While some hot hatches shout for attention through their styling or have simply rested on laurels by using a hallowed badge for too long, the Astra 2.2 SRi quietly joined the hot hatch fray just over a year ago, and has been winning both awards and friends since.

Astra SRi gets power hike, UK car only, Now on sale - £16,495 on the road. Vauxhall’s Astra SRi 2.2 16v hatchback has been described as one of motoring’s better kept secrets. Which basically means that those who drive it, are invariably impressed.

So it is good news that Vauxhall has decided to advance the cause of the Astra SRi by introducing the Astra SRi Turbo, on sale from 1 May.

A chassis capable of harnessing healthy amounts of power will now be mated with the 192 PS turbocharged engine – to create an even hotter hatch and the most affordable way to get some Vauxhall turbo performance.

Owners will also enjoy a degree of exclusivity with Vauxhall’s new three-door Astra. Only 500 cars are being built, all for the UK. The limited production run is to satisfy demand for a higher performance Astra until the new Astra GSi is introduced towards the end of the year.

Vauxhall’s 2.0-litre turbo engine is becoming well known for its performance; other key characteristics are its refinement (aided by the twin contra-rotating balance shafts) and fuel efficiency.

Maximum power output of 192 PS @ 5400 rpm is impressive, as is maximum torque of 250 Nm, sustained from as little as 1950 rpm all the way to 5300 rpm, making the engine flexible and useable.

In the Astra SRi, as with the other turbo models, the figures speak for themselves: 0-60 mph in 7.0 seconds and a top speed of 152 mph.

Sparkling performance is combined with healthy fuel economy figures. The Astra SRi Turbo manages nearly 32 mpg on the combined cycle and over
41 mpg on the open road.

Astra SRi Turbo has a chassis which can make the most of that turbocharged performance – combining driver fun and complete safety.

Vauxhall had to look no further than the Astra Coupe for elements of the car’s underpinnings: wheels, tyres and brakes are identical to those used on its Coupe Turbo stablemate, while the springs are the same as those first used on the high performance Opel Astra OPC.

So drivers can have complete confidence in a car which sits on generous 215/40 R17 tyres and 17 inch alloy wheels, and is slowed by 308 mm ventilated discs at the front and 264 mm discs at the rear.

Standard Astra SRi features include air conditioning, alloy wheels, twin front airbags, ABS, traction control, sports seats, cruise control, radio/CD player, remote control central locking, electric windows and mirrors, front fog lights and an alarm.

To this list, the SRi Turbo adds its own 17 inch alloys, ‘xenon’ headlights and a muscular body kit. On the road price is £16,495.