Phil Harding, managing director of Holden Special Vehicles, says the Australian power wars are effectively over. GoAuto has quoted Harding as saying that it's simply becoming too expensive to continue to pursue ever more engine performance thanks in part due to extensive certification, homologation, development and testing requirements. Whereas HSV was once able to extract an extra 67 horsepower from an engine with a given investment, the same outlay today will see a bump of less than 7 hp, according to Harding. The executive also said Holden has reached the upper legal limit of what's possible with LS3 engine development. In its most potent configuration, the company is pulling around 436 hp from the naturally aspirated V8. Of course, buyers can still step up to the 577-hp supercharged V8 in the HSV GTS (shown).
Meanwhile, few analysts believe Ford will step up to challenge that machine's power dominance. With Ford announcing it will stop producing vehicles in Australia after 2016 (including its long-running Falcon series), the future of high-performance models specific to the Australian market seems in doubt.