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HSV ClubSport turns 25

Happy birthday: The ClubSport has been a mainstay of the Holden Special Vehicles line-up for a quarter of a century.

25th anniversary HSV ClubSport R8 dressed to party, but retains same powertrain

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HSV logo8 Jul 2015

By TIM ROBSON

AS the clock winds down on the Australia-made rear-wheel-drive V8 sedan, Holden’s performance car offshoot, Holden Special Vehicles (HSV), is marking the service of its longest-running model, the ClubSport, with a run of limited edition cars.

The company will produce 108 25th Anniversary ClubSport R8 specials –100 for Australia and eight for New Zealand – to mark the venerable model’s quarter of a century on the HSV roster.

For the same $73,299 list price as the standard ClubSport R8, the special edition offers 20-inch SV Rapier wheels – as fitted to the SV Senator, but finished in black – along with a new spoiler and black accents.

The quad exhaust tips are finished in dark chrome, while commemorative 25th Anniversary badging adorns the boot, door sills and centre console.

Inside, the limited-edition Clubby scores black leather trim, a tweaked centre screen and the multi-mode Driver Preference Dial that changes the exhaust note on the dual-mode exhaust system, as well as tweaking the throttle and transmission maps.

The ClubSport moniker was first affixed to a VN-sourced HSV in 1990. Created to lower the entry point into the Holden Special Vehicles brand, the ClubSport was powered by a 5.0-litre V8 making 180kW and 400Nm. It sold for $33,130 in 1990, which, allowing for inflation, equates, to $57,800 today.

HSV marketing and planning general manager Damon Paull told GoAuto that the ClubSport, along with the GTS, had been the mainstay of the range.

“We’ve built and sold just in excess of 30,000 ClubSports over the journey, which is a fair mark. So I think you have to pay homage to the role it’s played within our range..”

On average, HSV sells 3000 vehicles a year, according to Mr Paull. He also noted that sales of the Gen F range haven’t fluctuated in either direction, despite the looming end-of-production deadline.

“We haven’t seen any shift in momentum,” he said. “Since the launch of the Gen F range, our momentum has been pretty much unchanged.”

Mr Paull would not be drawn on press reports that the ClubSport is in line to score a detuned version of the GTS’s supercharged V8 powerplant by year’s end.

“We don’t comment on speculation or on any future production plans,” he said.

“We try and stay in the present. That’s consistent with the approach HSV has taken for a long time.”

At $73,290, recommended retail pricing for the limited-edition 25th Anniversary ClubSport R8 remains unchanged from that of the ClubSport R8.

It will be offered in four exterior colours: Heron (white), Phantom (black), Sting (red) and Nitrate (blue). Production starts late in July.

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