Ever since fellow CT staff writer Darren snagged a drive in the incredible Vauxhall VXR220, we’ve all been dreaming about one of these Elise-based beauties for ourselves. The VXRs are very rare, but examples of the almost as quick VX220 Turbo are reasonably easy to find. We could go out and buy an Elise, but for less cash it’d be the Griffin-badged machine for us.
For starters, we love the angular styling. And, while the Elise makes do with 120bhp, a VX220 Turbo churns out a mighty 197bhp from its 2.0-litre engine. In a car that weighs little over 800kg, that’s enough for 0-62mph in just 4.7 seconds. Finally, there’s the price. This 2004 VX220 Turbo we found is up for £8989. Go for a less powerful Elise of a similar age, and you’ll need to stump up at least another £5-6k.
For a few quid under £9k for this Vauxhall, you’ll get yourself a hardcore car with razor sharp handling that’ll be brilliant to drive whether you’re on a track or on your favourite back road. The badge on the front may not be the coolest, but you’ll be having too much fun to care. Tempted?