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HSV resurrects ClubSport LS3 V8 power
Special edition HSV Track, SV and SV Black models to bid farewell to LS3 engine
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25 May 2016
HOLDEN Special Vehicles (HSV) is giving its venerable naturally aspirated 6.2-litre LS3 V8 one last hurrah, under the bonnet of three limited-edition ClubSport and Maloo variants with some of the most accessible price tags in the Australian performance brand's history.
The 340kW engine – currently only offered in the long-wheelbase HSV Grange – is being pitched as a special offer to performance enthusiasts, providing “unrivalled value and a 'final buy' opportunity” before being put out to pasture in October this year when Euro 5 emissions rules kick in.
Starting from $62,990 before on-road costs, the Maloo R8 SV Black ute and its $65,990 ClubSport sedan equivalent reintroduce the LS3 V8 that was phased out in short-wheelbase HSV vehicles with the arrival of the supercharged LSA in October last year.
In addition to the new entry-level variants, the SV Black pair are being offered alongside a hardcore ClubSport R8 Track Edition for $68,990 and a more luxury-focused $86,990 Grange SV, both of which share the revenant 6.2-litre powerplant.
HSV fans will remember the SV Black edition from its previous appearance in the range in 2011. The car-maker says the nameplate will attract as much attention with a selection of blacked-out aesthetic tweaks in limited numbers.
The ClubSport R8 SV Black will be limited to 350 examples, while just 100 of its Maloo equivalent will be on offer. New Zealand will get 18 of the sedans and just two utes.
These get Satin Black Rapier 20-inch wheels, blacked out door surrounds, bonnet and boot badges, lower door accents and matching dark chrome exhaust tips, while the standard AP Racing four-pot callipers are also painted black.
The black extras are complemented by black fender vents, mirror caps and a Satin Graphite boot spoiler for the ClubSport, while the black theme continues on the inside with leather sports seats, SV Black badging and the individual build number.
“We know, from experience, that our customers really connect with the SV Black styling theme,” said HSV’s chief designer Julian Quincey. “The visual enhancements we’ve introduced with the GEN-F2 SV Black range really dial-up the vehicle’s street presence, and we’ve no doubt this range will emulate the success of the last SV Black.” The company is also expecting a warm reception for its ClubSport R8 Track Edition, but customers are urged to move fast with numbers limited to just 150 examples and six for New Zealand.
HSV says this special version was inspired by the brand's racing heritage, which is reflected in 20-inch Blade forged wheels housing mighty six-piston AP Racing brake callipers in yellow. Until now, the biggest brake in HSV's repertoire has been reserved for the GTS flagship.
The Track Edition also gets a more performance-focused suspension set up, with upgraded spring rates and firmer dampers for reduced body roll and improved corner entry response, says HSV.
Styling mods for the Track Edition align with the SV Black, with a selection of blacked-out exterior modifications that extend to a black leather sports interior. A key difference in the Track Edition's cabin is its suede steering wheel.
Unique exterior badging and sill plates, as well as the individual build number displayed on the centre console.
HSV managing director Tim Jackson said HSV was expecting strong demand for the special ClubSport R8s, “given the unique track-inspired content, the sharp pricing and the fact that these will be the very last LS3 ClubSport R8s ever built”.
The Track Edition and SV Black both get a standard six-speed manual gearbox but can be ordered with a six-speed automatic transmission for $2500.
The trio of LS3 specials is capped by an SV version of the Grange limousine as a tribute to 20 years of the model, which will come to an end in October this year.
Unlike the two other limited edition models, the Grange has only been available with the 6.2-litre engine and was not offered the supercharged LSA version along with the rest of the range last year.
Available only as an automatic, the Grange SV will be limited to 50 vehicles Australia-wide and are recognisable with a similar black trim treatment to other LS3 cars.
Rapier forged 20-inch wheels are finished in gloss black to complement the black four-pot brake callipers, grille surround, driving light bezels, fender vents, mirror caps, boot stripe, window surrounds, badges and dark chrome exhaust trims.
Pricing of the more exclusive Grange is unaffected, remaining at $86,990.
“For almost 20 years, Grange has stood proudly as Australia’s favourite performance limousine, built to order for a very exclusive customer base,” Mr Jackson said. “It is a fitting tribute that the last 50 Granges ever to be built will carry the exclusive SV moniker.
“And, for a select few, this will be there last chance to grab a piece of HSV performance history.” Production of all three cars will start in September, with deliveries expected soon after. HSV dealerships are already taking orders.
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