Holden Special Vehicles â€“ Range in summary
HSV released their E-Series range of Holden Commodore based performance cars in 2006. They have met with wide acclaim from a design, ability and value point of view and record sales have been the result. It also appears that HSV are preparing to broach new export markets for their products. You can read here about the Clubsport R8 going to the UK.
It should be noted that there is a growing number of Australianâ€™s who question the need for a large car like the E-Series product in this time of Global Warming and high fuel prices. Each to their own I say. We will all have to deal with the changes being wrought by our environment and the supposedly dwindling supplies of fossil fuels over the coming decades. This may go someway to explaining HSV's recent decision to import the HSV VXR.
In the meantime I would enjoy the E-Series while you can as I suspect they will be the last and probably best of the large Aussie performance cars. For those who doubt that they will find excitement in the low hum of a hybrid electric motor the current 6.0-litre V8 Chev equipped E-Series range is briefly summarized below. As news develops regarding HSV product it will be added to this site in the normal way.
HSV Clubsport R8
Clubsport is to HSV like 911 is to Porsche. The Clubsport has been a HSV mainstay in one shape or form since the early 1990â€™s. The E-Series has seen the Clubsport become the Clubsport R8. This is the base E-Series model offered by HSV but it is hardly a base car. It comes standard with HSVâ€™s 6.0-litre LS2 V8 engine rated at 307Kw and 550Nm. This same engine is standard across the entire HSV E-series range. Transmission choices include a 6-speed Tremec manual or a 6-speed GM Automatic.
Suspension consists of front struts, A-arms and anti-roll bar while the rear suspension is a new multi-link coil sprung arrangement developed in Australia as a global rear drive platform for GM. The upcoming Chevrolet Camaro will use the same rear drive platform.
The Clubsport R8 weighs in at a portly 1829kg but that doesnâ€™t stop it storming from 0-100km/h in 5.7 seconds and taking care of the standing quarter mile (400m) in 13.8 seconds (as tested by Motor Magazine) and these figures are probably on the conservative side. Some tests of the Clubsport R8 and GTS have seen the 0-100km/h time dip to low five seconds and HSV claim five seconds dead.
The Clubsport R8 is equipped with grooved and ventilated 365mm x 32mm front rotors and 350mm x 26mm rear rotors. Four piston calipers are used on both the front and rear brakes. Front wheels are 19â€x 8â€ alloys with 245/40 tyres and rear wheels are19â€x 9.5â€ with 275/35 tyres.
Prices for the Clubsport R8 start at $62,890 for the manual and $64,890 for the auto.
The main difference between the GTS and the Clubsport R8 aside from price can be found in the suspension. The GTS is fitted with an MRC damper package. MRC stands for Magnetic Ride Control which in simple terms means that the fluid used in the dampers (shock-absorbers) contains minute metallic particles which are manipulated with electromagnets. The driver has a choice of settings varying from soft to sport (firm). The electromagnets control the viscosity of the damper fluid depending on the setting selected.
In this way the GTS can be driven comfortably around the suburbs on the softer settings but on weekends it will transform with the push of a button into a capable track day car. This change of character is available without changing dampers and spring settings. Ferrari use the same suspension technology in their F599 GTB Fiorano.
As per the Clubsport R8 the GTS comes standard with grooved and ventilated 365mm x 32mm front rotors and 350mm x 26mm rear rotors. Four piston calipers are used on both the front and rear brakes. Front wheels are larger than the Clubsport R8â€™s with 20â€x 8â€ front alloys with 245/35 tyres while the rear alloys are 20â€x 9.5â€ with 275/30 tyres.
Leather interior trim is standard and the GTS weighs in fraction over the Clubsport R8 at 1845kg and performance times are almost identical to the Clubsport R8.
A manual GTS is priced from $75,990 while the auto starts at $77,990.
Senator Signature Series and Grange â€“ Luxury Variants
The Senator Signature Series is in basic terms a luxury version of the GTS and utilizes the same MRC suspension hardware. It comes complete with a less aggressive body kit and is aimed at the â€˜Executive Expressâ€™ market. For those who want the go without the 'whoaâ€¦look at that'. Again, performance is similar to the Clubsport R8 and GTS as the drive-train is common to all E-series models.
The HSV Grange is based on the long wheelbase Holden Statesman platform and as such is the top spec HSV luxury variant. Similar to the Senator Signature Series the Grange comes with the same MRC suspension and luxury interior appointments but with even more room for rear seat occupants.
Both the Senator Signature Series and the Grange are equipped with grooved and ventilated 365mm x 32mm front rotors and 350mm x 26mm rear rotors. Four piston calipers are used on both the front and rear brakes. Front wheels are 19â€x 8â€ alloys with 245/40 tyres and rear wheels are19â€x 9.5â€ with 275/35 tyres.
The HSV Senator Signature Series is available in auto only and pricing starts at $83,990 while pricing for the auto only Grange starts at $89,990.