North Americans already get a “hot” version of the Vauxhall/Opel Astra – it just happens to come with a Buick badge. Perhaps the Gods of the Ren Cen will smile on us and bring us a Verano GS using the Astra VXR’s 2.0L Ecotec engine. Because we sure won’t be getting the oil-burner.
The diesel Astra VXR also uses a 2.0L 4-cylinder. The diesel makes 195-horsepower – not far off from something like a Civic Si – but also brings 295 lb-ft to the party. On the European cycle, the VXR diesel returns about 44 mpg, which seems like a far trade off for the slower acceleration times. 60 mph comes up in 7.8 seconds, but the VXR diesel is good for 139 mph. As far as we know, there isn’t another compact out there that can return over 40 mpg, accelerate that fast and avoid looking like a rental car.