February 29, 2008
HOLDEN'S performance-car division is due to unveil at the Melbourne motor show this morning the fastest, most powerful - and most expensive - Australian-made road car of all time.
It is based on the humble Holden Commodore sedan but thanks to a heart transplant is powered by a massive 7.0-litre V8 from a race-bred version of the Chevrolet Corvette in the United States.
The Holden Special Vehicles super-sedan is likely to cost in excess of $150,000, more than twice the price of the most expensive model currently. It will have the biggest brakes ever fitted to a Holden, will meet the latest vehicle emissions requirements and won't use much more fuel than current Holden V8s.
"Holden and HSV have had record sales of V8s over the past 12 months and we believe there is definitely a market for this car," HSV boss Scott Grant told the Herald.
"Despite the hype around petrol prices, the passion for performance-based cars in Australia is stronger than it's ever been. Buyers have clearly demonstrated this by voting with their wallets and continuing to buy V8s."
The car should be in showrooms in July. HSV will build each car by hand alongside its Holden Racing Team headquarters, but the car will still be covered by the regular Commodore's three-year, 100,000-kilometre warranty.
"This is everything we've learned about V8 Supercar racing and building special road cars, but in one vehicle," said Grant.
HSV claims the car will sprint from rest to 100kmh in a Porsche-quick 4.7 seconds but its top speed will be limited to 250kmh, the same as its German rivals.
To ensure it has sufficient grip to handle the extra power (said to be 370kW, 20 per cent more than the most powerful V8 available in a Holden) HSV is due to fly a test car to a specially made automotive ice rink in Sweden to calibrate the car's stability control system. The idea is that if it can grip well on ice, it will grip even better on tarmac.