Kit Car July/August 2008 rated the Vauxhall XE as one of the top
ten kitcar engines:
in 1988 when GM, who had developed a good relationship with Cosworth
due to their rallying exploits, asked the legendary engine company
to come up with a 16v belt driven aluminium cylinder head for
the Vauxhall/Opel 'Family 2' range of engines. It appeared in
the Mk2 Astra GTE & produced an easy 150bhp out of the box.
GM took over the head casting from early 2002 to save money &
in turn used a lesser quality material, & there have been
instances of these becoming porous. The earlier 'Coscast' ones
are rated as being much better. The classic Fords boys are loving
the XE at the minute & hundreds have been stuffed under the
bonnets of Mk1 & Mk2 Escorts.
guess their real 'kitcar heyday' was back in the mid-nineties
& lots got fitted to all sorts of tackle, although Caterham
Cars used loads of them too. SBD are the kings of XE tuning.