Holden Special Vehicles presents its latest range of powerful everyday muscle cars. At the top of the pile is a new GTS with 325kW running through the wheels.

Nobody makes muscle cars quite like the Australians. To keep with that image Holden Special Vehicles has unveiled extensive upgrades to a range of HSV-badged products. This is quite an intensive facelift for the E Series range and consists of major mechanical as well as styling updates. It applies to the VE Commodore-based range of sports sedans and pickups.

"We decided to make a major investment in new product, features and performance, in a time of unprecedented economic turmoil," Managing Director Phil Harding said. "The new E2 range is yet another opportunity to demonstrate the engineering and design excellence of HSV."

Design is a very important factor at HSV, one that makes their cars stand out from the norm. "We needed a new identity that would both excite the passionate HSV buyer and equally one that could be picked out by the non car enthusiast," said Chief of Design and Styling, Julian Quincey. "This meant that our overall front and rear graphics had to be substantially changed from the original E series and ideally also look lower, wider and more sporty."

The performance look is enhanced by the inclusion of LED Daytime Running Lights, twin bonnet intakes, the HSV signature twin nostril grille and exhaust tips with stainless steel surrounds. The new ‘shockwave' graphic theme can be found across the entire model line-up.

Cars affected are the ClubSport R8 sedan, the Clubsport R8 Tourer, the Maloo R8, the GTS, the Senator Signature and the WM Grange. They all come standard with Competition Mode ESC, extended cruise control, daytime running lights, Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) and four piston front and rear brakes. The ESC apparently does not curb the driver's enthusiasm even as it works with ABS, Traction Control and Stability control systems. From 2011 all passenger cars sold in Australia will be required to have ESC.

Buyers of the Clubsport R8 can add the optional Performance suspension, a bi-modal exhaust, 20 inch wheels and leather interior trim.

Powering the range is the LS3 V8 engine making 317kW (431hp) in all the cars except the GTS which gets 325kW (442hp). The GTS also benefits from an all-new front and rear appearance encompassing performance bonnet scoops with a ‘shockwave' inspired theme, Launch Control (manual vehicles only) and a hi-flow intermediate exhaust with bi-modal mufflers among others.

Recommended prices are: ClubSport R8 (AU$65,990), Maloo R8 (AU$62,990), ClubSport R8 Tourer (AU$66,990), GTS (AU$80,990), Senator Signature (AU$82,990) and WM Grange (AU$87,990)


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