HSV GTS-R w1, HSV's last stand
the ICONIC australian supercar, but is it the best ever ?
The HSV GTS-R is a numbers car, $169,000 AUD, 474kw/815nm, 6.2 litre supercharged LS9 Engine, 1/300. All the numbers, all the hype, the most track focused HSV ever made does this translate into being the best Australian built car ever ?
Holden Special Vehicles are a department of Holden (GM) that design and build the GTS-R, the car comes from the Holden Commodore family sold overseas as a Chevrolet SS the humble Commodore has a cult following in Australia. Since the inception of the Commodore in 1978 it was truly a car built in Australia for Australians. 2017 is the end for the Commodore this is the final stroke of the brush for local manufacturing so the last car needs to be a celebration of almost 40 years of Engineering, Manufacturing and performance.
What does $169,000 mean, names like Nissan GTR, BMW M4, Mercedes C63 AMG and a bunch of Maserati's some of the world's finest automotive masterpieces can be in your garage for that kind of financial sacrifice. To some this would seem ludicrous to spend $169k on what is in the most basic form a Commodore, However it is about as far from a taxi spec Commodore as you could imagine.
The GTS-R nameplate comes from a distant relative of the current form, rewind 21 years into the past back to the VS commodore. The VS GTS-R was not just another VS SS this was a truly unique car. identified by the outlandish yellow paint, stroked 5.7 litre engine producing 215kw tri spoke wheels and that huge rear wing, the original GTS-R screamed track car. only 85 units where ever built and are now worth in excess of $150,000. with a original list price of just over $75,000 the 1997 GTS-R was a expensive car for its time. it was also the fastest Australian car ever produced when released.
1997 HSV GTS-R
Fast forward to 2017, the current GTS-R has some very unique parts on it from the General Motors parts bin. the most important is the LS9 Engine from the Corvette. The Standard GTS in no stranger to a 6.2 litre supercharged lump coming in the from of a LSA engine shared with the Cadillac CTS-V however much like the GTS-R itself the LS9 engine is a big deal. The only LS series engine to be fully forged from the factory and using engineering wizardry in the form of Titanium Valves, Titanium Conrods, dry sump oil system, and a compression ratio of 9.1 : 1 the engine is able to deliver 474 kw of power from the factory. to buy this engine from GM you would be looking around $30,000 but forget about ordering one from GM because the last ones in existence where used on the GTS-R project. HSV also engineered a unique gearbox to harness the 815 nm of power, the corvette uses a transaxle gearbox so HSV used the internals in a traditional casing and engineered some unique parts like a input shaft to make it work.
The Amazing LS9 powerplant
474 Kw of power needs a lot of stopping a staggering set of brakes are used on the GTS-R, utilising a monoblock AP Racing brake package with a 410mm floating rotor the GTS-R will be able to stop as hard as your internal organs will physically allow. Pirelli Trofeo tyres are factory fitted on the GTS-R at almost 1k per tyre hopefully you don't spend too much time turning them to clouds.
Pirelli TroFeo R Tyres, the Mclaren P1 Hypercar also uses the same tyres.
Another standout feature for the GTS-R is the use of Supashock Racing Suspension, this company engineers suspension systems for the v8 Supercar
Racing series the GTS-R features an adjustable system derived directly from motorsports. Early reports suggest the system is setup for fast driving and is uncomfortable at low speeds. if this is a concern to a potential buyer, buy a Jaguar XF
With local Automotive manufacturing shutting down the humble Holden Commodore will no longer have a place in new car showrooms around the world. this is the final hurrah for the Commodore based HSV over 30 years of delivering some of the most exciting cars on Aussie roads in my humble opinion this one is the holy grail of australian car manufacturing using the best components from GM to create a true legend. HSV/Holden can proudly stand up to the likes of Mercedes and BMW as this car will be remembered long after the others are forgotten.