's lightweight, speedy roadster
(which is the Opel Speedster
in the rest of the world
outside the UK
), introduced in 2000. In a close partnership
racing powerhouse Lotus
, the VX220 is actually little more than a Lotus Elise
with a few mechanical differences
and a unique, all-aluminum bodyshell
-- but still a cool, unique roadster nonetheless.
The VX220 is powered by a mid-engine mounted 2.2-liter, dual overhead cam engine -- the same found in Vauxhall/Opel's Astra coupe -- producing 145 hp @ 5800 rpm and 152 lb ft torque @ 4000 rpm. While at first its numbers don't seem very impressive, and certainly not sports car caliber on first glance (unless one is familiar with Lotus), the VX can still make zero-to-sixty mph in 5.6 seconds -- two tenths of a second faster than a new Porsche 911! With a top speed of 135 mph, the VX is certainly quick -- all thanks to its aluminum chassis and mostly aluminum engine block, which reduces the car's weight down to a paltry 1930 pounds (875 kilograms). And, with ventilated disc brakes on all four wheels and ABS, you can stop as fast as you can go (again, also assisted by the light weight).
Independent, inequal-length double wishbone suspension and the five-speed Getrag gearbox gives you a race-ready vehicle right off the lot -- though this is a toss-up while driving in the city. The VX is quite noisy and unstable (partially due to the MR setup), and its small stature make it somewhat of a liability on the roadway. Then again, the VX is something of a specialist car, and it performs its duty as one quite well.
The VX220 sells for about £21,750 in the UK -- close to $34,585 USD. A lot of bang for your buck, certainly -- Vauxhall's Elise clone does not fail to impress. Buyers, don't let the modest Vauxhall badge fool you; this is definitely one quick machine.