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Walkinshaw Tuning aims for hot Hummers

Hummer by HSV: Not quite, but expect some special Hummer tuning.

Walkinshaw’s HSV-sourced tuners get set to tweak the H3

13 Dec 2006

GET ready for the HSV-tuned Hummer H3.

If HSV director, and the new boss at Walkinshaw Performance Tuning (WPT), Chris Payne gets his way, when the new Hummer H3 goes on sale next June a performance-tuned version will follow. However, it will not be sold as an HSV Hummer.

Mr Payne has driven both the H3 – as well as the bigger H2 – and believes the South African-built General Motors truck is an ideal platform for WPT. However, there are no plans for a dedicated HSV Hummer. "We’re talking just aftermarket," he said.

The new WPT business will essentially continue the specialist aftermarket and retrofit operations for which HSV is responsible. Like HSV owners, Hummer owners will be able to tweak engines, suspensions and exhausts to personalise their SUVs.

Mr Payne said the benefit of WPT for customers was that, as a group of aftermarket engineers, technicians and marketers, "the people running the business are all ex-HSV or V8 Supercar workers, so they run the business in a very OE way".

As a result, WPT was clearly differentiated from other aftermarket tuners, he said.

WPT has been working on HSV cars for the past six months, fitting superchargers, lowering suspensions and upgrading brakes for buyers who want more differentiation.

It has also built several specific "show cars" for private owners and collectors, as well as specific track cars stemming from the 20 one-make Bahrain race series cars.

Mr Payne said there was a solid opening for aftermarket modifications to HSVs, as well as other Holden product.

"Thirty per cent of HSV customers change their exhaust systems on their cars," he said. "In NZ the number is significantly higher.

"We would like to participate in that market and we believe we have the credentials to do it better than others and offer customers directly to the door an opportunity to use our expertise."By targeting aftermarket buyers, Mr Payne said the company also hoped to control how HSVs are modified to avoid backyard workshops.

"We have developed and tested a whole suite of products of GM for the utility to coupe to old-style VZ sedans," he said.

"We’ve worked out a whole range of products. And we also want to export the Walkinshaw Performance products to the Middle East particularly and also to the UK."America’s legendary Hummer brand arrives Down Under mid-2007 with the single-model H3.

The 4WD wagon will be powered by a 3.7-litre in-line five-cylinder DOHC petrol engine, which delivers 180kW at 5600rpm and 328Nm of torque at 4600rpm.

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