Old vs New: Vauxhall Astra GTE vs Vauxhall Astra VXR

Vauxhall's hot Astras old and new face-off on our runway. Can the 80s GTE beat the modern day VXR?

When it comes to hot 80s metal the Vauxhall Astra GTE is often sidelined and forgotten about because it was a bit late to the game. But it’s a seriously hot rival for the best of its generation. The question is, how will it do in a drag race against it’s power-packed modern equivalent – the Vauxhall Astra VXR.

The Mk1 GTE we tested was built in 1983 and was the first in a generation of hot Astras. It offers 115bhp and a top speed of 115mph. The car was based on the standard Astra but given some design tweaks for that hot hatch edge.

• Old vs New drag race challenge - in pictures

The GTE might have been a poster boy of its day but the modern VXR has the same credentials. With a 2.0-litre 16v turbocharged engine, its harboring 276bhp. It’s also got a top speed of 155mph and claims to do 0-60 in 5.9 seconds.

Take a look at the VXR and you’ll see they’ve ticked all the right boxes for a hot hatchback. Vauxhall has given it a sportier grille and bumper, special alloys and round the back, not one but two spoilers.

There are 32 years between these two cars so it might seem a little unfair on the old GTE. But as we’re giving our older cars a one second head start for every decade they’ve been around, our vintage Vauxhall will leave the line three seconds before the VXR.

And the winner is... New

There was just 0.8s between the two cars but the Vauxhall VXR was the winner! In total it took the old Vauxhall 17 seconds to do the quarter mile, and it took the VXR just 14.2 seconds. So we can report that in 30 years Vauxhall’s hottest hatch has got almost three seconds faster.

Old vs New drag race videos

Like a good drag race? Check out our epic Drag Race Shoot-out videos here...

Most Popular

LEC launches affordable EV conversion for classic Mini
LEC MINI Electric
MINI

LEC launches affordable EV conversion for classic Mini

The conversion sees the Mini’s A-Series engine replaced with a dinky electric motor and a 20kWh battery for a range of 70 miles in the city
10 Jun 2021
New 2021 Volkswagen T7 Multivan replaces Caravelle
Volkswagen T7 Multivan - front
Volkswagen Caravelle

New 2021 Volkswagen T7 Multivan replaces Caravelle

The Volkswagen T7 Multivan MPV switches to the MQB platform and adds plug-in hybrid technology
10 Jun 2021
New 2021 Vauxhall Astra teased for the first time
Vauxhall Astra teaser 1
Vauxhall Astra

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra teased for the first time

The new Vauxhall Astra will get electrified powertrains and a more premium image
8 Jun 2021
New 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid launched with 1,006bhp
Tesla Model S facelift - front
Tesla Model S

New 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid launched with 1,006bhp

Range-topping version of the Tesla Model S officially unveiled, with a sprint time of 0-60mph in less than two seconds
10 Jun 2021
‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'
Gearknob
Opinion

‘Our switch to electric will soon make driving manual cars a lost art'

Want to drive a manual car? You need to take your test in a manual car. So what happens once all driving-school cars are automatic EVs?
8 Jun 2021
New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review
Skoda Enyaq iV 80 Sportline - front
Skoda Enyaq

New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review

The new Skoda Enyaq iV is the Czech firm’s first bespoke electric car and we've tested the full range on UK roads
10 Jun 2021
Audi updates line-up for 2022 with new tech and trim features
Audi S5
Audi

Audi updates line-up for 2022 with new tech and trim features

Almost every car in Audi’s line-up has received a tweak, with major updates including Amazon Alexa integration and a Sonos stereo
11 Jun 2021
New 2021 Lexus NX arrives with firm’s first plug-in hybrid drivetrain
Lexus NX - front action
Lexus NX SUV

New 2021 Lexus NX arrives with firm’s first plug-in hybrid drivetrain

The new Lexus NX 350h features a standard hybrid set-up, while the NX 450h+ gets a plug-in hybrid powertrain capable of 40 miles of pure electric powe…
12 Jun 2021
'Factories are at a standstill because they can’t get the parts to finish cars'
Car manufacturing
Opinion

'Factories are at a standstill because they can’t get the parts to finish cars'

Steve Fowler points out the fresh issues facing global car manufacturing
9 Jun 2021
New Volkswagen T-Cross Black Edition 2021 review
Volkswagen T-Cross Black Edition - front
Volkswagen T-Cross

New Volkswagen T-Cross Black Edition 2021 review

The small Volkswagen T-Cross SUV turns on the style in new Black Edition trim
11 Jun 2021
New Toyota Land Cruiser 300 revealed with six-cylinder petrol and diesel power
Toyota Land Cruiser - front
Toyota Land Cruiser

New Toyota Land Cruiser 300 revealed with six-cylinder petrol and diesel power

Six-cylinder engine line-up and clever new suspension tech for the new large Toyota Land Cruiser, but it’s not destined for the UK
9 Jun 2021
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300
Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300
Car group tests

Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport vs Cupra Leon 300

The capable Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport goes up against its new Cupra Leon 300 sibling in this hot hatch battle
12 Jun 2021
New Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet 2021 review
Mercedes E 300 Cabriolet - front
Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet

New Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet 2021 review

The soft-top Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet gets the same updates as the saloon and estate variants
10 Jun 2021
New Genesis G80 2021 review
Genesis G80
Genesis G80

New Genesis G80 2021 review

Is the new Genesis G80 a worthy competitor in the executive saloon segment?
9 Jun 2021