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Future models - HSV - Astra VXR

Hot shoe shuffle!

Force-fed: Opel's Astra OPC is also sold as the Astra VXR by Vauxhall.

HSV gets set to enter the hot-hatch market with its first small car, the Astra OPC

31 Aug 2005

HOLDEN Special Vehicles intends to unveil its first-ever hot hatch at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney in September, with sales of the European-built turbocharged Astra OPC-based vehicle expected to commence soon after.

"I’d rate better than a 50/50 chance that the car will be at Sydney with a view to getting the final customer reaction to it," HSV sales and marketing director, Chris Payne, told GoAuto this week.

"We’re last into the segment with no credentials in hot hatch, but I can’t think of a better product to get in there with and stir it up.

"OPC (Opel Performance Centre) is to Opel what HSV is to Holden and we’ve had the product on our radar for 12 months or so in conjunction with those guys.

"I guess we’ve wanted to absolutely convince ourselves that the car has the right credentials and level of performance that we’d need to get into the category," he said.

20 center imageHSV’s first modern-era front-wheel drive small car will be based on Opel’s 176kW/320Nm turbocharged 2.0-litre Astra OPC launched at the Geneva motor show this year, offering a significant performance advantage over the 147kW Astra SRi turbo hatch Holden will release late this year.

HSV hopes to sell up to 100 examples annually.

In other future model news from HSV, Mr Payne confirmed the possibility of its Monaro-based Coupe model becoming an exclusive HSV vehicle following the discontinuation of Monaro sales in Australia.

"There is a chance," Mr Payne said when asked if the two-door could become an exclusive model for HSV. "And given the popularity of the car that would be something we’d like to see happen.

"But we’ve still got some issues we need to work with Holden on and we hope to make an announcement about that soon.

"The (US-market) Pontiac GTO driveline is similar to what we use here locally so it’s a unique build of the car, so if it continues we just go along as we do now.

"We’ve not yet made our position with respect to Monaro – or Coupe for HSV either – and we expect to do that sometime soon."

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