The Vauxhall VX220, also called as the Opel Speedster, is special in the sense that it is built as both, a left-hand drive and a right-hand drive car. This 2-seater sports car is British built in Norfolk, England at the Lotus Cars plant. This targa-topped, mid-engined car shares a lot of commonalities with the Lotus Elise featuring sharp handling and a strong performance. It was produced from the year 2000 till 2005 and was succeeded by the Opel GT roadster. The car-buying public was originally disappointed with the arrival of this car which they felt was no different from the Elise. However, the performance has added substantial value to the car. The price of the new car ranged between $37,000 to $48,000. However, today, you can get the car in a $16,000 to $24,000 range.
The engine which sits pretty in the VX220 is the Ecotec Z22SE with a 2.2 L displacement capacity. Fitted with a 5-speed manual transmission, the 2195 cc engine is capable of providing maximum power of 145 bhp at 5800 rpm. The maximum torque that the car achieves is 150 lb/ft at an rpm of 4000. A compression ratio of 10.0:1 is what achieves this power and torque for the petrol engine. When this is translated into practical terms, the car is able to zip from 0 km/h to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds. It has a top speed of 215 km/h. The engine has been specially designed for smoothness and thus one can find the dual in-block balance shafts as an integral part of the engine design.
The interior of the VX220 is functional at best and not luxurious. The sporty seats are ergonomic and comfortable and come with attached seat belts. The steering is small and compact and all the controls are within easy reach of the driver. Behind the wheel are two large, lighted dials. There is a stereo system in the car. However, since it is an open car, power windows and air conditioning are not even options! Safety-wise, the car is quite good with airbags and ABS. Storage comes at a premium. There is no glove compartment and only a small boot is present behind the engine.
After a lot of refining of the Lotus Elise, the Opel Speedster seems to have got all the elements right in looking like a great sports car. From the front, the car seems to be looking at you with the looks of superiority, with eyebrows raised! The hood is curvaceous and prominently stands out with two grilled openings atop it. These grilles are shaped like Batman wings and look like large speakers. They definitely add to the sportiness of the car. A similar grille decorates the front too with two large dual-headlamps by the sides. The car sits low and, being targa-topped, appears to be even more low without the roof. Relatively, the wheels are large and broad with Y-shaped spokes in the rim. The rear is slightly raised higher than the hood and this gives the car a feel of being ready to spring into action.