Wreckered road test
Before Andy Cunliff, the demonstration driver, took the wheel he
explained that the VX 200 handles exactly as the old 220 did but
now as an added bonus it performs the unthinkable and climbs walls.
Under both the back and front bumper you will find
Vauxhalls patented "rightangulator" which in essence is
a conveyerage system which simply pistons a rack pin up and onto
the vertical surface. Voila, you're upright.
Yeh, yeh, yeh, but how does it stick to the walls? Fancy tyres?
Yep! And then some. If you want to convert your existing 220 into
a verti-go then prepare yourself for a whopping bill because each
tyre is electronically linked to a s.m.e.g. system..... Oh no, not
another dab, rds, abs bunch of rubbish to have to remember!
Don't panic, it's a simple, Silicon Management Elevation
Generator. When the rightangulator is activated s.m.e.g. is released
in small amounts (5 millilitres each tyre) and a rolling bond is
established between surface and tyre and up you go.
On the road
Andy Cunliff, the demo driver, is a big fat liar. The
car does not handle just as the regular 220 does
- in fact on the weekend that I had it on loan, it behaved like
a sloth on Nitol. Sluggish would be
an understatement. The weight of the bigger tyres, the rightangulator
and the smeg tanks, has
stripped the trademark oomph from the 220.
It didn't have the strength to pull a nightie off Kylie Minogue,
but at climbing walls it was immense.
Scary - but immense.
I took my son Jerico to his grandmother's
Saturday (she's 15 up in a high-rise) and with a
rope and sucker pack from the glove- box we clambered in through
her lounge window for
some tea and buns.
I have to say I love the idea, but come on Vauxhall: no-one is
going to take you seriously if all you can do is go up and not get
down to some exciting road play.
In the cabin
Well, as I hinted earlier, it's a VX220 in name only because the
modifications required to make this car drive vertically seriously
impedes the cabin space. For a kick off - the steering wheel is
closer (uncomfortably so) than before due to a rack shift to allow
space for the pins of the rightangulator.
The glovebox has been taken up with a rope and sucker pack, but
worst of all the already meagre space behind the front seats is
completely given over to the smeg tanks which, let me tell you,
don't smell too great when the cabin heats up.
The passenger front seat is ample enough, but when I took my wife
for a spin in the early evening of Sunday there was so little legroom
in the footwell that she had to have her legs up and more or less
spreadeagled on the dash. It was either that or her feet may have
uprooted the smeg pipe running across the floor. Surely Vauxhall
don't consider this an enjoyable ride. Valerie certainly didn't,
although, all credit to her, she didn't mind the smell of the hot
smeg as much as I did.