I’ve died and gone to hot-hatch heaven

[intro] Okay, I admit it. I’m a bit of a boy racer at heart. So, it’s no surprise that I was grinning from ear to ear after being handed the keys to

Okay, I admit it. I’m a bit of a boy racer at heart. So, it’s no surprise that I was grinning from ear to ear after being handed the keys to Vauxhall’s Astra VXR hot-hatch.

At £19,000 you’re getting a lot of vroom for your cash: a 2-litre turbocharged engine capable of 240bhp and 0-60 in under seven seconds. It looks great, and thanks to its aggressive styling and18-inch rims, there’s no need to even contemplate adding other odds and sods - the VXR comes dressed to impress.

Inside, you’ll find tasty Recaro sports seats and a huge, grippy steering wheel. In terms of ICE, the VXR isn’t too high-tech, the car I was driving had the CDC40 pack that includes a six-CD changer, steering wheel mounted controls and seven speakers, but the stereo system sounds great when cranked to the max, and you’ve various added options such as sat-nav and a colour display.

So what’s it like to drive? It’s a lively hot-hatch and acceleration is delivered with some force, - the VXR catapults you along and pulls you firmly into those tidy Recaros. As long as you don’t start thinking you’re the next Schumacher you can’t fail to be entertained whether you’re nipping through traffic or assaulting country lanes. It doesn't take a souped-up rocket scientist to realise that the VXR is a blast. Visit Vauxhall's VXR website for further details.