For a good while, it embodied the classic Vauxhall approach to hot hatches, being for the most part brash, overpowered, overpriced and a little under-talented to make a dent on a segment utterly dominated by the previous Renault Clio RS 200 and now passed on to the imperious Ford Fiesta ST.
Then, in 2011, Vauxhall – or more specifically the Opel Performance Centre – launched the Nürburgring Edition, which finally had us nodding along.
With its uprated engine, exhaust, brakes, stability management and, crucially, a standard limited-slip differential, the model suddenly had the sauce to threaten the Renault on the track.
Unfortunately, it also never made a real mark because it was several thousand pounds pricier than a Clio.
Now the VXR is back as a fully fledged part of the latest Corsa line-up, and this time Vauxhall might have got it right. The standard VXR is £50 cheaper than the equivalent Ford Fiesta ST, the car that’s replaced the Clio RS 200 as our hot supermini benchmark.