Power limit for HSV
There’s only so much further the 6.2-litre V8 engine can go, writes Mark Hinchliffe
THE homegrown V8 power war has been ceded to FPV. Instead of increasing power for the new HSV E Series 3, the performance car company has chosen to fit a range of hi-tech electronic gadgetry to its E3 models, offer dual gas/petrol power, increase the price by up to $1000 and give it a facelift.
So the HSV range stays with the 317kW/ 550Nm 6.2-litre V8 (GTS and Grange are 325kW), while FPV will this week release its new range with a 335kW/570Nm five-litre Coyote V8.
HSV boss Phil Harding says, though there is no increase in power and torque, fuel consumption and CO emissions are marginally down.
‘‘We didn’t have increased power and torque on our list of actions for this model year update,’’ Harding says.
Engineering general manager Joel Stoddart admits the 6.2-litre V8 engine is ‘‘getting close to its maximum potential’’.
There is no talk yet of moving to the coming compact global GM V8.
PRICES have increased by $1000 on all but the Senator, which is up $560. HSV justifies the price rise on the increased technology and in- clusion of standard satnav and reversing camera. The E3 range also includes a 20th anniversary Maloo ute model, limited to 100 vehicles.
It costs $67,600 in manual — which is $3000 more than the standard model — and $69,600 for the auto.
HSV boss Phil Harding says the E3 is ‘‘more than just a facelift’’, pointing out three ‘‘firsts’’ for an Australian manufacturer.
They are an automatic liquid propane injection (LPi) system, side blind-zone alert system ( SBZA) and an enhanced driver interface (EDI)— which is like a computer game for the performance car.
‘‘There are more ideas generated internally than we can afford to make business decisions on,’’ Harding says. ‘‘We’re never short of ideas on sales, product, marketing and manufacturing to make our business more efficient and exciting.’’
HSV is proud of its LPi system that automatically and seamlessly switches between gas and petrol, even though they expect only about a 5 per cent take-up.
It is offered as a $5990 option ($6390 on Maloo) on all but the ClubSport R8 Tourer.
Stoddart says it has the same performance as in petrol-only mode, though it does switch seamlessly back to petrol when the car operates above 4000 revs.
The EDI is an elaborate graphic system displayed on Holden’s new touch screen that provides a wealth of information from G forces to ‘‘race’’ information such as brake and throttle percentages and a stopwatch.
The information system was developed in conjunction with race technology company MoTec and details can be downloaded on to a USB memory stick and analysed on a laptop — just as a race engineer would in Formula One or V8 Supercars.
The Windows-based software can also work with the GPS satnav system to record lap times on major Australian racetracks that are loaded into the vehicle, or plot new tracks.
THE $1990 optional blind-spot warning system is similar to the one developed by Volvo.
When selected it shows a blue light on the side of the dashboard that turns red when the ultrasonic sensors detect a vehicle in the blind spot. If the driver indicates and moves into that occupied spot, it flashes.
There is no audible alarm. The system can be turned off and it defaults to how it was left when the car was last used.
To overcome continued adverse comments about the dangerous lack of rear vision caused by the rear spoiler, all HSVs now come with a reverse camera with rear-parking assist sensors and a lower spoiler.
INSIDE are new trims colours and materials, more leather, restyled instruments and gauges, and a HSV welcome and build number displayed when the touch screen is switched on.
Outside, there is more chrome, a ‘‘superflow’’ rear spoiler, chrome exhaust tips integrated into
Driving ambitions: prices for the HSV GTS (top left) and Clubsport R8 (above) have been pushed up by features such as the new ‘‘enhanced driver interface’’ (below).