Vauxhall Astra: 18 speed records and counting

8 Jan, 2014 6:30am Luke Madden

Vauxhall Astra breaks 18 world and UK speed records following attempt at the end of last year

Late last year Auto Express took part in a record-breaking attempt at the 24-hour speed endurance record in a Vauxhall Astra, and now the FIA and MSA have confirmed 18 world and UK speed records were broken in the process.

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Senior road tester Owen Mildenhall was part of the team that piloted an Astra 2.0 CDTi 165PS around the loop at the Millbrook Proving Ground for 24 hours and 3002.44 miles at an average speed of 125.101mph.

The run appeared successful but before the records were officially broken the car was sealed, the engine was taken apart and fuel samples were taken before the FIA and MSA could ratify them officially.

The 18 records broken were made up of 12 UK-based titles in the FIA’s 1600cc- 2000cc diesel category, while the remaining six were in the MSA’s 1500cc-2000cc category. Among them were the World 6 and 12-hour speed endurance records but the UK 24-hour record was the aim and the Astra smashed it by 25mph.

Over the course of the attempt the Astra lapped Millbrook’s banked circuit 1500 times, with the quickest lap completed in 55.45 seconds at an average speed of 131.852mph.

Before this record-breaking run the FIA’s 24-hour 1,600-2,000cc forced-induction diesel endurance speed record was unclaimed, as nobody has yet managed to complete an attempt, while the MSA’s 1,500-2,000cc mark has stood since the late nineties.

"We’re over the moon with today’s news," said Simon Hucknall, Vauxhall’s PR Manager. "This was an important test for the Astra, and it proved that a car with the qualities that most motorists are after – exceptional reliability, a good performance/economy blend and long-distance comfort – can be found at their nearest Vauxhall showroom."

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Well, woop-te-doo. What a worthwhile use of expensive diesel...

agreed, what a total waste of time and fuel. In this day and age durability should be assumed anyway.

Would you prefer all manufacturers just estimated their miles per gallon, in the name of saving fuel?
I'm sure we could trust them to be honest and not tell fibs.
Or maybe a 24 hour run in one car to calculate averages from is a better way to get accurate statistics. Imagine if we allowed them to 'estimate' figures without proof, we'd get Hummers advertised as more economic than a Prius, and a lot of people would be upset when they found their actual fuel usage to be totally unrelated to the advertised mpg, and when they ask the manufacturer why, they could simply answer that they didn't want to waste the fuel so they guessed.

The Astra is a brilliant little car, and I think it deserves the chance to go break some records, if we didn't perform tests like this it wouldn't of got the recognition it deserves would it?

Chris, this isn't an economy run - they are running at over 100mph for 24 hours and drinking the stuff!

actual FE is established in lab conditions to an EU approved drive cycle. it may be unreliable in the real world, but that is the process, and all manufacturers have to adhere to it.

|I thibnk you'll find this was a speed-run, not an economy run. Had it been an economy record it broke, the excercise would be worthwhile, and your comments relevant.

I'm really sorry! I'd had a long day and I misread the whole article! I thought it had set 18 economy records, I don't have any idea where I got that from, I've just looked now and even I don't know what I'm talking about anymore!
Sorry guys, forget I was here!

And I actually didn't know that James, I thought they worked it out on a track, thanks for the info, you really do learn something new everyday :)