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.