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Brand New Holden Special Vehicles GTS

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Kez Casey | Jun 5, 2017

HSV’s UK export program is about to come to a close with a final GTS-R edition of the Vauxhall VXR8 set to send the Aussie-built muscle car off with the title of Vauxhall’s most powerful car ever.

Rather than the utterly bonkers ultra-limited 474kW/815Nm GTSR W1 specification car offered to HSV customers, the Brits will have to make do with the ‘regular’ GTSR version, with a lower, but by no means less ridiculous 435kW and 740Nm from its 6.2-litre supercharged V8.

Just 15 VXR8 GTS-Rs will be made available, priced from £74,500 (A$129,000 or just under $10,000 more than a GTSR locally). And just like the Aussie version the Vauxhall edition will arrive with fresh front and rear bumpers, unique front guards with carbon fibre vents, and diamond-shaped exhaust finishers.

As well as the upgraded visuals, the VXR8 GTS-R also picks up six-piston monoblock calipers, a torque-vectoring limited slip differential, and 20-inch forged alloy wheels. The GTS-R’s 5kW power hike comes from the installation of a high-flow air filter, with a remapped engine management system to handle with the change of hardware.

Available in sedan form only, that means the VXR8 Maloo will miss out on the GTS-R treatment for the UK, but with just 15 units on offer as it is, the VXR8 GTS-R is set to become one of Blighty’s rarest automotive offerings.

Same car, different badge: The HSV GTSR
Same car, different badge: The HSV GTSR

Astute detail spotters will also note that Vauxhall has opted to use the GTS-R name as it first appeared on the original HSV GTS-R, with HSV dropping the hyphen for its 21st century revival calling the local version the GTSR… The devil is in the details.

The VXR8 GTS-R will mark the end of HSV’s UK export deal with Vauxhall, which first ‘borrowed’ the Holden-spec Monaro in 2004 and the HSV-based Monaro VXR in 2005 (including a supercharged version that Aussie’s missed out on) before moving to HSV’s E-Series range from 2007.

The end of Holden's local production in October this year spells the end for HSV's current range, taking the Vauxhall VXR8 range with it.

Attendees at the Goodwood Festival of Speed will get to witness the VXR8 GTS-R in action twice-daily on the FoS hillclimb, where it will debut alongside the Commodore-replacing Insignia Sports Tourer 2.0 Turbo 4x4 with a far less exhilarating 190kW 2.0-litre engine.

MORE: Vauxhall | HSV | GTSR

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