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First drive: HSV launches mighty new flagship

Wild: Walkinshaw-badged HSV flagship is sold out for 2008.

HSV's wicked W427 finally races in and shows itself to be an everyday supercar

22 Jul 2008

HOLDEN Special Vehicles this week officially launched its new flagship model – the 7.0-litre W427 that first appeared at the Melbourne motor show in March – and announced a final price of $155,500 (including the increased luxury car tax).

Customer car production started at HSV’s new dedicated W427 assembly area in Melbourne on Monday as the media launch commenced at and around Calder Raceway with a handful of pre-production cars.

As we reported last month, production will be limited to 427 units over the next two years or so and the initial batch of 90 – determined by the availability of the LS7 engine from Detroit – will be finished by the end of this year.

20 center image HSV managing director Scott Grant said that the first 90 orders were processed with $10,000 deposits in the past three weeks, so the first batch is a sell-out.

Built to celebrate HSV’s 20th anniversary, the 375kW/640Nm Chevrolet-engined W427 is “the car HSV has always wanted to build” and has been the focus of the organisation, said engineering manager Joel Stoddart.

Although the core of the engine is shipped complete to HSV in Clayton, all of the externals – including the dry sump, the exhaust system and the cold air induction system – were developed for the engine in Australia.

The standard Corvette engine computer and the electronic stability control systems have also been modified after more than a year of local calibration work.

HSV sales and marketing chief Darren Bowler said that the W427 is being targeted at more expensive European performance cars including the Audi S6 (5.2-litre V10), BMW M5 (5.0-litre V10), Mercedes-Benz AMG E63 (6.2-litre V8) and Maserati Quattroporte (4.2-litre V8).

Mr Bowler said that vehicle security had long been an HSV focus and, having pioneered the use of DataDot technology seven years ago, the company was upping the ante with the latest level of the Australian-developed system.

He said that the new DataDot ‘Platinum’ system employs “nano technology” that was developed in conjunction with the CSIRO to provide a second layer of parts authentication and is only available on the W427.

HSV claims that the DataDot system has reduced HSV thefts by 84 per cent.

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