Power limit for HSV

There’s only so much fur­ther the 6.2-litre V8 en­gine can go, writes Mark Hinch­liffe

Herald Sun - Motoring - - First Drive -

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.

Value

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.

Technology

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.

Safety

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.

Styling

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).

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