Written by Adam Hill, edited by Rich_TheCarScene
The journey to the worlds fastest Vectra VXR?
Well it started off at Performance Vauxhall Show. I was in my Astra H 1.9 CDTI with 220bhp, which was very respectable for an oil burning Astra. Then I heard a beautiful exhaust note flying down the dragstrip and said to my brother I want one of them. I loved my Astra but with in 3 month it was gone and I now owned a Vectra VXR estate.
As soon as I got the VXR I hated it. So much so that I nearly sold it straight away. Going from a high powered diesel hatch to a an estate that was meant to be 280bhp, I was left disappointed. I was so close to putting it up for sale with in 2 weeks of ownership, but I thought no, I’d give it a chance!
I decided to then give it a full service. Plugs, coils, fuel filter, oil. That alone then bumped it up from the low 230bhp it was actually running due to bad coils, to 270bhp. Just 10bhp shy of its factory power. I then gutted the precat and lowered it. Got rid of the main cat and got a stage 1/2 custom remap. This was all in one day. Well 2 days I suppose!
From basic maintenance, 1 less cat and a decent remap I achieved 334.7Bhp and all I could say was wow! What a difference it made. I fell in love with the car immediately. This is what I wanted and expected when I bought the car. A family estate car that has good power and was fun to drive, whilst still being very practical. This did me well for 8 to 10 months but then I couldn’t hep but want more. So I started to buy the parts I needed to go for the worlds fastest Vectra VXR.
First stop was the injectors followed by clutch. I got rid of the rear silencers. Then I ordered the freshly developed 23t TD04HL from krs. I was the first person to buy the turbo. The parts were all fitted in January 2019, except for the injectors that needed to be fitted just prior to tuning. I soon after got booked for remap at rabbid for mid Feb. This allowed me time to bed the clutch in and the new turbo.
Map day finally arrived. The day I had waited for. I picked up my mate and set off on our first road trip (first of many!). With injectors in hand ready for them to be fitted and map the car, we arrived at Rabbid. This was the day I should have driven in with 334.7Bhp and driven out with over 400bhp. But this wasn’t the case.
They fitted the injectors and then they got all the spec of the injectors to go out and customise the tune on the car to run the new injectors. Half a hour passed but no sound of the car staring. Then another 20 passed. He was walking in and out so I stopped him to ask if everything was OK, only to get the dreaded answer no! Managed to brick the ecu with in 5 minutes. Hours went by with little to no communication to eventually be told its dead and they pushed the car out.
I was offered a lift to the train station and advised to find another ECU to my surprise. This was something I really did not expect. I then had to contact the AA to say my car was broken and I need a rental. So the day I was meant to be driving out with 400bhp was the day I drove out in a 87bhp Hyundai i10.
I found another ECU at my expense got it shipped to rabbid. This was 3 weeks after hearing nothing at all from them. He then got the new ecu and yep you guessed it, bricked this ecu as well. Same story again, have to locate another ECU.
I eventually found and purchased another. Promptly I drove down, however this was now 6 weeks from the day it drove in to their work shop . I had to put stock injectors back in and have the new standard ecu coded in to the car. Unfortunately the battery was dead and no good so had to jump it from another car to code it in, start it, and then get the hell out of there.
Rabbid still have refused to take responsibility of bricking the ECUs.
So the car was back! Time to find another company to map my baby. I’d heard many good things about RnD, so naturally I booked in with them. I dropped the car off and 3 days later I get the call. “Car is making great power”. The exhaust and actuator are limiting performance however, but even with this she made 392bhp. So now on to road trip 6 with my mate, after all the ECU’s and trips to tuners, we set off to pick the car up. This was Friday and the drive home was amazing!
I was working the Saturday so after work I washed my car ready for the Vauxhall show at Santapod. Morning came and my brother was with me for the trip down. Then only 10 minutes in to the convoy down to Santapod and ‘bang’! Yep, the engine blows up!
Another call to the very kind AA to say my car is broken again and I need a tow and a rental. I couldn’t believe my luck, or lack of it!
Page 2 for the next step to the worlds fastest Vectra VXR.