Vauxhall will launch a performance-focused version of the Mokka in 2022, resurrecting its VXR branding in the process
Vauxhall has confirmed that its famous VXR badge will return by 2022. The first performance model planned is a hot electric version of the Mokka crossover, which will be closely followed by a more spritely version of the Corsa hatchback based on the Corsa-e electric supermini.
The Mokka will be the first new VXR model since 2015 – and it’s shaping up to be a radical departure from Vauxhall’s tried-and-tested formula. Speaking exclusively to Auto Express, the company’s managing director Stephen Norman said: “We will introduce a VXR Mokka early in 2022, and it will be with an electric engine.”
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However, it doesn’t sound like the new Mokka VXR will have any more power than the standard crossover. When pressed, Norman said: “If you’re asking about top speed and acceleration, we have more than enough. But we can add performance in other ways.”
Performance figures for the new Mokka-e are yet to be officially released but, as it’ll be mechanically identical to the Peugeot e-2008, it should share the same 0–62mph time of nine seconds flat.
The Mokka-e is based on PSA’s CMP platform and it uses the French firm’s ubiquitous 134bhp electric motor, which features in everything from the Corsa supermini to the Vivaro panel van. It’ll be powered by the brand’s 50kWh battery pack, which should be good for a maximum range of 200 miles.
Although there will be no power upgrades, we would expect handling tweaks courtesy of Vauxhall’s sister brand Opel’s OPC (Opel Performance Centre). Revised suspension and steering would be easier to engineer than more power, while changes to the electronic steering settings and driver modes will also give the car a sharper focus.
Despite the lack of power upgrades, Norman remained confident about the Mokka VXR’s capability, stating: “This is, I would say, a vehicle with a higher level of performance than anybody would expect. I would say this is a performance car in the noble sense of the word performance – not silly supercar performance. This is not a vehicle that is going to be embarrassed by the ST range of one of our competitors.”
Although Vauxhall won’t switch-up the powertrain for its Mokka VXR, the model’s styling will evolve, as our exclusive images show. With its short and front and rear overhangs, the Mokka should lend itself well to a VXR makeover, with larger alloy wheels, a new tailgate spoiler, oversized air intakes and a more aggressive front splitter expected.
Inside, Vauxhall will likely add figure-hugging bucket seats, along with some subtle VXR badging, a thicker sports steering wheel and red trim. The digital display – including that on the Mokka’s new Pure Panel – will also likely be spruced up with new “VXR” graphics.
The future of VXR
We know about the Mokka VXR and a new Corsa VXR that’s also in the pipeline but Vauxhall’s VXR story won’t stop there. The Vivaro van, which sits on PSA’s larger EMP2 platform, has also been readied for EV tech and should also get the VXR treatment in the near future, with beefed up looks and lower suspension.
The next Astra should also follow suit when it makes its debut later this year. Back in 2019, Auto Express revealed that a new, sleeker model would replace the current car, sitting on PSA’s EMP architecture, and powered by a 296bhp plug-in hybrid system. This variant will likely become the VXR variant and would go on sale around the same time as the VXR Mokka in early 2022.
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