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VAUXHALL Zafira VXR   2005 2010
2005 2010

If a station-wagon might be surprising to see it rocketing from a green-light and disappear in a few seconds, then try to imagine how a minivan would be to do that.
GM didn’t have to dream about that; it created it. With some help from the Opel Performance Center (OPC), the European branch of the American corporation created a high-performance MPV based on the Zafira platform. The German engineers took the minivan, tore it apart, and built it back with special components, and then did the same thing for the Vauxhall brand.

While Opel named its performance range as OPC, GM used the VXR badge in the U.K., where the Vauxhall Zafira was sold. The design team enhanced the front fascia with a lower apron and a wide, back mesh-grille on it. The carmaker installed a pair of fog-lights in the same scoops used to cool the brakes on the outer sides. Its flared wheel-arches and body-colored moldings made the car looks wider. In the rear, two flat trapezoidal chromed exhausts came out under the bumper.

But their job didn’t stop there, and OPC redesigned the interior. It installed sport bucket-seats with high-bolstering on the front row, while the rest of the seats were left as in the regular Zafira. For the driver, the carmaker installed a specific instrument panel with red circles around the main dials. On the center stack, the silver-trims mimicked the aluminum and formed a sporty atmosphere. That was completed by the aluminum pedals.

Under the MPV bodywork, OPC installed a 240 hp turbocharged gasoline engine. It paired it with a 6-speed manual. The result was a minivan with hot-hatch performances and room for seven people.

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