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New models - HSV - Coupe - range

First look: HSV flies the Coupe

Next year's model: The HSV Coupe GTS model will be available from February.

HSV reveals its Coupe range - all revved up and value for money

4 Dec 2001

THE HSV Coupe, one of Australia's most keenly anticipated new model releases in recent years, has arrived brandishing typically aggressive styling with more than a hint of Monaro heritage, blisteringly quick V8 performance and a surprising dose of value for money.

The first-ever HSV coupe will be available in two V8-only variants. The entry level 255kW GTO - named after the legendary Ferrari 250 GTO (for Gran Turismo Omologato) and a succession of Pontiac coupes in the 1960s and '70s - is priced at $73,750 and will begin rolling off HSV's Clayton production line in January.

HSV expects about 55 per cent of GTO Coupe customers will opt for the six-speed manual transmission.

Short-circuiting rumours the flagship HSV Coupe would top $100,000, the premium 300kW, manual-only GTS model will sell at $94,750 and is available from February.

HSV expects to shift only 150 GTS two-doors during 2002, making GTO - with an expected 2002 sales volume of 650 units - the top-selling HSV Coupe.

Maximum HSV Coupe production capacity will be 950 vehicles (including exports), or a big 30 per cent of HSV's projected 2002 sales volumes. Roughly one-third of all HSV Coupes are already spoken for, with 300 retail orders held by HSV dealers.

GTO models are powered by the same 255kW, 5.7-litre Gen III Chevrolet V8 found in HSV sedans, in conjunction with either amanual or four-speed automatic transmission.

Both HSV Coupe models carry a high level of standard equipment and safety features.

GTO's newly designed 18-inch alloy wheels hark back to the original HK Monaro 327's hub cap styling while GTO models also employ grooved HSV Performance brakes as standard.

GTS comes standard with wild new UK-sourced six-piston AP callipers with massive 362mm discs up front and four-piston AP callipers with 343mm discs out back - grooved, cross-drilled and ventilated at both ends.

Satellite navigation ($3800) is optional on both models, as is Holden Assist telematics.

Cross-drilled Premium brakes are optional on GTO, as is the Performance suspension package that's standard on GTS. Both models' sports seats are trimmed in black leather - though the GTS features unique Scottish "Bridge of Weir chainmail" black/silver leather - which is available in red, yellow or tan colours at no extra cost.

On top of its 300kW Reeves Callaway-tuned C4B V8, six-piston brakes, Performance suspension and leather, GTS models also get a Hydra-trak differential, double-D exhaust outlet, shift light and buzzer, rear proximity parking sensors, a Grey Metal-finish dash surround (instead of GTO's Onyx Black) and 19-inch alloys with sticky Pirelli P-Zero rubber.

"HSV was handed a gold card to work on and I think we've now made it platinum, " said HSV managing director John Crennan.

Like the Monaro upon which it is based, HSV Coupe's accelerated 16-month/$2 million development time was made possible by cost and time-saving computer-aided design technology.

TWR chief designer Neil Simpson said he aimed to give the HSV Coupe design a feeling of "restrained power" by combining contemporary HSV styling cues with design elements of the original Monaro.

"I really wanted to make a strong statement with the central grille bar, a device I see as the HSV signature. I wanted the car to be recognisable as an HSV from all angles," he said.

Using Monaro's "faster" windscreen, 40mm-lower roofline and 100mm-shorter rear-end as a starting point, the HSV Coupe's bold new styling incorporates Holden's new projector beam headlights and low-mounted foglights in a deep new bumper, plus a three-piece bootlid wing and subtle roof spoiler.

Central to the new design and appearing heavily in HSV Coupe promotional material are familiar "shark gills" on the deeply sculpted side skirts - a feature not seen on Holden's Monaro. It is believed specific front quarter panels featuring traditional Monaro GTS side fluting were abandoned in favour of the more subtle and less expensive side skirt gills.

Complementing the two-door Commodore-based bodyshell's extra torsional rigidity and 40kg-lighter rear-end, HSV engineers reduced the Coupe's rear anti-roll bar diameter, increased the rear spring rates and revised damping rates all round to give GTS Coupe an even sportier feel.

Monaro's 13 per cent slower steering gear ratio was ditched in favour of mainstream models' 2.6 turns lock-to-lock ratio in the name of quicker steering feel.

In other HSV news, the GTS sedan will not make a re-appearance in the Clayton manufacturer's range until after the VY Commodore facelift around September, 2002. It is believed the range-topping four-door will then also be offered as an automatic - as will the Coupe GTS eventually - as well as coming standard with HSV Coupe-style leather.

HSV also confirmed rumours the supercharged six-cylinder XU-6 will come in for a power increase, with power output increasing from 180kW to at least 200kW in the first half of next year.

HSV would not confirm suggestions it will unveil a new nameplate during 2002 to celebrate HSV's 15th anniversary.

UK TAKEOVER

HSV is in the process of taking over distribution of its vehicles in the UK from independent company Genuine Vehicle Imports.

The first step being taken is to transfer sales and service headquarters toparent company TWR's Leafieldheadquarters, where the Arrows Formula One team is also based.

HSV general manager Chris Payne said the appropriate long-term arrangement for UK distribution would be developed over the next 12 months.

Since export of HSVs began to the UK, about 90 VT II, VX and VXII Commodore-based machines have been sold.

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