THE HSV GTSR W1 is an even bigger monster than we could have imagined just 18 months ago. Back then, if you asked us, we would have told you HSV might power up the GTS’s LSA (although all the trouble HSV has gone to fit the LS9, with only 39 extra kilowatts, suggests the LSA could not have taken a big hike easily), they might fit new wheels, drench the interior in Alcantara, embroider the new name on some headrests and fit new exterior badges. Maybe even some choice black exterior stickers if we were lucky (or unlucky). If you caught us in a particularly cynical mood we may have also suggested a cheeky price hike and a ‘limited’ build run to go with what could have been called the Final Edition.
But in building the W1 and even just the ‘base’ GTSR, HSV has done so much more and for that they deserve maximum respect. The audacity, the derring-do, the balls and bravery to build the W1 – from a relatively small Aussie mob, in a factory in an otherwise quiet and unremarkable Melbourne industrial estate – is worth the utmost commendation.
Just think about it: a completely new engine; bespoke modified gearbox; completely new front and rear bars; widebody front guards (!) housing allnew, nine-inch wide front wheels; gargantuan new AP Racing brakes; new SupaShock suspension and hardcore Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo tyres. Any one of these things would have been huge news, let alone all of them at once. And from our all-too-brief track review on p54, it sounds like it all combines to make a car that not only works but is eye-poppingly quick. (HSV plans to commence W1 production in April and we’ll be campaigning for a vehicle for a proper review and performance testing, don’t worry.)
For now, though, a public congratulations is in order to Holden Special Vehicles. As local manufacturing winds up, HSV is producing the best cars it ever has which fills us with pride and sorrow. They’ve produced a worldbeating performance car with the W1, their magnum opus (‘a piece of work regarded as its creator’s greatest’), nothing short of a masterpiece of Aussie ingenuity and engineering – one that’s bested even MOTOR’s imagination.