Mercedes E63 AMG VS. Vauxhall VXR8 GTS

The new Vauxhall VXR8 GTS promises to match the Mercedes E63 AMG for much less money. Does it deliver? For the past few decades the supersaloon market has been dominated by premium German brands, but that could all change with the arrival of the new Vauxhall VXR8. Boasting a thumping supercharged 577bhp 6.2-litre V8, uprated [...]

by  Jim Davis  | 

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The new Vauxhall VXR8 GTS promises to match the Mercedes E63 AMG for much less money. Does it deliver?

For the past few decades the supersaloon market has been dominated by premium German brands, but that could all change with the arrival of the new Vauxhall VXR8.

Boasting a thumping supercharged 577bhp 6.2-litre V8, uprated suspension, outlandish looks and real motorsport pedigree, it certainly has the right ingredients to succeed.

There’s only one version, the GTS, which benefits from a lengthy list of go-faster kit, including launch control, adaptive damping and an on-board computer that can log everything from lap times to cornering g-forces. However, the most eye-catching feature of the VXR8 is its £54,499 price tag.

While that’s a hefty amount of cash to shell out for a Vauxhall, it’s around £30,000 less than the Mercedes E63 AMG S, which is the only four-door model on sale that really comes close in terms of power and performance.

Like the VXR8, the AMG features a mighty 577bhp V8 and a traditional rear-wheel-drive chassis that promises plenty of old-school driving thrills. The Mercedes blends this pace and agility with one of the classiest cabins in the business, plus an unrivalled upmarket image. So will this be enough for it to justify its huge price premium, or will it be toppled by a knock-out blow from the bargain-priced Vauxhall?

Vauxhall VXR8 vs Mercedes E63 AMG

Vauxhall VXR8 vs Mercedes E63 AMG

Head-to-head

Under the bonnet

Both cars boast thundering V8s and a heady 577bhp power output, but that’s where the similarities end. The Vauxhall’s larger 6.2-litre engine comes from the legendary Chevrolet Corvette and is boosted by an Eaton supercharger. Mercedes has developed the E63′s V8 with an eye on efficiency, meaning the twin-turbo displaces a smaller 5.5 litres and features modern fuel-saving technology such as a stop-start system.

Racy looks

With its tall rear spoiler, gaping front grille and bright orange paint, the aggressive-looking VXR8 leaves you in no doubt about its performance potential. However, if you don’t want to attract quite so much attention, then the subtly enhanced AMG Mercedes is a much better bet.

Safety first

You expect Mercedes to kit its cars out with plenty of safety aids, but the Vauxhall is equally well equipped. Lane-departure warning, forward collision alert, blind spot monitoring and reverse traffic alert feature on the VXR8.

Verdict

1st place: Mercedes E63 AMG S

Few cars can match the E63′s supercar-slaying performance, agile handling, upmarket image and practicality. It makes every drive an event, while its muscular V8 is an engineering masterpiece. It’s more expensive than the VXR8, but the extra outlay is money well spent.

2nd place: Vauxhall VXR8 GTS
The VXR8 takes the runner-up spot, but the result is closer than you’d think. On the right road, it’s huge fun, plus it’s roomy, well equipped, surprisingly comfy and has a bargain price. It’s not as sharp as the E63, plus garish looks and a cheap cabin let it down.

Figures

Mercedes E63 AMG S Vauxhall VXR8 GTS
On-the-road price/total as tested £84,110/£100,570 £54,499/£54,499
Residual value (after 3yrs/30,000) £37,084/44.1% £25,233/46.3%
Depreciation £47,026 £29,266
Annual tax liability std/higher rate £5,824/£11,647 £3,735/£7,470
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles) £3,851/£6,419 £4,493/£7,489
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost 50/£752/L/£485 50/£699/M/£500
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service £42 per month (3yrs) TBC
Length/wheelbase 4,879/2,874mm 4,988/2,915mm
Height/width 1,474/1,854mm 1,457/1,899mm
Engine V8/5,461cc V8/6,162cc
Peak power 577/5,500 bhp/rpm 577/6,150 bhp/rpm
Peak torque 800/2,000 Nm/rpm 740/3,850 Nm/rpm
Transmission 7-spd auto/rwd 6-spd man/rwd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel 80 litres/sp. saver 70 litres/foam
Boot capacity 540 litres 496 litres
Kerbweight/payload 1,870/520kg 1,881kg/N/A
Turning circle/drag coefficient 11.4 metres/N/A 11.4 metres/N/A
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery 3yrs (unltd)/3yrs 3yrs (60,000)/1yr
Service intervals/UK dealers Variable/136 20,000 miles (1yr)/404
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos. 9th/12th* 29th/18th*
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars 86/77//59/86/5 N/A
0-60/30-70mph 4.2/3.1 secs 4.3/3.3 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th 1.9/2.8 secs 2.5/3.3 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th 3.5/4.8 secs/N/A 4.0/5.8 secs/N/A
Top speed/rpm at 70mph 155mph/1,850rpm 155mph/2,000rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph 46.9/34.4/8.9m 42.8/31.6/8.4m
Noise levels outside/idle/30/70mph 65/52/63/71dB 68/56/65/73dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range 19.6/4.3/345 miles 16.8/3.7/259 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 20.3/37.2/28.5mpg 12.9/24.4/18.9mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 4.5/8.2/6.3mpl 2.8/5.4/4.2mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket 333/232g/km/35% 388/363g/km/35%
Airbags/Isofix/park. sensors/camera Nine/yes/£390 Six/yes/yes
Automatic box/stability/cruise control Yes/yes/yes £1,725/yes/yes
Climate control/leather/heated seats Yes/yes/yes Yes/yes/yes
Met paint/xenon lights/keyless go Yes/LEDs/£595 Yes/no/yes
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/Bluetooth Yes/yes/yes/yes Yes/yes/no/yes

Via: Auto Express

READ MORE: Autos, Mercedes-Benz, E-Class

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