• 26
Click to enlarge

What choices does the dedicated GM "car guy" have when he wants to drive something that has all-around performance, is a rarity on the road and isn't a Corvette or Cadillac? Hopefully someone at The General has the insight to see that such a vehicle is already being produced and well within our reach.

Yesterday at the Sydney Auto Show, Holden's HSV group (Holden Special Vehicles) unveiled the HSV Grange saloon, yet another addition of its new E-Series family. Based on the new full-sized Caprice and aiming to join the ranks of the BMW's M, Mercedes' AMG, and Audi's S division offerings, the HSV Grange is designed to not just get into the fight, but to be the last one standing

The car looks great from any angle, can accommodate 5 adults comfortably, and should be able to hang with the best in straight-line acceleration and cornering. Power comes from a GM-sourced 6.0-liter LS2 V8 making 412 horsepower and 406 lb-ft. of torque and all of it is channeled through GM's new 6-speed sequentially-shifted automatic transmission.

This is a car that could help provide GM entry into the exclusive club dominated by the German big boys. With the economy booming and demand for high-end products greater than ever, having this vehicle join the upcoming Pontiac Grand Prix (another Holden-sourced product) could help lure the luxury performance enthusiast back into GM showrooms.

Well, if the price is right, that is. You see, the cost for the new HSV Grange in Australia? Roughly $100,000 AUD, which works out to around $76,000 USD. That kind of number could be a tough sell here.

Thanks to Ben for the tip!

(Press release, add'l photos after the jump)

[Sources: drive.com.au, GM Holden, HSV]

Click images to enlarge

HSV GrangeHSV GrangeHSV Grange

Holden Special Vehicles Grange debuts at Sydney International Motor Show.

Combining an elegant, individual sense of style with traditional HSV hard edged performance cues, the WM Grange has debuted at the Sydney International Motor Show ahead of its wider Australian release in 2007.

Managing Director of Holden Special Vehicles Mr Phil Harding said the all new Grange provided the ultimate in Australian luxury with an engine and suspension package destined to make the WM a 'classic'.

"We are delighted to welcome the WM Grange to the HSV range, which combines all the luxury and performance of the E series in a roomy, completely new, long wheel based edition", Mr Harding said.

"The Grange is everything the Australian public have come to expect from a car wearing the Holden Special Vehicle badge, at a price that will make overseas 'competitors' blush".

Mr Harding said he expected strong demand for the Grange within Australia but were also confident of continuing the HSV push internationally.

"We are intending to build on the successful export of Grange into China, exploring new markets for this new Grange", Mr Harding said.

Styling and design

WM Grange continues the HSV mantra of 'Luxury and Performance'. The emphasis is on restrained elegance giving only a hint of the model's true performance potential.

Front facia and rear bib are totally unique – the front featuring an understated premium European-style chrome grille complemented by a thin chrome surround for the lower intake. The chrome theme continues on the window surrounds. Elegant 10-spoke 19-inch alloy wheel add further sophistication to the side elevation.

At the rear there's a subtle lower diffuser, a set of four premium exhaust tips, a flush mounted rear spoiler and discreet Grange badging. Hi-tech LED rear lamps give a low, wide look to the rear of the car.

Interior styling is everything you would expect in HSV's top or the range luxury model. Colour combinations and quality trim materials have been carefully selected to reinforce the sophisticated individual character and unique seating offers excellent lateral support and sumptuous comfort.

Grange also offers a no-cost option of 'Light Urban' trim which is designed to contrast to the standard dark 'Onyx' trim throughout. By using classic horizontal colour elements set in relief against the dark lower and upper cabin trims, it creates a high class interior ambience that's very much typical of European flagship models. Other sporting highlights include a unique HSV instrument cluster and a chunky design steering wheel rim.

Engineering and technology

The Grange is designed to deliver the most comfortable and luxurious ride possible, while staying true to the famous HSV performance requirements.

Under the bonnet the unique-to-HSV 6.0 litre LS2 V8 now produces 307kW @ 6000 rpm (up from 297kW @ 6000rpm) and 550Nm @ 4400rpm (from 530Nm @ 4400rpm) thanks to a revised intake and exhaust system (including new smooth flowing 'four-into-two-into-one' tubular extractors) and a 24 month program to refine the engine calibrations, positioning Grange as one of the fastest luxury/sports limousines in the world.

As a complete performance package, brake performance is now also at the very top tier of world class. Developed in conjunction with AP Racing, the all new system consists of enormous (365mm front and 350mm rear) grooved and ventilated rotors complete with extremely rigid HSV specific four piston front callipers that reduce flexing and improve pedal feel and performance. It's backed up by the latest HSV-tuned Bosch ABS system and more linear friction levels from the new brake pad material.

Electronic driving aids have become a major HSV feature and the Grange receives the full arsenal, including ABS, Traction Control and Stability Control, which together form Electronic Stability Control (ESC). The ESC system has been developed, calibrated and tested specifically to HSV requirements to ensure it perfectly matches the Grange's new suspension technology and delivers improved overall safety levels without detracting from the traditional HSV driving experience.

The advanced technology of the all new Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) system instantly gives the Grange a significant edge over every locally manufactured vehicle and all but a precious few European models. Developed over 3 ½ years at a cost of $4.5 million, this electronically controlled damper system offers Grange drivers two modes – 'Luxury' or 'Performance' – that transform their vehicle from a luxury ride bias to race track inspired chassis at the press of a dash mounted button. Metal particles suspended in the magneto–rheological fluid within each damper respond to changes in an internal magnetic field to provide continuously variable damping force without any mechanical delays.

To further exploit the rear grip of the new chassis, the front and rear wheel sizes now differ in width – 8-inch front and 9.5-inch rears. 19-inch wheels remain standard and they're joined by new tyres specifically developed in conjunction with Bridgestone and featuring unique construction, belt angle and tread compound tuned to the hi-tech suspension system.

Grange highlights

LS2 6 Litre V8 (307KW and 550Nm)
6L80 E six-speed automatic transmission
HSV Premium Four-Piston Brake System
Exclusive 'Luxury Performance' body styling
19-inch alloy wheels
Unique Grange leather seats and interior
Optional 'Light Urban' trim (no-cost)
ESC – Electronic Stability Control
MRC – Magnetic Ride Control
Unique HSV instrument cluster and steering wheel
Curtain air bags – six air bags in total
Rain sensing wipers
Rear, headrest mounted, DVD Player
Tyre pressure monitor
Tri-zone electronic climate control
Bi-Xenon headlights (self levelling)
LED tail lamps, with 10 way electric fronts and three memory settings
Heated exterior mirrors

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      One GM division no one has mentioned: Saturn.

      This is the perfect vehicle to flesh out their product line into the premier import-fighting (well, not really fighting but borrowing) brand that gives us Yanks the General's best.

      Side profile of this vehicle very, very similar to Aura (although this is bigger). And in AU, mid-range Holdens are all Opels (actually British-spec Vauxhauls), so there is some design consistency built in.

      Put in ~$10-15M or so to homologate, lightly re-engineer more 'Aura-like' headlights and front fascia, and possibly tweak rear end if cost permits. Keep interior exactly same (use LHD export version for Middle East, for example).

      Price this per the other AU benchmarks--i.e., ~$42k. Option this like an Acura--load options into package (to minimize variation and complexity), maybe make tranny and nav options.

      Since this is made in limited volumes, should be able

      Place at top end of Saturn range. Aim for 10k sales (thus amortizing your engineering upgrades at about $400 a car). At $42k, it's $10k more than Redline Sky or Aura, so a decent premium for a range topper but not out of reasonable expectation of the brand.

      Can you imagine a lineup of the Astra, Aura, Vue, Sky, Outlook, and Grange? As well, all could follow the Vue and Aura and have hybrid powertrain options (with the Outlook and Grange offering the new dual mode systems)?

      Don't you think that could be a profitable offering for GM?
      • 8 Years Ago
      76 grand OMG. How about 20 grand at the top. GM is crazy. I know I know everyone will say you can't have that much hp for only 20 grand. ONLY 20 grand , Paaalease.... you all are crazy.
      • 8 Years Ago
      US designs have ALWAYS been style over substance, because that is what sells there (well, until they realize why the Camry sells anyway).....and yet there are so many who wonder why Topgear generally dislikes american cars. Many americans will tell you they would prefer a new mustang over anything that has far greater dynamics with a better interior simply because it looks good. Believe me, It's as confusing to them as it is to rest of us.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Do I know what Magnetic Ride Control is?

      Yeah, it's a system using magnetorheological (sp?) fluid to adjust the response of the suspension on the fly. Basically, it's a fluid that becomes thicker if you apply electricity to it, and it's used as the damping fluid. Thus the damping rate can be changed very quickly.

      This system started on some Caddies and Vettes and now Ferrari uses the same system (licensed/purchased from GM) on the Ferrari 599.

      So yeah, I know what it is. And I wouldn't mind having it.
      • 8 Years Ago
      i have to agree with the last few comments made by people who are probably the only ones here that know anything about cars and properly comparing them! (comments #14,17,18,20) and im sure more...i just stumbled across this page, and i was sort of annoyed at the opinion of the first few comments, they are ignorant judgements, and considering i know a fair bit about these cars first hand, now come on...it says estimated price 100,000 (thats in AUD by the way! NOT US!)... ok at the most ur looking at 90,000 AUD!!... And if u are going to judge this car, u should be comparing them to its proper compeditors! The HSV Grange is the top of the line Holden....so u are comparing it so for example Mercedes AMG Sclass... and considering what comes with this car for its relatively low pricetag to its compeditors, its the best car for that amount of money...so if u want to blow about 300,000AUD instead on an AMG Sclass to get the same stuff as the HSV Grange then go ahead if thats what u want,... and for you people overseas that are unfamiliar of the Holden brand,...it was originally a car for the people... affordable practical but yeh sure if u got the money why not get the best of its range... The market over here appeals to families, so we have sports performance sedans, practical, comfortable, and has the extra power there at your desposal... i have to say im not fussed about the looks of the grange, but i still think it looks better than any Cadillac! even tho the influenses of GM for the stylings to be more internationally appealing, i deffinantly think Holden does a way better job at its cars then the cheaper looking pontiacs and cadillacs... and really this car has a whole lot more than a chrysler 300C SRT8....they only compare to our HSV Senator!!!!! the Grange is top of the range, for the luxury performance vehicles! extra room in the cabin and too many extra features to list... but seriously for the same price any BMW or Mercedes worth 90,000AUD has got nothing on this car!... and for all of you that want to drive some ugly low fuel consuming car like the try hard sports car like a Pontiac C6 or Acura, well then obviously u wouldnt be looking here for a car in the first place... seriously those kind of cars dont even compare to this!...but honestly, when imported our holdens to america as pontiacs, what the hell is GM thinkin! what they make them look ugly to appeal to the American buyer!? oh and another car u should consider first before making ur stupid judgements towards is the Pontiac GTO compared to the HSV GTO... i hope u do realise ur pontiac gto is only a Holden Monaro!, not to be confused and compared with our GTO which is a HSV!!!...once again know your cars before u think u can comment about comparing American car to ours!, in the end, we get the better deal anyway.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Very nice, I like the color in photo 1
      • 8 Years Ago
      i laugh at the HSV disease thing, maybe in america its a problem, but ask most aussies the meaning of hsv and they will yell at you V8 power! Also the 100k estimate is a bit off, dirve who reported this article listed 100k as the drive away price listing around 10k in on road taxes. The current grange which it superseeds is about 90k australian and looking at current e series pricing it isn't likely to go very further north of there. Also as stated previously this is not the car you compare to the AMG E55 or m5. This thing is about as long as a 745Li! the gts with its magnetic ride suspension at 75k austrlian is the car for that. But if you want a car with sat nav(coming end of 2006), 2 rear tvs, about 3-4 feet of rear leg footroom and the power to burn most people of at the lights, whilst still fitting in at the country club, this is the car for you!
      • 8 Years Ago
      I personally don't understand why people gotta be so anti-GM. Go like the car you want to, and let me like the car I want to. People that think what they like is the bomb just cause they like it and everything else is crap. Half of them havent even driven a GM car. You know, it makes you sound jealous.
      • 8 Years Ago
      have any of you driven a cadi cts-v prob not. i have its not all its cracked up to be. i went to test drive a 06 cts-v, thinking the numbers are impressive on paper. well for one the cars interior in my opion does not compare to any of its competition. and sure didnt feel like 400 + ponys either. i dont care how impressive the numbers are. the real deal is when you get behind the wheel and floor it. take a few corners here and there. scaring the crap out of the car sales guy LOL.
      bottom line this car was disappointing,
      now again gm shoving yet another name plate in our faces this is what the impala ss should look like.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Too bad the marketing geniuses at GM didn't tell anyone that HSV is medicalese for Herpes Simplex Virus.
      • 8 Years Ago
      guy above me #29 knows what hes talking about!!! ;-) and a few others on this page!, least u all have a brain to make the right judgements!.... and yeh i have driven BMWs and i would have to say the E-series commodores(HSV Grange) ride just as good if not better!, and u get all of it for a much more reasonable price...sure if u say BMW people go ooh and ahh because everyone knows that owning a car like that is really just a status vehicle, u pay for the badges...yet u say Holden, or HSV and people go huh? yet they dont know what they are missing....so yall can all stick to ya shity hyandais and kias while i drive my Holden! yes thats right proud owner, and u ask anyone else who has driven one will tell u they would want it over a overpriced BMW3series or Mercedes C class!!!... and most definantly those who own them will tell u, they are the best value for money.
      • 8 Years Ago
      In my oppionon the price is a little too big, but the car looks very cool.

    • Load More Comments