James’s grand Tourer

A race ace is hop­ping on HSV’s new wagon, writes PAUL GOVER

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

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.

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