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Australia Getting the Chevy Camaro SS, Colorado, and Silverado HD Through HSV

Australia Getting the Chevy Camaro SS, Colorado, and Silverado HD Through HSV

Holden Special Vehicle will convert them to RHD in 2018

Living in Australia and feeling depressed over Holden being shut down? Can’t get your V-8 fix now that Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) is no longer building cool, beefed-up versions of the Commodore? Well, here’s some good news for ya: HSV just announced that it will convert the Camaro SS to right-hand drive for the Australian market starting 2018. The announcement is part of a new agreement struck between HSV and Holden, which will work together to bring new GM vehicles Down Under. The brands also unveiled a joint logo that now contains the lion and helmet used by Holden and HSV in the past.

The Camaro will be brought to Australia in SS trim, powered by the naturally aspirated, 6.2-liter V-8. No four-cylinder or V-6 options, but also no ZL1. It will also be the higher-level 2SS version with various performance and convenience upgrades. No info on pricing yet, but expect it to be more expensive than the competing Ford Mustang GT after the right-hand-drive conversion. Production will begin in July 2018.

Alongside the Camaro SS, HSV will also modify the the Colorado and heavy-duty Silverado 2500HD for right-hand-drive use. The Colorado will also wear a "SportsCat" badge and will continue to use a Holden logo as it did until now. The Silverado 2500HD, on the other hand, will sold as a Chevrolet, just like the Camaro SS. The Colorado will be available in two versions, but none will get more power. However, a hotter version of the truck is likely to be followed as a direct rival for the upcoming Ford Ranger Raptor. The Colorado SportsCat will go into production in late January as HSV first Chevrolet conversion. Silverado conversions will commence in April 2018.

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2017 HSV GTSR W1

2017 HSV GTSR W1

The last of the Australian-built Commodore runs a Corvette ZR1 engine!

As we already know, 2017 marked the end of the line for General Motors’Australian factories, which means that the Holden brand as we know it no longer exists. The Australian-built Commodore was discontinued after 40 years of production and replaced by a sedan based on the latest Opel Insignia. But before the VF-generation Commodore went into the history books, the folks over at HSV, Holden’s high-performance division, launched one final special edition of the sedan. It’s called the HSV GTSR W1, and it’s the most extreme version of the Australian-made four-door.

Arguably the most interesting facts about the GTSR W1, besides the beefed-up exterior, can be found under the hood, where HSV dropped a supercharged, 6.2-liter V-8 LS9 that’s very similar to the one in the previous Corvette ZR1. But power and torque aren’t everything here. This sedan also features a wide range of track-prepped chassis components, as well as unique trim on the inside. What’s more, it’s limited to only a few hundred examples, which will definitely turn it into an expensive collectible in a few years. Let’s find out more about it below.

Continue reading to learn more about the HSV GTSR W1

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2019 HSV Commodore

2019 HSV Commodore

Australian firm to create the most powerful Opel Insignia yet!

When Holden announced that it will cease building vehicles in Australia at the end of 2016, there were all sorts of rumors about what will happen to the iconic brand. Come 2017 and it seems that Holden will continue to live on, just like General Motors predicted, by selling a number of rebadged GM products. This is by no means a new strategy, but unlike previous decades, the Commodore is no longer engineered and built in Australia. Instead, the famous nameplate is now being used for the Australian version of the Opel Insignia.

Redesigned for 2017, the current Insignia was moved up market in terms of design, materials, and technology. Shipped to Australia with almost the same features as the European model, the Insignia will also become the base model for HSV’s successor to its high-performance Commodore. Information is slim as of this writing, but Holden Special Vehicle has already confirmed that it will continue to build cars beyond the Australian-made Commodore’s discontinuation. There’s little doubt that the next HSV Commodore will be based on the German-made Insignia and we should see the beefed-up sedan show up in dealerships by the end of the year.

Interestingly enough, GM just sold the Opel division to PSA, which means that the German marque is now owned by Peugeot and Citroen. This should affect Insignia production given that GM and PSA signed certain agreements about existing models, but it remains to be seen how things will evolve. Meanwhile, let’s have a closer look at what the upcoming HSV Commodore might bring to the table.

Continue reading to learn more about the HSV Commodore.

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HSV to Give the Commodore a Very Fitting Farewell

HSV to Give the Commodore a Very Fitting Farewell

Turns out that the final Commodore could be a four-door ZR-1

With Holden slated to end production at the end of 2017, It’s only a matter of time before the Holden name is associated with badge-engineering. This means that awesome models like the Commodore will be gone forever. But, before that happens, HSV just might give the Commodore one last hurrah – one that’s fitting of an iconic car such as this. First, there’s the GTS-R that we learned about after HSV trademarked the name last year. Now, if reports from Motoring are to be believed, the Commodore will also get a more powerful version that uses the supercharged V-8 from the previous Corvette ZR1.

This means that for Holden’s final year as an auto manufacturer, it will bring out two awesome versions of the Commodore. The GTS-R is expected to come standard with GM’s 6.2-liter LSA V-8. The rumors so far have yet to produce working performance numbers, but the current GTS makes 577 horsepower and 538 pound-feet, so it should have at least that on tap, if not more. Then there’s the beefier version that’s being called the GTS-R W1, which is apparently still in development but with the ZR-1 engine should come with up to 638 horsepower and 604 pound-feet of torque on tap. That makes it a four-door ZR-1 in about every way.

With that kind of output, the W1 could turn out to be the question Australian-built model with a 62-mph sprint that comes as quickly as 3.5 to 3.7 seconds – now that’s one fast sedan. To put that into perspective for you, the new Porsche Panamera runs the 62-mph sprint in as quick as 3.6 seconds with 550 horsepower and 567 pound-feet on tap. The Maserati Quattroporte comes with 523 horsepower, 524 pound-feet, and a 4.6-second sprint to 62 mph. Holden may be living on borrowed time, but it’s going to climb into the ring with the big boys before it goes.

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2016 HSV ClubSport R8 Track Edition

2016 HSV ClubSport R8 Track Edition

One of the last HSV sedans to leave the company’s Australian factory

Launched in 2013, the current ClubSport is the entry-level sedan in the HSV range, which in turn is the high-performance division of Holden. A beefed-up version of the Commodore VF, the Gen-F HSV ClubSport features enhanced aerodynamics, a sportier interior, and a high-revving, naturally aspirated V-8 engine. The unit in question is a revised version of the 6.2-liter LS3 used in the previous generation Chevrolet Corvette and Camaro. A slightly more powerful variant is offered under the ClubSport R8 badge. The performance-oriented sedan will be discontinued in 2017, when Holden will cease all operations in Australia.

The last couple of years have seen Holden and HSV launch several special-edition models of the Commodore. With the sedan so close to exiting the market, HSV has prepared three final versions of the ClubSport R8, one of which is the Track Edition. Limited to only 156 units, the R8 Track Edition is essentially a standard R8 under the hood, but borrows most of its exterior features from the supercharged ClubSport GTS and sports a few performance improvements underneath.

“Given the unique track-inspired content, the sharp pricing and the fact that these will be the last LS3 ClubSport R8’s ever built, we’re anticipating strong demand”, said Tim Jackson, HSV’s managing director. The Track Edition was launched alongside the Black SV and Grange SV versions and joins the Clubsport R8 25th Anniversary Edition as one of the last HSVs to leave the factory.

Continue reading to learn more about the HSV ClubSport R8 Track Edition.

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2015 HSV ClubSport R8 25th Anniversary Edition

2015 HSV ClubSport R8 25th Anniversary Edition

With Holden set to cease all manufacturing by the end of 2017, the current VF-generation and all its derivatives will become the final evolution of the iconic Commodore nameplate. Its disappearance will also mark the end of the HSV (Holden Special Vehicles) brand, Australia’s leading performance-car manufacturer, as we know it. But until that happens, HSV is rolling out a limited-edition ClubSport R8 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the ClubSport moniker. Much like any other Holden product, this performance sedan won’t be sold outside Australia and New Zealand.

As its name suggests, the ClubSport R8 25th Anniversary Edition is based on the ClubSport model, which is the entry-level sedan in the HSV range. It sits below the ultra-powerful GTS and the luxurious Signature Series, and it is offered in two trims. This special-edition features the R8 package, which adds more horsepower and extra features to the standard model.

Similar to the 20th Anniversary Edition that was launched in 2000, the 25th Anniversary Edition will be built in very limited quantities and employ a range of bespoke features inside and out.

"Along with GTS, ClubSport has been one of the mainstays of the HSV lineup through its proud history", said HSV Managing Director, Tim Jackson. "We’re sure the added value offered with the 25th Anniversary ClubSport R8 will be well received by our fans."

Continue reading to learn more about the HSV ClubSport R8 25th Anniversary Edition.

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Chris Harris Reviews the HSV Maloo GTS: Video

Chris Harris Reviews the HSV Maloo GTS: Video

Even when he’s on holiday, Chris Harris still can’t resist the intoxicating allure of getting behind the wheel of a car, especially a car with the kind of quirky package that the HSV Maloo GTS offers. Actually, “quirky” isn’t even an appropriate word to describe Australia’s famous super ute. The Maloo GTS is a "firecracker with a flatbed." During his recent vacation in Australia, Harris managed to get his hands on one after getting coaxed by Australia’s Wheels magazine, and like he always does, Harris didn’t hesitate putting the Maloo GTS’ four wheels to the ground.

Essentially, the Maloo, as Harris describes it, is a combination of a coupe and a utility vehicle, or a “ute” as what a lot of Australians call it. The odd combination may be curious to people from other parts of the world, but utes are especially common in Australia and there’s no ute that’s faster and more powerful that the Maloo GTS. Harris experienced the full thrill of driving the amalgamation and the British auto journalist even spent time smoking its tires around the track, which is quite a sight if you haven’t seen a pickup with a sports car front end do tire-melting donuts.

In the end, Harris nailed it when he called the Maloo GTS an ingenious creation by HSV. You probably won’t see anything else quite like it, unless of course some of Europe’s biggest brands decide to jump on the “super ute” bandwagon.

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2006 - 2014 Holden Commodore Limited Edition Supercharger Package by Walkinshaw Racing

2006 - 2014 Holden Commodore Limited Edition Supercharger Package by Walkinshaw Racing

Today’s automotive world is no stranger to limited-edition models. Several manufacturers are known to offer a wide range of low-volume vehicles, including cars that come with either enhanced performance, exclusive visual features, or both. Limited-edition cars generate a lot of buzz and usually command a hefty premium over the standard sticker. But how about limited-edition superchargers, have you ever heard of something like that? In case you didn’t, this is where Walkinshaw Racing and its Supercharger Package, limited to only 50 units, comes in.

For those of you not familiar with Walkinshaw Performance, it’s a company founded by former racing driver Tom Walkinshaw. The venture is known for its involvement with the Arrows Formula One team and other racing projects under the Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) name. Walkinshaw Performance is the successor organization of Tom’s previous company, and its Racing division races Holden Commodores in Australia’s V8 Supercar championship since 2009.

As you might have already guessed, Walkinshaw’s limited-edition Supercharger Pack is only available for Holden vehicles, which means it cannot be had anywhere else in the world. Not even in the U.S., where the current Holden VF Commodore is sold as the Chevrolet SS. That’s too bad, because Walkinshaw’s Supercharger Package will turn any V-8-powered Commodore built between 2006 and 2014 into a real monster. Check out the details below.

Click past the jump to read more about the Walkinshaw Racing Limited Edition Supercharger Package.

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2015 HSV GTS Maloo

2015 HSV GTS Maloo

Holden has built small utility vehicles since the early 1950s. At first it was the Special-based Utility. The Kingswood-based coupe utility followed in 1968 and remained an integral part of the lineup until the model got the axe in 1984. The body style returned in 1990 as part of the Commodore family and adopted the familiar Ute name. Since Chevrolet cut the El Camino from its lineup in 1987, the Ute remained the only mainstream utility coupe manufactured by General Motors. The Holden Ute has become increasingly powerful over the last two decades, especially with HSV building its beefed-up version. Unfortunately, the Ute saga will come to an end in 2016, when Holden is scheduled to cease vehicle manufacturing operations in Australia. As the 2015 model year looms, HSV is bidding farewell to its iconic muscle pickup by launching the GTS Maloo, the most-powerful Ute ever created in Australia.

Still cranky about GM not wanting to import the Commodore Ute to North America? Well, then get ready to have a seizure because the GTS Maloo is the coolest coupe utility since the 1970 El Camino SS 454 LS6. And it’s supercharged!

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 HSV GTS Maloo.

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2013 HSV Gen-F ClubSport R8 Tourer

2013 HSV Gen-F ClubSport R8 Tourer

Holden Special Vehicles recently debuted their enhanced and refreshed line of Commodore VF variants dubbed the “Gen-F” across the eight specialty models built to satisfy power-mad Australians’ thirst for large and fast rear-drive performance models. One highlight in the diverse range is the Clubsport R8 Tourer; a svelte but practical wagon that can be had with optional SV Enhanced power package, forged wheels and launch control to manage the 455-horsepower surge.

Much more than a facelift, the Gen-F series new nose touts the 2013 models’ significant performance enhancements, technology upgrades, and far better infotainment and cabin design on the inside. The big news is that HSV is getting real-time access to the latest GM innovations in a quest to reinvigorate the stalling Australian large-car market with top-end performance models.

Best known for donating its butch platform to the genetic scientists at GM, the Commodore has been used for Cadillacs, Pontiacs and Chevrolets with little commercial success but a big fan following. Until the brand closed in 2009, the Pontiac G8 GT filled an enthusiast gap in the GM lineup with its V-8 grunt, manual transmission and laugh-riot tire shredding – it even won its own re-birth as the current Chevrolet Caprice PPV.

The latest VF series Holden Commodores share a great deal with the 2014 Chevrolet SS. These HSV bruisers, however, count the 2014 Corvette Stingray as their closest relative for shared suspension, safety and technology solutions.

Click past the jump for the full review and images of the just-released 2013 HSV ClubSport R8 Tourer with optional SV Enhanced spec.

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2013 Holden Special Vehicles Gen-F GTS

2013 Holden Special Vehicles Gen-F GTS

Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) announced today the first details on the Gen-F lineup, which it has dubbed "the greatest performance production cars ever built in Australia." The new Gen-F lineup will include five different vehicles: Maloo, Clubsport /Clubsport Tourer, Senator Signature and the range-topping GTS.

The new Gen-F lineup received a more sophisticated, modern and integrated design, with the GTS version being distinguished by updated bumpers, a larger super-flow performance spoiler finished in body color with “Pitch Black” accenting and 20-inch forged-alloy wheels in Satin Graphite.

Holden is also offering an all-new premium interior with new seats and fabrics, instrument panel, cluster, gauges, center console, trims and finishes. The GTS version if offering tons of standard features, like its 9-speaker Bose premium audio system that includes: an 8-inch high-resolution, color touch-screen display; a USB input; single CD player with MP3 compatibility; hard-drive storage; and full iPod integration.

Click past the jump to read more about the HSV GTS.

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