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HSV powers up with 2016 range

Peak performance: HSV's most popular model, the GTS, gains a few styling tweaks in the 2016 model year update, including bonnet vents.

Update brings 400kW V8 engine to HSV ClubSport, Maloo R8 and Senator Signature

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HSV logo22 Sep 2015

By TIM NICHOLSON

HOLDEN Special Vehicles (HSV) will farewell its Australian-built Commodore donor car with a bang by dropping the fiery 6.2-litre supercharged LSA V8 into the engine bay of its ClubSport R8, Maloo R8 and Senator Signature models as part of a 2016 range upgrade.

On sale from October, the refreshed HSV range – dubbed GEN-F2 and carrying the marketing tag-line 'Step it up a Gear' – follows the final update to the car that forms the basis of most of its line-up, the Holden Commodore VF Series II, that was revealed earlier this month.

While upping the power on a number of key models, HSV has also introduced some exterior styling tweaks across the line-up for an even more aggressive look, modified suspension on some models and price increases across the range.

A version of the supercharged 6.2-litre LSA V8 engine that is found in the American-market Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and the Cadillac CTS-V performance sedan is now offered in the ClubSport R8 LSA sedan, Tourer and Maloo R8 ute, pumping out 400kW/671Nm, a big leap over the LS3 outputs from the outgoing models that deliver 340kW/570Nm.

HSV managing director Tim Jackson said the changes to the range are the most significant since it launched the GEN-F range in 2013, and that the company had to keep pushing the boundaries to satisfy its customers.

“Our challenge, at HSV, is to continually push the boundaries. Standing still is just not an option”, he said. “We’re confident that broadening the availability of the Supercharged LSA engine to the majority of our range, in addition to the styling enhancements we’ve introduced with GEN-F2, make this the most exciting range we’ve ever offered.”

Pricing starts from $80,990 plus on-road costs for the manual ClubSport R8 sedan, representing a $7700 lift over the outgoing LS3-powered version, while the auto adds $2500 to bring it to $83,490.

The ClubSport R8 Tourer is an auto-only proposition and rises by $9500 to $85,990 in LSA guise, while the Maloo price increases by $7000 to $76,990 for the manual and $79,490 when matched with an auto.

While the price increases can be attributed to the new more powerful engine, the ClubSport models benefit from modifications to the suspension set-up, including stiffened spring and damper rates for better corner-entry response and reduced body-roll, while the rear suspension delivers improved stiffness and braking performance.

The LSA features componentry such as a hi-flow exhaust system with cross-pipe intermediate and bi-modal mufflers, a hi-flow exhaust manifold and catalytic converters, stand-alone water-to-air and charge-air cooling system, stand-alone transmission and differential cooling systems and a unique rear axle set up with a 9.9-inch differential plus upgraded drive and prop shafts.

Either a six-speed manual gearbox with an oil cooler and twin-plate clutch, or a six-speed heavy duty automatic transmission with an oil cooler are available with the LSA models, except the Tourer which is auto only.

Exterior styling tweaks include a redesigned fascia that includes a new splitter and wedge-like air intakes for a more aggressive front end feel, while the bonnet vents found on V8-powered versions of the VF Series II Commodore carry across to all LSA models, although the HSV vents are satin black rather than the gloss versions on the Holden.

More pitch black trimmings can be found on the mirror caps and fender vents, while new contoured side skirts and five-spoke alloy wheels also feature. A new Slipstream (blue) body colour is also available.

At the rear, the ClubSport sedan gains a restyled diffuser, a Satin Graphite low-line spoiler and LSA badging, while the Tourer also features the badging and it carries over the new LED tail-lights from the Commodore range.

The Maloo R8 LSA gains all of the mechanical upgrades as the sedan and Tourer, the same front-end styling tweaks, a new 20-inch five-spoke alloy wheel and the option of the new Slipstream colour.

HSV confirmed that the entry level ClubSport sedan and Maloo ute that were powered by a 325kW/550NmV8 have been dropped form the line-up.

Buyers that feel they don't need the 400kW of grunt from the LSA engine will still be able to choose the 340kW/570Nm LS3 R8 in sedan and Maloo body styles, but pricing and specification for these variants is not being released until the first quarter of next year.

Senator Signature models also gain the LSA engine, a couple of new body colour options and a price increase of $9000 over the outgoing LS3-powered version to $92,990, with no premium charged if buyers upgrade to the auto.

There are few changes for the Caprice-based Grange, but it gets a revised centre console and a new colour option, but keeps the LS3 engine.

The Grange is a made-to-order model, with the company shifting about five per month, and pricing now starts from $86,990, an increase of just $1000.

HSV's flagship model and its top seller, the GTS retains the uprated version of the LSA engine that pumps out 430kW/740Nm, but it gets styling tweaks such as a refreshed front fascia with lower air intake 'spears', the pitch black bonnet vents, new 20-inch lightweight forged alloy 10-spoke wheels, the revised rear diffuser and the option of the Slipstream body colour.

Prices start at $95,990 for the manual and $98,490 for the auto, a $1500 lift over the outgoing model.

More than 2000 examples of the GTS have been sold since the GEN-F went on sale in 2013, and Mr Jackson said he expects the range-topper's popularity to continue with the updated version.

“GTS is, unashamedly, the hero of the HSV range,” he said. “Its class-leading levels of performance, design, technology and affordability have driven its sales success and we look forward to that momentum continuing with the new GEN-F2 model.”

No performance figures have been released for any of the updated models, but this could be revealed following an expected media drive in the coming weeks.

2016 HSV pricing*
Maloo R8 LSA$76,990
Maloo R8 LSA (a)$79,490
ClubSport R8 LSA$80,990
ClubSport R8 LSA (a)$83,490
ClubSport R8 Tourer LSA (a)$85,990
Grange (a)$86,990
Senator Signature$92,990
Senator Signature (a)$92,990
GTS$95,990
GTS (a)$98,490
*Excludes on-road costs

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