973 oil crisis killed the project.