The roars of success
FORGET high petrol prices and the end of production getting nearer: Aussie revheads are rushing to buy V8-powered Holden Commodores and Ford Falcons as never before.
One in three Commodores sold is now a V8 and private buyers represent more than half of all sales, the highest ratio ever for the former fleet favourite.
And, as our cover story shows, Ford has also bowed to public pressure to revive the Falcon XR8 once the Falcon GT goes out of production in September.
Indeed, the Falcon XR8 will adopt the supercharged V8 from the superseded version of the Falcon GT.
“Australian buyers have told us they want a V8 and that’s one of the reasons we’ve revived the Falcon XR8,” says Ford Australia spokesman Wes Sherwood. “We are absolutely committed to performance vehicles as part of our brand.”
Ford expects V8 sales will increase with the return of the XR8 later this year because it will be sold through all 200 dealers, whereas the Falcon GT was only available through 60 specialist showrooms.
Ford will import the V8 Mustang from the US to fill the void when the Falcon production ends and the Broadmeadows factory closes in October 2016, .
But, as reported earlier, Holden is still facing a future without a V8 in its showrooms once the Elizabeth car factory closes in late 2017.
The North American Camaro and Corvette built by Chevrolet have yet to be confirmed for production in right-hand-drive, even though Holden helped develop the current Camaro coupe.
Meanwhile, Holden fans aren’t taking any chances. Holden says V8 versions account for 37 per cent of Commodore sales this year.
The supercharged Holden Special Vehicles GTS, the fastest and most powerful car ever made in Australia, is selling like the proverbial hot cakes. Despite costing nearly $100,000, more than 1300 GTS sedans have been sold since September.