HSV has given its range a significant shot in the arm by rolling out the supercharged LSA V8 across the lion’s share of its line-up, as predicted by Wheels in our September issue.
Forced induction versions of the Clubsport R8 Sedan and Tourer as well as Maloo and Senator Signature models will deliver 400kW and 671Nm, up by 60kW and 101Nm on their naturally aspirated LS3 predecessors.
HSV has been tight-lipped regarding on-road performance gains but, as expected, the Clubsport LSA is only being offered with a manual gearbox to preserve the performance advantage of the brand’s flagship automatic GTS sedan.
The 6.2-litre LS3 continues to be offered in the Grange, with atmo Maloo R8 and Clubsport R8 models arriving in dealers in the first quarter of next year, with power creeping up to 340kW.
Spreading the LSA love further across the range has resulted in some serious bang for your buck.
The LSA is the small-block with major muscle. We first saw it here in the 2013 HSV GTS, but prior to that it had been shoehorned into the 2009 Cadillac CTS-V and the 2012 Camaro ZL1.
LSA GTS 430kW LSA Clubsport R8 LSA, Tourer R8 LSA, Maloo R8 LSA, Senator Signature 400kW LS3 Grange, (Clubsport R8, Maloo R8 – Q1 2016) 340kW
Consider for a moment that the Clubsport R8 LSA develops more power than a Ferrari F50 yet retails for $80,990.
The Maloo R8 LSA shaves four grand off that price, making it less than you’d expect to pay for an upper-echelon hot hatch like the Audi RS3 Sportback.
The auto-only R8 Tourer LSA at $85,990 develops more power than a $157K Mercedes C63AMG S wagon, making it one of the world’s most rapid load-luggers.
Aside from the engine upgrades, the LSA-engined models get beefier springs and dampers, with a stiffer rear-end promising superior braking.
The styling has come in for a few sympathetic nips and tucks, with ‘pitch black’ bonnet vents, mirror cappings and fender breathers. Restyled side skirts, spoilers, rear diffuser and a new five-spoke alloy wheel design help revitalise the VF theme.
“The changes we’ve made to exterior styling evolve the current design language and give the help GEN-F2 range distinctive street presence,” said HSV managing director Tim Jackson.
At the top of the range, the $95,990 HSV GTS remains mechanically unchanged, but gets a subtle restyle that includes 20-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels and a reprofiled body kit.
To complement the LSA engine, upgrades include an uprated cooling system, a high-flow exhaust system, a 9.9-inch differential plus beefier drive and prop-shafts..
SO YOU think the LSA is just a 6.2-litre LS3 with a supercharger bolted on? Think again. The supercharged unit is built to be 20 percent stronger than the LS3 short-block and features highergrade rods, pistons and cranks to handle the additional power. The beefier head on the LSA has also been redesigned to handle the altered forced induction fuel/air combustion process. Factor in detail changes such as piston oil squirters, a higher-volume oil pump and a vastly different compression ratio and it’s clear the LSA is more than just a go-faster version of the base LS3. e higherhas actor ent 3.