While America has its ongoing performance war among the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger, a similar battle in Australia might soon be going out with a bang. Both Ford and Holden are cutting back on local production in the coming years, but their performance brands are firing off one last salvo of insanely powerful utes that are some of the wildest vehicles ever to come from the land Down Under.
The name Walkinshaw carries with it a proud history of collaborating with major automakers to produce some of the most lust-worthy racing machinery and road-going performance vehicles ever known. The Jaguar XJR-9 was developed by Tom Walkinshaw Racing. So were the Nissan R390, Porsche WSC-95 and Mazda MXR-01 – top-tier Le Mans prototypes all. Walkinshaw helped Jaguar develop the XJR-15 and XJ220 supercars.
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, acco
Holden Special Vehicles has something fun planned for next month. The company plans to yank back the sheets on the next generation of its HSV range, suitably named the Gen-F, on May 15. Holden had to do some quick stepping with its nomenclature this go around, and while names like "F Series" and "F1" dovetailed nicely with the 2013 VF Commodore, HSV had so skip those for obvious legal reasons.
When it comes to rear-drive, V8 performance sedans, few do it like HSV. Australia's Holden Special Vehicles makes a high-horsepower hoon-happy saloon called GTS (known elsewhere as the Vauxhall VXR8) based on the Holden Commodore. With General Motors LS V8 power under the bonnet, the GTS makes us pine for the days of the Pontiac G8 GXP and hopeful for the outlook of the forthcoming Chevrolet SS.
The economic doldrums are having a hard time sullying the teflon-coated sales numbers of Holden Special Vehicles, the division that serves the same purpose within Holden that AMG does within Mercedes-Benz. Despite a slump in purchases of large sedans that has affected General Motors' standard Holden Commodore and savaged the Ford Falcon, the pricier and thirstier HSV models are, according to the division's CEO Phil Harding, doing fully 20 percent of Ford Falcon sales. Note, that's not 20 percent
Today at the Melbourne Auto Show in Australia, GM's Holden subsidiary is rumored to debut a new super sedan based on the Commodore and developed by its highly capable Holden Special Vehicles division. The exact nomenclature to be affixed to the sedan's flanks is unknown, but we expect a suitably sporty one like HSV GTSR, or something to that effect. It will powered by the 7.0L LS7 V8 from the Chevy Corvette Z06, which makes 505 hp in the Vette but will likely be detuned a smidge to just under 50