The 750hp Walkinshaw W557 is the unholy sedan you want
Charger, Falcon and Commodore (Chevrolet SS) are the nameplates that currently saturate the muscle sedan market. These three cars face an awkward triangle of availability, as usually one of these models is unavailable in a country. In Australia, it is the Dodge Charger Hellcat. However, one Australian tuning company has created something that could take its place.
Who are Walkinshaw Performance?
Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) is Holden's performance partner and was founded by Scottish racing legend, Tom Walkinshaw. By 2005 he had developed close ties with the Holden Racing Team and HSV Dealer Team, allowing for the Australian manufacturer's name to rise amongst its competitors. Over a decade later and there is a tuning company that bears his name, maintaining his passion in creating some of the greatest Holdens on the road today. As the Chevrolet Camaro is sold in Australia as a HSV, they offer tuning for it too should you wish to import a few parts.
Walkinshaw Performance's most notable modified cars are their "W-Series" vehicles, which are tuned HSV sedans. It starts at the W375 and ends with the W557, having five vehicles sitting between them. Today we will be exploring the 2017 W557, the most powerful of them all.
Brutal performance but brilliant engineering
The W557 is based on the HSV GTS (Gen-F2), which uses a 6.2L supercharged LSA V8 to spit out 576hp and 750Nm (553lb-ft). Those figures at Walkinshaw are unacceptable, so instead they have managed to churn out 747hp (557kW) and 930Nm (686lb-ft) of torque for the rear wheels. That is more powerful than a McLaren 720S but of course, power figures are not everything. There is an intricate list of the required modifications and they depend on the milage of the car, you can view it by clicking here.
One test revealed that the W557 achieves 0-62mph in just 3.8 seconds and completed the quarter mile in a strong 11.7 seconds. However, drag racing is not why you buy a Walkinshaw. Instead the vehicle is claimed by numerous sources to handle incredibly around corners. This is a muscle sedan you can take the kids to school in and tear up the tarmac on a racetrack during the weekend. Sadly due to the rarity of such a car, there are no published lap times and I have not sat in one to verify this.
What cosmetic changes are included?
The extent of exterior changes depends on your preferences and how much you are willing to invest. For example, you do not have to get the burgundy and red vinyl wrap if you do not want to even though it does look stunning. You do not have to get the custom Walkinshaw and W557 badging either. You could leave your HSV completely stock the way it was and only add the performance upgrades. However, the upgraded braking system does bear the name "Walkinshaw" on the callipers.
Has the interior been revamped?
The cabin of most HSVs has never been a strong selling point. In fact, if you were hoping for the interior to be even remotely luxurious then I am afraid you are looking at the wrong car. Although, Walkinshaw have done an excellent job at spicing up the inside of the W557 with burgundy Alcantara and contrast orange stitching. The front seats' head rests and centre console have orange Walkinshaw Performance logos, which are there to remind you that you are not driving any ordinary HSV; you have invested in something special. There is even a subtle Walkinshaw badge on the bottom of the steering wheel, driving the point home. All of these interior changes are cosmetic at and extra cost should you wish to have them.
How much does the upgrade cost?
Even though this particular vehicle is based off the HSV GTS, Walkinshaw state on their website that "all HSV LSA vehicles" are applicable. Does this mean you can bring in your HSV ClubSport and Maloo R8 LSA? It would seem so but do enquire with Walkinshaw as quotes may vary. In 2017, this performance package costed $12,990 AUD ($9,000 USD) for new vehicles and $13,900 for vehicles with over 20,000km.
Your wallet will be lightened by the fuel costs too, so do not expect to be daily driving the vehicle. The W547, which sits just below the W557, achieved a tested average fuel economy of 19.4L/100km (12 MPG US). In theory, the W557 should be notch higher around 20L/100km. Either way, you will have to drive sensibly and set aside some cash for the fuel.
What is the warranty situation?
Warranty is without a doubt scariest part of owning any extinct sports car. It is listed that you do receive the Walkinshaw Performance Drive Line Warranty when you purchase the upgrades but it is more complicated beneath the surface. To be eligible for Walkinshaw's warranty, your car must have Holden or HSV's warranty to begin with. So if it is about to run out, you may want to extend it. This also raises a critical questions such as, "if I have 1 year of HSV warranty, does that mean I will only have 1 year of Walkinshaw's warranty?" It would appear so but I am sure you could negotiate a deal with the tuning house. You can view their Drive Line Warranty policy here. If you are interested in modifying such a car, chances are that you do not intend to sell it anytime soon.
Are you impressed by the Walkinshaw W557?
Thanks for reading and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
Feel free to explore Walkinshaw Performance's website below.