HSV’s last atmo hero

LS3 bids farewell in track-focused Clubsport

by LOUIS CORDONY

HSV’S PINCHED exclusive bits from its range-topping GTS and pasted them on its Clubsport R8 to celebrate its final fling with LS3.

After quietly exiting the model range late last year, and since popping up under the bonnet of the SS Commodore, the atmo 6.2-litre V8 Clubbie returns and brings with it the fittest Gen-F2 Clubbie yet at a bargain price. Dubbed the Track Edition, Clayton’s borrowed the GTS’s AP Racing brakes and larger wheels while also upgrading the exterior, interior, and tweaking the suspension to suit its new attitude.

Originally tasked with 430kW of unforgiving thrust in the GTS, the Track Edition’s new 390mm front rotors and six-pot calipers should have no trouble handling the 6.2- litre LS3’s serve of grunt which is unchanged from the previous tune of 340kW/570Nm.

While its brakes come straight from the range-topper, HSV hasn’t carried across the same torque vectoring technology. What are carried over are the 20-inch “Blade”- style wheels worn by the MY15 GTS, measuring 8.5 inches wide at the front and 9.5 inches at the rear.

They also wear the same Continental ContiSportContact 5P rubber.

Keeping in theme with its name, engineers have upped the Track Edition’s spring and damper rates to improve turn-in, HSV claims, while ‘sports bucket seats’ and suedewrapping of the steering wheel align the interior with its track-orientated personality.

HSV’s picked through the parts bin for its styling too, as the Clubsport R8 LSA’s front-bar, side-skirts, black mirror coverings, rear spoiler, and rear bumper have been used for the atmo-special.

Eagle-eyed punters will notice its exclusive black badging, black doorwindow surrounds and ‘shadowchrome’ finished exhaust tips. But the unique side-sills and build plates in the interior will remind owners they’re driving one of HSV’s last LS3- powered rides.

Considering the previous 340kW LS3 Clubsport R8 asked for $73,290 before it was axed, the Track Edition arrives at a relative steal for $68,990 with a six-speed manual aboard.

HSV will fill 150 Australian orders (6 are destined for New Zealand) and charge an extra $2500 if you’re keen on an automatic.

Option-wise HSV will let you swap the air-hungry rear spoiler for a ‘Lo-Line’ option at no cost, but will charge you $550 for a Phantom Black Roof and $1095 for an Enhanced Driver Interface.

After the Track Edition hits dealers this September it’ll close an eightyear service chapter for the pushrod alloy-block in HSV’s line-up, during which time it gained 23kW of power and 20Nm of torque.

It’ll be joined by the Grange SV and Clubsport R8 Black limited editions in sending-off the LS3, which leaves HSV’s factory for good when the Grange finishes up this October and will be exclusively found in Holden’s Commodore SS thereafter.

But wait, there’s more

SV: the toughest Grange yet

BEFORE HSV buries the Grange this October it will dress 50 ‘SV’ units with special styling bits for no occasion, its wheels and brakes will be finished in extra cost at $86,990. Appropriately coloured for the Gloss Black, its badges and body with black accenting,

Clubsport R8: meet the SV Black

LIGHTER ON the wallet but not on styling, the SV Black copies the Grange’s theme with gloss black brakes, satin black wheels, shadow-chrome exhaust tips, and black accenting. All 368 sedans ($65,990) and 102 utes ($62,990) also score sport seats and build plates.