Vauxhall VX220 for auction: The cut-price Lotus Elise
The XV220 is a Lotus Elise in almost everything but name, yet its lack of a prestige badge makes them a bargain. This prime example is up for auction
The Lotus Elise is a phenomenal car and the true embodiment of the British sports car maker’s lightweight ethos. It’s mid-engine layout and lack of any luxuries makes it a potent performance car that punches will above its weight. The Vauxhall XV220 was built in conjunction with Lotus and shares much of the Elise’s DNA, however, thanks to badge snobbery the Vauxhall is a bit of a bargain today, as proven by this car heading to auction.
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With just one owner from new and less than 8,000-miles clocked, this pristine XV220 is estimated to sell for £15,000 - £18,000 at Silverstone Auctions NEC Classic Motor Show sale. That’s an absolute steal when you consider that this car was effectively engineered and built by Lotus for Vauxhall AND uses the majority of the Elise’s components! So good was the VX220, it even won Top Gear’s ‘Car of the Year’ back in 2003.
When Vauxhall occasionally decides to produce an interesting new halo model it usually enlists outside help. The V8-powered Monaro VXR and VXR8 are both from Holden, as is the Maloo pick-up. The famed Vauxhall Lotus Carlton is another example of what the team in Hethel can do for other brands.
Power is sourced from a Vauxhall 2.2-litre Ecotec engine, plumbed into what is effectively a Lotus Elise aluminium chassis tub. With 145bhp being sent to the rear wheels, this Vauxhall can do 0-60mph in just 5.5 seconds.
OK, so it doesn’t look as exotic as its Lotus sister. But this example finished in Brilliant Silver does show off its angular design. Inside the spartan cabin there’s not much in the way of toys, but things are made a bit more exciting by the red leather and suede seats.
It has been maintained by a Vauxhall main dealer that has conducted well documented servicing and with this being the targa model, it also means you get a removable hardtop for when the winter sets in.
If you want a Lotus Elise in a similar condition and with mileage as low as this, you’re looking at around £30,000. Be willing to wield a set of Vauxhall keys and you can have almost the same car for potentially half the money.
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