Corsa VXR Clubsport, a run-out model for the previous generation fast Corsa that reinstated the mechanical spec of the Nurburgring Edition. However, that griffin sat proudly on the nose would always ensure it would struggle to attract attention - fast Vauxhalls do still have an image problem, don't they? And while it might not be the best handling pocket rocket ever made, and the interior doesn't look fantastic just a few years on from launch, the Clubsport Corsa is still worth investigating.
Back when PH first drove this version of VXR - and where the lead image is pinched from - it was described as "a fittingly rapid and raw farewell for the Corsa", set to find a "small but delighted audience". With good reason, too, thanks to great traction, strong brakes and a resoundingly old-school attitude. There was plenty to like, and that continued into the updated car, even if some would never give it another look.
In addition, while the VXR Clubsport may not have driven much like other Vauxhalls, it certainly depreciated like them. Which means cars like this one, registered in 2014 with a £22k list price (and having covered just 13,000 miles), are available for less than £10,000.
£9,277 to be precise, which looks like something of a bargain for a car so talented that's only covered a little more than a year's average mileage. Even the very cheapest VXRs (that are seven years older than this) currently command more than £4k.
So what's the problem? You know the problem. It's the wealth of alternative hot hatch options available for the same money. There can be little denying that the Fiesta ST is a more rounded proposition than the Vauxhall, and the Mk3 Clio 200 is one of the best handling front-wheel drive cars ever - the Corsa is not.
a Fiesta for the same money has twice the mileage of the Corsa; this Clio at £9,495 has more than four times the mileage, as well as being five years older. Which is quite a lot, really.
Nobody is saying that the Corsa is some forgotten hot hatch legend, though it arguably deserves more recognition than it currently attracts - particularly as a Clubsport. When cars like this are available for relatively little cash, perhaps more people might be attracted to the Corsa's charms.
SPECIFICATION - VAUXHALL CORSA VXR CLUBSPORT
Engine: 1,598cc, 4-cylinder turbocharged
Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive, LSD
Power (hp): 205@5,750rpm
Torque (lb ft): 184@2,250-5,500rpm
MPG: 37.2 (NEDC combined)
First registered: 2014
Recorded mileage: 13,000
Price new: £22,390
Price now: £9,277
See the original advert here.