Australia Getting the Chevy Camaro SS, Colorado, and Silverado HD Through HSV
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.
2018 Holden Colorado SuperUte
The Land Down Under has a new racing series that plays off the exploding popularity of pickup trucks. It’s called the SuperUte ECB Series and it’s hosted by Australia’s well-known Supercars Series – you know, the series with V-8-powered, rear-wheel-drive sedans thundering around an autocross course. Well, now Australia will have turbodiesel-powered, mid-size, crew cab pickups racing around tracks like the Gold Coast’s Norwell Motorplex starting in March of 2018.
Unlike NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series, these Utes aren’t sheet metal bodies on steel tube chassis. No, they are production pickups from the assembly line. Each undergoes a full work-over with a safety cage, suspension modifications, performance wheels and tires, and a tune of their stock turbodiesel engines. Every truck is capped at 340 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque, while the minimum weight is set at 3,968 pounds. Automakers currently preparing for the SuperUte Series include Ford, Mazda, Isuzu, Mitsubishi, Toyota, and General Motors. GM’s fighter is the Holden Colorado, a truck very similar to North America’s Chevrolet Colorado, even down to the 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel.
With official testing currently underway, let’s have a look at Holden’s newest and most unconventional racer.
Here’s the Only New-Generation Holden Commodore that Still Has a V-8!
New-generation Holden Commodore with a V-8? It may sound like a joke given that the new, Opel Insignia-based Commodore uses a V-6, but it’s not. There’s at least one that still uses a V-8 powerplant. Unfortunately, it’s just a concept for now, and the final result will be a race car and not a road-legal production model. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m talking about Holden’s new race car for the Australia Supercars Championship.
Redesigned for the 2018 season for obvious reasons, the new Commodore Supercar borrows styling cues from the latest-generation street Commodore, which is a slightly revised version of the European-made Opel Insignia as far as design goes. But while the road car ditched the GM-sourced V-8 in favor of a new turbocharged V-6, the race car will continue to use last year’s V-8 engine. But, even though Holden successfully homologated the old V-8 for 2018, the naturally aspirated mill will be phased out starting 2019, when it will be replaced with a race-spec version of the Commodore’s V-6.
Continue reading for the full story.
2017 HSV GTSR W1
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
2019 HSV Commodore
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.
HSV to Give the Commodore a Very Fitting Farewell
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.
Keep Reading for the Rest of the Story
2016 Holden Commodore Black Edition
The iconic Holden Commodore was redesigned for 2013, when the VF-generation made its debut in Australia. Unfortunately, the launch was almost immediately followed by GM’s announcement that it will shut down all Australian production in 2017. This means that the Commodore will also be discontinued next year, with the facelift introduced for the 2016 model year being the last a Holden will ever receive. With the Commodore set to go out of production in a year or so, Holden is now rushing to launch as many special-edition models as possible, the most recent of which is the Black Edition.
Essentially a package that adds black accents on the inside and a couple of new features, the Black Edition is available for three different body styles — sedan, station wagon, and ute — and two trims, SV6 and SS. In all, customers can add the bundle to six models and choose from the 3.6-liter V-6 and the mighty 6.2-liter V-8 engines.
“Black exterior design features have proved popular with customers looking to give their vehicle a stronger road presence and unique styling. With Commodore Black, we’ve chosen to combine the style of those black design features with the substance of advanced technology, usually only reserved for our top-of-the-range vehicles," said Peter Keley, Holden’s executive director of sales.
The Commodore Black Edition goes on sale from April 2016.
Continue reading to learn more about the Holden Commodore Black Edition.
Holden has always been an interesting part of GM. Unlike Opel, GM’s European division, Holden cars tend to share a lot with American cars, they’re just set up in a different and presumably more Australian way. Evidence of this similarity can be seen in how many Holdens have come to America wearing different badges. Even the Holden Commodore has come over as the Pontiac G8, Pontiac GTO, the current cop-only Caprice and the Chevy SS. Even the fifth-generation Camaro has a platform originally developed for the Commodore. So Holden’s announcement that local production would shut down after 2017 as GM moves to a more global approach to making cars, represents a real loss.
So this latest facelift of the Holden Commodore will be its last, and Holden even threw it a party in order to send it off in style. Thirty examples of the car, dating back to 1978, were gathered in Port Melbourne to announce the debut of the VFII. As the name implies, the VFII is not a separate generation from the VF (Holden gives each generation a letter designation), but rather a refreshed version to keep the car from going stale during the last couple of years of its life. It looks great too, making it all the more unfortunate that it’s going away.
Continue reading to learn more about the Holden Commodore VFII.
The Chevrolet Colorado pickup has made a big splash in the American midsize truck market with its semi-compact size and high levels of design and functionality. One thing the U.S.-spec Colorado lacks, however, is an SUV version. That’s not the case in Australia though, as the global version of the Colorado has spawned a seven-passenger, three-row SUV with an honest body-on-frame design.
Meet the Holden Colorado 7.
Though it’s not new, it’s new to most folks not living Down Under or in a few Asian countries. Introduced for the 2012 model year, the Colorado 7 offers much of the same equipment and functionality as its pickup sibling. Like GM typically does with its truck and SUV counterparts, the Colorado 7 uses the truck’s powertrain, in this case, a 2.8-liter four-cylinder Duramax engine and six-speed automatic transmission. Even the two-speed transfer case is the same.
Interestingly enough, the Colorado 7 is also known as the Chevrolet Trailblazer in some markets. But don’t mistake this for the Trailblazer sold in the U.S. between 2002 and 2009. The global version shown here is a completely different beast. Despite this, the Colorado 7 offers U.S. buyers a tasty glimpse at what a resurrected Trailblazer could look like, should GM ever decide to build it. Based off the U.S.-spec Colorado, the seven-passenger SUV would slot between the Tahoe and Equinox, effectively becoming a more rugged alternative to the unibody Traverse.
With all that aside, let’s take a look at the Colorado 7.
Continue reading to learn more about the Holden Colorado 7.
General Motors’ Holden division has just released its newest top-trim model for its Colorado pickup truck, the 2016 Colorado Z71. The updated trim level comes loaded with visual upgrades, both inside and out that include 18-inch wheels, heated leather seats, and a unique appearance package with a hard tonneau cover and a bumper-mounted front nudge bar.
The new styling cues don’t detract from the Colorado’s truckish abilities, including its 7,716-pound towing capacity and its off-road capability. Holden’s move to include such an appearance package reflects customer’s increasing tendency to use trucks as a lifestyle vehicle.
“Drivers are increasingly using trucks to facilitate an active lifestyle, whether it’s surfing or snowboarding, and looking good is important to them,” said Peter Keley, Holden’s Executive Director of Sales. “Z71 adds an impressive range of features to the Colorado truck, not least the exterior black components and leather-appointed seats that combine to give a more aggressive look and comfortable ride.”
Of course, Holden’s version of the Colorado is inherently different than our U.S.-spec version, though there are a number of similarities. The two trucks do not share the same interior or exterior design, nor do they share the same exact underpinnings. Each truck is built specifically for its intended market.
That extends to the powertrain as well, as the Holden exclusively offers a 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel four-cylinder. The U.S.-spec 2015 Chevy Colorado comes with either a 2.5-liter four-cylinder or the 3.6-liter V-6. However, the 2.8-liter Duramax is set to make its U.S. debut for the 2016 model year in the Colorado.
Returning back to Holden’s new Colorado Z71, the truck’s announcement comes only days after Ford announced its newest top-trim level on the global Ranger – the 2016 Ford Ranger Wildtrak. The trucks compete head to head for folks looking to utilize trucks for both work and play. So let’s dive into the Colorado Z71.
Continue reading to learn more about the Holden Colorado Z71.
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.
The Holden Commodore - imported to the U.S. in sedan guise as the Chevrolet SS - may be living its final years on the market, but the Australian vehicle continues to deliver a lot of excitement thanks to special-edition models. September 2014 already brought us the enticing HSV GTS Maloo, the most powerful Ute ever built in the land Down Under. Unlike the GTS Maloo, whose purpose was to become the most extreme ute you can buy at a dealership, this latest special-edition Commodore is based on the SS V model and pays tribute to one of Australia’s most famous racing drivers.
We are talking about Craig Lowndes, who made its first appearance in the V8 Supercar series in 1994, as a 20-year-old rookie. Lowndes finished second in Australia’s greatest race, the Bathurst 1000, that year, and then went on to become the greatest driver in Holden’s rich motorsports history. With 43 wins and three V8 Supercar championships to his name, Lowndes definitely deserves to have a Holden Commodore bearing his name. Read on to find out more about this unique sedan.
Click past the jump to read more about the Holden Commodore Craig Lowndes Special Edition.
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.
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.
Microsoft’s continued promotion for the upcoming release of Forza Motorsport has gone to a whole new level after announcing that it was fielding a specially prepared Holden VF Commodore to compete at the 2013 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, the V8 Supercar Series’ equivalent of Formula One’s Monaco Grand Prix.
Since Bathurst will be included as one of the race tracks in Forza 5, it represented an opportunity for Microsoft and its subsidiary studio, Turn 10 (the folks who made the game!), to capitalize on promoting the highly anticipated game ahead of its November 22 release, while also turning some heads with an incredibly worked-on Holden VF Commodore race car.
The car came to life as a collaborative project between Triple Eight Race Engineering and Xbox Australia, with the intention of running it up Bathurst in the hopes of actually winning the crown jewel race of the V8 Supercar Series calendar.
The race car’s emerald green color is direct homage to the Xbox’s traditional color, while all the bells and whistles of a full-fledged race car were all installed. Exterior components, like a front lip spoiler, the wider wheel arches, the side lamps and the large rear wing, can be found on the VF Commodore. It’s the same story with the interior where all the usual accessories of the road car were taken out to accommodate all the safety equipment that is required for race cars.
Finally, the Xbox One Racing VF Commodore boasts of a 5.0-liter, V-8 engine that produces 650 horsepower, allowing it to hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.3 seconds to go with a top speed of 185 mph.
Click past the jump to read about the 2013 Holden VF Commodore
Holden just scored a new record at the famous Nϋrburgring racetrack. The company just wanted to see how fast the new SS V Ute is around the famous ring and it looks like the response is "very fast." With Holden Dynamics Engineer, Rob Trubiani, at the wheel the SS V Ute was able to run the 20.8 km (12.92-mile) Nordschleife section in just 8:19.47, making it the fastest commercial or utility vehicle out there.
While most of you may think this time is not very impressive, keep in mind that a 2010 Camaro SS did the same lap in 8:22 and a Lexus IS-F in 8:18.
The vehicle that scored the result was a product-correct engineering test Ute that was being used in Europe for validation purposes before taking on the "Green Hell." The record-setting model is basically a stock car, except some negative camber dialed into the front wheels and the removal of the speed limiter. Before setting the record, the Ute ran flawlessly for seven days and 35 grueling laps in total. All it needed was a new set of tires and brakes.
Click past the jump for the video.
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.
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.
We are finally going to see the production version of the Chevy SS this weekend at the Daytona International Speedway’s fan zone and today Holden has unveiled a new model that will give us a good idea of how the SS will look.
The new VF Commodore SS V comes just a few days after thestandard VF Commodore was unveiled. The new SS V model is, in fact, just a performance version of the new VF Commodore sport luxury range.
However, unlike the new VF Commodore, the new SS V version will be distinguished by a more aggressive and wider body kit with a narrower grille and an aluminum hood with center crease. What we love is that custom Fantale orange metallic paint specially created by Holden for the show car. For the interior, Holden will be offering a combination of suede, galvano chrome, gloss black and perforated leather with accent stitching.
Hit the jump to read more about the Holden VF Commodore SS V.
A few days after Holden officially pulled the covers off of the new VF Commodore, the model’s race car version, the VF Commodore V8 Supercar was also introduced, providing fans of Australia’s V8 Supercar Series a glimpse of what the new model is going to look like before it hits the track this season.
This year, the V8 Supercar Series will race under new “Car of the Future” regulations, which were put into place to make cars more affordable to build and attract more manufacturers to compete in the series.
This particular racecar was built by Holden’s in-house racing team, Holden Racing Team, and carries a few styling cues used in the new VF Commodore, including the trapezoidal gaping front grille. More importantly, those bumpers in the racecar appear to be similar in design to what we’ve seen from the U.S.-bound Chevrolet SS, whose own debut has been scheduled for this coming weekend.
On the flip side, the race version of the VF Commodore will be fitted with a Chevrolet-sourced 5.0-liter V-8 engine that produces 650 horsepower and mates to a sequential gearbox with power sent to the rear wheels. That’s a lot more power than the rumored 350-horsepower, V-8 engine the production VF Commodore may feature.
In any case, the debut of the VF Commodore V8 Supercars Race Car does point to the excitement surrounding the opening of the 2013 season of the V8 Supercars Series at the end of the month.