1 May 2007
HSV finally launched the long-awaited long-wheelbase versions of its successful E-series in May 2007.
Based on the successful WM Statesman/Caprice range – itself a long-wheelbase derivation of the VE Commodore program – the Grange is the HSV flagship.
Motivating it is a Chevrolet sourced 6.0-litre GEN IV LS2 V8, delivering 307kW of power at 6000rpm and 550Nm of torque at 4400rpm.
GM’s 6L80E six-speed automatic transmission with a Tiptronic-style sequential shift facility first seen on a Holden-based product in the VE V8 models in August is the only gearbox on offer.
Other mechanical highlights include an AP Racing brake package, as well as HSV's $4.5 million MRC Magnetic Ride Control variable suspension damping system – developed by Delphi in America.
MRC is a semi-active electronic suspension system made up of an electronic control unit that sensors change in road conditions and driver style to update the dampers pistons every 100th of a second, for a firmer or softer ride as required.
MRC also reduces the vehicle’s body roll, pitching and bumps, for a smoother ride.
It all forms part of the HSV’s WM Caprice derived suspension, which is a MacPherson strut arrangement up front and a multi-link independent set-up out back.
Electronic stability control (calibrated specifically by HSV for the WM Grange), traction control, anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Electronic Brake Assist are also part of the Grange’s chassis control systems.
Visually, the WM Grange stands out from its more mundane Caprice cousin with a unique design front bumper and rear "bib" featuring a chromed grille and lower-intake surround up front chrome also surrounds the windows.
Other bespoke Grange items include 19-inch alloy wheels, a lower rear diffuser, four exhaust outlets, a flush-mounted rear spoiler, LED tail-lights and Grange badging.
If size counts, the HSV range has a large advantage over its rival at the Blue Oval.
The hot Holden division already had a pretty handy 6.0-litre V8, but in late 2008 it now had something even bigger.
It is the 6.2-litre LS3 V8 which also serves in the Mighty Chevrolet Corvette.
This potent unit is all-aluminium, but still uses pushrods. That doesn’t stop it producing 317kW of power and 550Nm of torque.
The 6.2-litre V8 now serves in most models across the HSV range, barring the W427 and the Astra, including the Clubsport R8 and R8 Tourer, GTS, Senator Signature, Grange and Maloo R8.
It comes standard with a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic.
Apart from the new heart, the cars are the same as they were before the upgrade, with specification levels and other mechanical details remaining the same.
When it was new