James’s grand Tourer
A race ace is hopping on HSV’s new wagon, writes PAUL GOVER
JAMES Courtney is a fan of the Tourer. His enthusiasm for the new family wagon from Holden Special Vehicles is a surprise on two fronts: because he has a pair of new Audis in his garage, and because he races for Dick Johnson.
Falcon fighters have been gagged in the past over their off-track driving preferences but, when Johnson lost official support from Ford last year, his new team leader was let off the leash.
‘‘I reckon it looks tough. And it’s big enough to carry all my stuff but not like a boring old station wagon,’’ Courtney says.
The one-time hero of Dancing With the Stars is dressing for an early morning bicycle session and would clearly prefer some time in the Tourer.
‘‘It sounds tough. I reckon it has some grip and go,’’ he says.
Courtney is right, and fast families definitely have something new to add to their shopping list.
HSV has done a job on the new Sportwagon and created something that is a little different from the rest of the country’s kiddy carriers.
The Tourer turns heads like nothing else in the family class. It will also snap heads when you drop the hammer on its 6.2-litre V8.
Not that families are target buyers. The Tourer is more likely to be the choice for someone who wants a gofaster HSV car but will enjoy the extra space in the tail.
To get something similar in the go-fast class would mean spending big on an AMG Mercedes or the Audi RS wagon.
But HSV has its sights on the Euro cars and has tweaked the Tourer from the basic Holden Sportwagon for people likely to have something more upmarket in the garage.
It comes with the Clubsport R8 package, meaning the big V8 engine, six-speed manual or automatic gearbox, a limited-slip differential, sports suspension, bigger brakes and the sort of body bits that make a HSV look so much tougher than even an SS Sportwagon.
The Tourer costs $1000 more than the Clubsport sedan, a price policy carried over from the Sportwagon.
It starts at $65,990, so it’s not cheap.