Holden's Sportwagon was released earlier this year and we can confirm that with a 6.0-litre V8 under the hood, it's a ripper drive. Now its Holden Special Vehicle's turn with the euro style wagon, following today's launch of the new ClubSport R8 Tourer.
The ClubSport R8 Tourer is HSV's first wagon since the all-wheel-drive and rather forgettable Avalanche was released in 2003.
The R8 Tourer shares all the features of its Clubsport R8 sedan sibling. That means, from the front at least, it looks like every other E-Series R8. It uses the same LS3 6.2-litre V8, with 317kW and550Nm, and is available with either a six-speed Tremec manual or six-speed auto gearbox. HSV points out that the R8 Tourer is one of the world's most powerful wagons.
According to HSV's General Manager of Sales, Darren Bowler, the Tourer is a natural extension to the current HSV range of luxury and performance vehicles.
"We were very impressed with the Sportswagon product our colleagues at Holden have released and believe the ClubSport R8 Tourer takes the concept to the next level," Bowler said.
As you would expect, the R8 Tourer has come in for the usual HSV chassis tuning. In fact, Chief Engineer Joel Stoddart considers the R8 Tourer to be one of HSV's best products to-date.
"We've built on our knowledge gained since the launch of the E-Series range in August 2006 particularly in chassis development and tuning coupled with the all new LS3 engine, to produce one of our best ever products," he said.
Wagons have not been a big feature in HSV's 20 year history. The R8 Tourer is the latest in a very limited range of wagons released by the folks at Clayton. Prior to the Avalanche, the company built 27 VT Senator Signature Estates in 1997.
This time around HSV will build around 120 ClubSport R8 Tourers for the Australian market in 2008. We expect it will be a roaring success.
A manual ClubSport R8 Tourer is priced from $65,990, ($1000 more than the equivalent ClubSport R8 sedan), while the auto is an additional $2330.
Full leather seats can be had for $2490, while a 20-inch wheel and tyre package is available for $2500.
The Tourer is available from dealers nationally.