A high performance version of Vauxhall’s award winning VX220 is being built by Hertfordshire based company S Sport ready for Summer 2004.
Combining the VX220’s bonded aluminium chassis with a supercharged version of GM’s 3.0 litre V6 engine, S Sport intend to create the ultimate VX.
With a claimed power output of 320bhp and 280lb.ft of torque in a car weighing 875kg, performance will be brisk! S Sport predict a top speed in excess of 150mph with a 0-60mph sprint time of 4.5 seconds.
Work on the car, which was supplied by Vauxhall began in late 2003 at the company’s Royston, Herts premises.
Rather than just another engine conversion, S Sport’s work can be classed as a whole car conversion, as Simon Scleater principal of S Sport filled us in: "We wanted to build a car which could extract the full potential of the Vauxhall aluminium chassis. Our aim therefore was to build a mini GT sportscar which called for a longitudinally mid-mounted V6 engine driving the rear wheels through a transaxle."
"This not only necessitated lengthening by the car by 170mm and widening it by 100mm front and rear, but we have also re-engineered many of the cars critical components to suit the new engines power output. This has included an entirely new rear subframe and suspension system to take the supercharged Vauxhall 3.0ltr V6 engine and Getrag gearbox."
A high specification clutch and braking system have been developed for the car. Other areas to receive attention are the cars fuel and cooling systems while the chassis’ set up is also re-engineered to suit the cars new weight distribution.
Much of the engineering will not be seen under the cars new bodywork, which, while still unmistakably VX220, shares only the doors with its production brother.
Vauxhall has been involved with the programme from the beginning and continue to supply parts and information.
Stuart Harris, Manager of Media and Motorsport at Vauxhall Motors told us: "We have been happy to support their efforts and look forward to seeing the car at events later this year.”
Engine development has been entrusted to long time Vauxhall engine tuners Swindon Racing Engines (SRE), who will carry out the development and mapping of the engine fitted with a Rotrex SP30-94 supercharger using their in-house state of the art engine testing cell.
Gary Dunn, Managing Director of SRE is excited about the project: “We know the potential of the GM V6 engine from our SR2 sportscar race engines which develop up to 400bhp. We were therefore confident of achieving S Sports performance target of 320bhp from a supercharged version of the engine”.
Previous SRE engine programmes with Vauxhall include the Cavalier and Vectra Touring car engines and the Astra and Corsa Rally engines.
Whilst the car will never be able to wear a Vauxhall badge, S Sport are in talks to build a limited edition version of the car and have appointed long term Morgan main dealers, Allon White Sports Cars, to carry out marketing and sales support for the project.
John Bellenger of Allon White Sports cars said, "We have been impressed by this new car from S Sports and are very excited to be involved with it. We look forward to helping make it a great success".