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The first images and everything you need to know about HSV’s 2016 range

21 September, 2015

 

Whenever there’s a new range released by Holden Special Vehicles (HSV), we’re always interested to find out what they’ve done next, as generally we can’t see how they could improve on their previous incarnations. It may sound a bit fanboyish, but the features and performance that are packed into the cars are truly world class, and well beyond anything else on the market available for the same price.

When we were lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the MY16 range on September 21, we weren’t disappointed — especially when the first thing that flashed up on the slide show was ‘400kW’. That’s a number that anyone interested in the Gen F2, as the line-up has been called, should get used to.

That power, which features across the Clubsport R8 LSA line-up of sedan, Tourer (sport wagon), and Maloo (ute) comes from General Motors’ LSA power plant as previously used exclusively in the GTS. However, the 6.2-litre supercharged engine has had a few adjustments made from its 430kW GTS configuration, including the removal of the bi-modal intake set-up, and a retune, amongst others.

The R8 LSAs have benefitted from far more than just the LSA motor — they’re also endowed with a new Tremec TR6060 manual gearbox, or upgraded 4L90E automatic. Behind this is an upgraded driveshaft, which sends power to the GTS-spec 9.9-inch diff, complete with fractionally enlarged four-pot rear brakes.

Besides the mechanical advancements, the Gen F2 range features a new exterior look, thanks in part to the greater cooling requirements of the supercharged engine. The aggressive front ends — different on each GTS, R8, Senator Signature, and Grange — are aided by the bonnet side vents, which are now standard on high-end MY16 Holden Commodores. Add to this a deep-scalloped side skirt and new-look rear bumper that’s standard across the entire Gen F2 range, and you’ve got what’s possibly the best-looking HSV range to date.

Adding to the visual appeal are new wheels on the R8 LSA range and GTS, as well as two new colours. While the Empire (copper) colour is only available on Grange and Senator, the Slipstream (blue) covers the full spectrum, and from what we’ve seen so far, could become a big seller both here and abroad.

GTS interior

As always, if you’re not happy with the factory HSV look, there are various rear spoiler and wheel options available, along with other customization options for interior trim. Speaking of which, HSV have stated that due to customer feedback, they’ve removed the two signature gauges that have graced HSV centre consoles for as long as we can remember, and also made the Enhanced Driver Interface (EDI) an option, as opposed to factory fitment. While no prices for these as optional extras are currently available, we’re sure they’ll still appeal to the hard core. For the average HSV fan, though, we’re guessing the additions to the whole line-up will far outweigh the loss of these items.

Despite these additions, including the supercharger, running gear, new aesthetics, and wheels on the R8 LSAs, the price of the entire range remains relatively unchanged, with the Senator Signature being NZ$112,990 in both auto or manual, and the GTS remaining at exactly the same price; NZ$119,990 for the automatic and NZ$117,490 for the manual. Then again, due to popular success, the GTS also remains mechanically unchanged.

The R8 LSA sedan is just a few grand more than the outgoing R8s at NZ$99,990 (manual) and NZ$102,490 (automatic), while the Tourer will set you back NZ$103,990 (auto only), and in Maloo format NZ$95,990 (manual) or NZ$98,400 (automatic).

If 400kW is a bit too much for you, HSV will release a non-LSA-powered R8 line-up later in the year. However, with New Zealand’s HSV buyers generally going big, we’re predicting far fewer of these ‘traditional R8s’ will hit dealer floors.

The Gen F2 range is set to land in New Zealand towards the start of November, but if you’re keen to get your hands on any of the first arrivals, you’d best place your order now, as with 400kW on tap, they’re not going to hang around for long!

*All prices mentioned are HSV RRPs and include GST, but exclude on-road costs.

The Jowett Jupiter turns 70

John Ball has always enjoyed tinkering with old boats and cars. He’s old enough to think having gearbox parts on newspaper on the floor of his bedroom, while the relevant car sat waiting on nail boxes, was a normal part of growing up. His passion has always tended towards old British bangers. He reckons he’s fortunate not to have got caught up in the American muscle scene.
John’s love affair with this Jupiter started in December 2015 when, with some time on his hands during a Christchurch trip, he searched online for ‘cars, before 1970 and in Christchurch’.

A passion for classics and customs

In the highly competitive field of New Zealand classic and custom restorations, reputations are won or lost on the ability to maintain consistently high standards of workmanship. A company managing to achieve this is D A Panel beating Ltd, of Rangiora near Christchurch. Is your classic or custom car restoration stalled, or in need of a refresh, or perhaps you are looking for experts to rebuild that recent import project out of Europe or the ‘States?