Keep­ing

Australian Muscle Car - - Muscle News -

less than five years, go­ing from a top-end dream into a pro­duc­tion re­al­ity. Pre­dictably, it first showed its road-ready prod­ucts on a Porsche 911 but is now mov­ing to boost pro­duc­tion and sales around the world.

In the case of the Mus­tang, they’re priced around $10,000 but a big hit with Ford’s engi­neers that’s likely to mean solid sales and track laps with own­ers in the USA.

“The GT350R wheels and tyres were de­vel­oped to be the most track-ca­pa­ble parts we’ve ever pro­duced,” says Adam Wirth, chas­sis su­per­vi­sor at Ford Per­for­mance.

“The car­bon-fi­bre wheels re­duce weight by 60 pounds (27kg) com­pared to alu­minium, yet are stiffer for bet­ter steer­ing re­sponse.”

Car­bon Revo­lu­tion claims to pro­duce the world’s only one-piece car­bon-fi­bre wheel, its CR-9, which is only avail­able in 19-inch di­am­e­ter but in 8.5, 9.5, 10.5 and 12-inch widths. The wheels come with ded­i­cated ti­ta­nium nuts.

Not sur­pris­ingly, they are only made in ba­sic black to high­light the car­bon-fi­bre con­struc­tion.

Af­ter a lim­ited pro­duc­tion run for the 2015 model year, the Ford Shelby GT350 Mus­tang and GT350R Mus­tang will go on sale in the US later this year as 2016 mod­els. Holden

has not given up on the Com­modore de­spite the in­evitable run-up to its fac­tory clo­sure in Ade­laide in 2017.

It’s still work­ing to keep the car fresh, adding value and in­ter­est on a month-by-month plan that’s also keep­ing peo­ple in­ter­ested in its V8pow­ered halo cars.

It’s put the Storm pack onto the SV6 and SS – sedan, ute and wagon – and is press­ing ahead with plans for a run­ning se­ries of up­grades, in­clud­ing a ma­jor fi­nal tweak in the first half of next year.

Mean­hwile, Holden Spe­cial Ve­hi­cles is also keep­ing up the pres­sure, us­ing the 25th an­niver­sary of the Club­Sport to in­tro­duce a lim­ited-edi­tion R8 model.

Only 100 cars were cre­ated for Aus­tralia – with another eight for New Zealand – and the most ob­vi­ous change is 20-inch SV Rapier wheels, the same de­sign al­ready fit­ted to the Sen­a­tor, with black paint to match a new spoiler and some other dark up­dates in­clud­ing black chrome for the ex­haust tips.

There is a sim­i­lar dark theme in­side the cars, with black leather trim, and the driver also gets an up­dated in­fo­tain­ment screen, as well as the multi-mode ‘Driver Pref­er­ence Dial’ that changes the ex­haust note and tweaks the en­gine and gear­box map­ping.

HSV has sold more than 30,000 Club­Sports since the car was in­tro­duced as the base model for the Holden hot­house in 1990.

The pric­etag for the an­niver­sary cars re­mains un­changed from the reg­u­lar R8 at $73,290, which makes an in­ter­est­ing com­par­i­son with the orig­i­nal. The first Club­Sport, with 180 kiloWatts and 400 New­ton-me­tres of torque, sold for $33,130 and that is equiv­a­lent to $57,800 to­day.

HSV says it con­tin­ues to sell to its long-term pat­tern, de­liv­er­ing close to 3000 cars each year.

But Holden’s health is not look­ing good af­ter it re­ported a $255.2 mil­lion net loss for 2015, its third straight year in the red.

Not sur­pris­ingly, the red-ink re­sult is blamed on the fi­nan­cial restruc­tur­ing nec­es­sary to pre­pare for the end of man­u­fac­tur­ing in 2016, in­clud­ing a $500.4 mil­lion one-off as­set write­down on prop­erty, plan and equip­ment.

Even, so over­all rev­enue for the 2014 fi­nan­cial year was down from $4.05 to $3.62 bil­lion as the com­pany’s to­tal sales dropped by 5.3 per cent to 106,092 ve­hi­cles.

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