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[NEWS] Take it or leave it: used picks for 18 March

Take it or leave it: used picks for 18 March

99 vauxhall corsa vxr nurburgring

The limited-run, hot Vauxhall Corsa VXR Nürburgring hatch leads our selection this week

Vauxhall Corsa VXR Nürburgring

£8295: How do you make a hot hatchback even hotter? You uprate 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 makeover that Vauxhall gave the original Corsa VXR didn’t end there. The Nürburgring model also gained inverted monotube Bilstein dampers and specially selected progressive springs, leaving it 20mm closer to the ground.

It looked slightly different, too, with stainless steel exhausts, Nürburgring badges and a more aggressive bodykit featuring air scoops, funnels and a rear diffuser. It also received a set of lightweight forged alloys, 30%-lighter Brembo brakes and a torque-sensing mechanical limited-slip differential, all of which meant it was far more than just a run-of-the-mill small hot hatch.

In the snout sat a turbocharged four-cylinder 1.6-litre engine, uprated to produce 202bhp – an increase of 12bhp over the base VXR. The car could therefore complete 0-62mph in just 6.5sec if you timed your shifts of the six-speed manual gearbox right.

The Corsa VXR Nürburgring lived up to its name with excellent agility, balance and grip, thanks in considerable part to that slippy diff. We said it would “serve up nothing but traction and cornering yaw” at launch back in 2011.

Comfort wasn’t too bad either, with those upgraded dampers and springs offering a firm but composed ride both on public roads and the racetrack.

The VXR Nürburgring commanded a hefty £22,305 price tag a decade ago. You can pick one up for as little as £6000 today, despite the fact that only 740 remain road-registered in the UK.

Standard equipment inside the cabin wasn’t all that special (it was still a Corsa, after all), but Recaro seats, electric 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 sat-nav, which is just what you need for guiding you to various track days.

Thankfully, it hasn’t been modified, which is something to watch out for when buying hot hatches of this ilk.

Verdict: Take it

Renault Wind

£3995: A roadster based on the Renault Twingo city car, the Wind had a removable roof whose design was inspired by the Ferrari 575 Superamerica. Sadly, that and the two-seat layout are where the similarities end. This particular 2011 example has a high mileage and will soon require a cambelt change.

Verdict: Leave it

Audi RS5 Coupé

£16,990: There’s a whole lot to like about this big two-door Audi. Not only is it powered by a 444bhp 4.2-litre petrol V8, but it’s also loaded with £7000 worth of extras, including 20in alloy wheels, an upgraded sound system, heated front seats and a sports exhaust. It’s also unmodified and comes with a full service history.

Verdict: Take it

Ford Ecosport

£15,689: The Ecosport used the Mk6 Ford Fiesta’s platform but couldn’t live up to the hatchback’s class-leading qualities. 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 would recommend looking at a similarly priced Volkswagen T-Cross.

Verdict: Leave it

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