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Inside job for HSV’s new E3

Spot the difference: Only the GTS receives styling changes, in the form of a new spoiler and slightly larger exhaust tips.

Interior tweaks and new gadgets revealed in modest upgrade for HSV range

13 Sep 2010

HOLDEN Special Vehicles’ drip-feed release of its updated E3 range continued today as it revealed images and details showing a mostly unmolested exterior and an upgraded cabin with some of the gee-whiz technologies already announced for its latest luxury flagship, the Grange.

Only the performance leader, the 325kW GTS, gets any changes of note to the exterior detail, with a revised rear spoiler (for improved vision) and slightly larger twin exhaust tips being the only giveaway.

The only change to the powertrain is the addition of the Australian-first optional dual-fuel liquid petroleum injection engine that was also foreshadowed last week on the Grange.

This $5990 option on the sedan – said to deliver the same performance as the petrol-only version of HSV’s 6.2-litre LS3 engine while cutting CO2 emissions by up to 15 per cent – will also be available on the Maloo ute, but at a higher price ($6390), because the ute requires a special tub liner to accommodate the tank.

20 center imageFrom top: HSV 20 Years of Maloo R8, HSV E3 GTS interior, HSV's Enhanced Driver Interface.

However, the gas alternative will not be available on the Commodore Sportwagon-based ClubSport R8 Tourer because – like the donor car – there is no room for the LPG tank.

Although HSV is holding back full pricing until its media launch next week, it has revealed that one of the new options on the E3 models, the blind-spot warning system that it calls Side Blind Zone Alert (SBZA), will cost $1990. The Bosch-developed feature is standard on the Grange, as revealed last week.

New to all HSV E3 models are the touch-screen Enhanced Driver Interface (EDI), reverse camera with rear park assist, satellite navigation and touchscreen audio with iPod connectivity.

The EDI system – co-developed with race data specialist MOTEC – allows HSV drivers to dial up a raft of race-like performance detail such as G forces, lap times on race circuits and even manifold pressure, as well as control a number of features of the car.

All E3 models, including the top-selling ClubSport R8, get a new-look dashboard that HSV calls ‘Oracle’, new binnacle gauges, piano black trim on the centre console and steering wheel, plus a model-specific stainless steel ID plate on the centre console.

The up-market GTS and Senator Signature also get twin-stitch seat trims, along with new alternative red (Turismo Rosso) leather.

Coinciding with the launch of the E3 range, HSV has also unveiled a special 20th anniversary edition Maloo ute, to commemorate its introduction at the Sydney motor show in October 1990.

The ‘20 Years of Maloo’ R8 gets special hood scoops and side vents, 20-inch GTS alloy wheels, bi-modal exhaust, EDI, blind-spot alert, rear parking sensors and camera, and satellite navigation.

The special edition will be publicly unveiled at the Deni Ute Muster in early October, going on sale at $67,900 – a $4710 premium over the current standard Maloo R8 price.

HSV managing director Phil Harding said the new E3 range had reached a new level of sophistication, continuing the company’s long history of innovation.

“Our E3 range is an example of HSV’s passion for innovation and determination to bring world leading technology to vehicles,” he said.

“You only have to look at EDI, LPI, and SBZA to know HSV is passionate about creating and building great all-round performance cars.

“More and more of our customers are showing greater interest in new technology, and have expressed a desire for unique points of difference in their vehicles.

“The combination of new technologies, stylish interior improvements and a continued focus on all-round performance further strengthens HSV’s position as the ultimate in Australian-made performance cars.” As GoAuto reported last week, the GTS will continue with an unchanged 325kW/550Nm V8 powertrain – 10kW short of rival Ford Performance Vehicle’s new ‘Miami’ supercharged 5.0-litre V8.

The GTS engine also goes into the Grange this time around, while all other models retain the 317kW/550Nm version of the LS3 Chevrolet-sourced engine with a choice of six-speed manual gearbox or six-speed automatic.

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