HSV’S EFFORTS to turn our family cars into V8 rear-drive rockets have been a source of smiles for Australians for decades – three of them, in fact. But with the demise of the Aussie Commodore comes the demise of the most affordable V8 sedan, and the end of HSV making them even faster.
Now HSV has a new trick, taking Uncle Sam’s Camaros and righthooking them for the Australian market, something which helps ease the pain of losing our own creations. But we would like to see them have a crack at the new Commodore, if for no other reason than to satisfy our own curiosity.
HSV has managed to wrangle non-V8s in the past, though we’re not sure they want to remember the Jackaroo or the Astra SV1800.
A solid base in the new Commodore would mean HSV can focus on the drivetrain and the fine-tuning, rather than having to completely rebuild the thing, but a new face for HSV would mean more than just mechanical work.
While we don’t know whether we’ll ever see HSV truly get underneath the metal of the ZB, we do have a suggestion or two. M
ONE OF the main problems the new top-spec Commodore faces is that it’s hard to get muscle-car fans excited about a V6, but we think the Cadillac ATS-V’s roaring twin-turbo 3.6-litre donk could change some minds. With a hefty 346kW it can launch the Caddy to 100km/h in less than five seconds, which we think should be plenty quick enough for the new Commo. Oh, and we’re going to need it to hook up to the six-speed manual.
As we’ve seen with the likes of the Stinger, a dull exhaust note and engine sound can turn potential buyers straight off. Also like the Stinger, we’d like to see an Oz-only exhaust courtesy of HSV’s top men.
Not that the ATS-V’s note isn’t already lovely.
Getting to grips with an all-wheel drive Commodore might take some getting used to, unless HSV can tweak the ZB’s Twinster system to inject a Focus RS-style rear bias.
Still, MOTOR is going to miss HSVs smoking the rears.
Not to say that the new Commodore is a bad looker, but it’s hardly as muscular as the likes of the VF Series II. And, as we’re talking HSV here, it’d need to live up to the aggro aesthetic a muscle car should exude. Black accents, mesh grilles, and rear wing – tick.
We’re getting into uncharted territory here, as we’ve only just discovered how much the new Commodore will sell for. However, given the ZB VXR lists for $55,990, it’s tough to imagine an engineswapped, powered-up HSV version listing for less than $70,000. .