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Driven: HSV’s V8 buyer demand prompts Camaro 2SS
Right-hand-drive Chevrolet Camaro 2SS keeps big V8 engine alive for HSV enthusiasts
28 Sep 2018
HOLDEN Special Vehicles (HSV) says V8-hungry enthusiasts prompted its decision to re-manufacture the Chevrolet Camaro 2SS sportscar to right-hand drive, while the brand’s new era may see it return to enhancing bent eights.
Speaking to journalists last week at the Camaro 2SS national media launch in Victoria, HSV managing director Tim Jackson explained that the move to re-manufacture a passenger vehicle in Australia is unprecedented and came about from customer demand.
“It’s been an interesting year for us,” he said. “We’re used to doing one new product every couple of years … and this year is three new products in seven or eight months.
“I don’t think a day’s gone by in the last three years, until we actually said that we were doing it, that we didn’t have our customer base say ‘are you going to do Camaro?’
“It’s quite a different style of program for us. I can’t think of a non-global OE who’s tackled the challenge of doing a full-blown compliance in the passenger-car segment.
“Often you’ll see a lot of those typical past conversions are done in small volume or in the truck space where it’s a different level of certification.
“There’s lots of challenges along the way, but we’re particularly proud we’ve got it to the start line.”
Mr Jackson added that the Camaro and Silverado conversion programs, as well as the Colorado SportsCat enhancement program, were only the start of a new era for HSV that could see it return to its roots.
“While it may seem (to be), in some respects, the end of a reasonably long process, it’s also the beginning of a whole new chapter in our business – and that’s particularly exciting.
“We set off with the goal, on Camaro, which was always going to be: can we retain the integrity from left- to right-hand drive – that has been the real focus of all the development work.
“We get people asking ‘are you going to do a power up?’ and those sorts of things, (but) that hasn’t been the initial focus.
“The initial focus is to retain the integrity of the vehicle from left- to right-hand drive, get it into full-volume compliance, get it into our customers hands and then, as all our programs grow and develop, (we’ll see) how they go.”
As such, the door remains open for HSV-enhanced Camaros in the future, but whether it happens during the model’s current or future generations is yet to be determined.
Nonetheless, the aforementioned customer demand has led to about 70 per cent of the 550 model year 2018 Camaro 2SS units allocated for Australia and New Zealand already being spoken for, despite the pricetag of $85,990 before on-road costs.
As reported, the 2SS is motivated by a 6.2-litre LT1 naturally aspirated V8 petrol engine that produces 339kW of power at 6000rpm and 617Nm of torque at 4600rpm.
Drive is exclusively sent to the 2SS’ rear wheels via a limited-slip differential and an eight-speed torque-convertor automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifters.
Meanwhile, four driving modes – Snow/Ice, Tour, Sport and Track – allow the driver to change vehicle settings, such as throttle, transmission, steering and exhaust, while on the go. Launch control is available in Sport and Track.
Furthermore, an independent five-link rear suspension with twin-tube shock absorbers teams with four-piston Brembo brake callipers and grey, split-spoke 20-inch alloy wheels shod in a mixed set of Goodyear Eagle run-flat tyres (245/40 front, 275/35 rear). HSV will soon introduce black rims as an extra-cost option.
The 2SS’ HID headlights and LED daytime running lights feature alongside a bootlid-mounted spoiler and the bi-modal exhaust system’s stainless-steel dual tailpipes to round out its exterior look.
Inside, power-adjustable front sports seats (eight-way driver with memory, six-way passenger) are trimmed in leather and feature heating and ventilation functionality, while the flat-bottom steering wheel is leather-wrapped and heated.
A 7.0-inch MyLink touchscreen infotainment system supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and is connected to a nine-speaker Bose sound system, while an 8.0-inch digital instrument cluster ups the technology ante. The 2SS’ colour head-up display could not be re-manufactured to RHD.
Standard equipment further extends to dual-zone climate control, a power-operated sunroof, wireless smartphone charging, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, ambient interior lighting, and keyless entry and start.
Advanced driver-assist systems include lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a reversing camera, rear parking sensors, cruise control and tyre pressure monitoring, plus seven airbags.
Metallic paintwork – including Bright Yellow, Garnet Red and Hyper Blue – is available for $850, while six no-cost colours are also on offer.
Fuel consumption on the combined cycle test is 11.5 litres per 100 kilometres, while carbon dioxide emissions have been tested at 260 grams per kilometre.
Measuring in at 4784mm long, 1897mm wide and 1348mm tall with a 2811mm wheelbase, the 2SS has a kerb weight of 1710kg.
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