Fans rev up for V8 fi­nale

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News - JOSHUA DOWL­ING NA­TIONAL MO­TOR­ING EDITOR joshua.dowl­

REVHEADS across Aus­tralia have breathed new life into the Holden Com­modore and Ford Fal­con.

There is now a rush on Aussie V8 sedans be­fore they be­come ex­tinct. More than one-in-three new Com­modores sold is now a V8 — the high­est pro­por­tion in the name­plate’s history — and Ford has re­cently dou­bled pro­duc­tion of its su­per­charged XR8 sedan.

But with more power and lim­ited edi­tions around the cor­ner, some buy­ers are pre­par­ing for a bar­gain.

Although un­con­firmed, it has been widely re­ported Holden will up­grade the Com­modore SS later this year with the same Corvette­sourced V8 that has been ex­clu­sive to HSV cars. The move, as re­ported by Cars­guide last week, will push the HSV brand to in­tro­duce the su­per­charged LSA V8 from the GTS across the Club­sport and Maloo range.

In the mean­time, HSV has in­tro­duced a lim­ited edi­tion of the Club­sport R8 to com­mem­o­rate the badge’s 25th an­niver­sary, in­clud­ing the 340kW power up­grade, char­coal 10-spoke wheels, black high­lights and an­niver­sary badg­ing. There will be 100 made for Aus­tralia (RRP $73,290) and eight for New Zealand.

Deal­ers say they do not fear a buyer strike in the lead-up to the in­tro­duc­tion of the Se­ries II Com­modore mod­els.

“V8 de­mand is still strong,” said one lead­ing Holden dealer speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity. “Even though there are ru­mours about the power up­grades, we still sell cars be­cause there are al­ways bar­gain hun­ters out there who know they can pick up a deal on the V8 that is about to be su­per­seded.”

The Com­modore Se­ries II is due in show­rooms in Oc­to­ber. Holden is yet to con­firm the ru­moured changes. But wellplaced sources in­sist Holden plans to send off the Com­modore “on a high”.

Mean­while, Ford is still fill­ing a back­log of or­ders on the Fal­con XR8.

Ford ini­tially planned to build just 1400 cars in the leadup to the end of pro­duc­tion in Oc­to­ber 2016, but un­der­called the de­mand mas­sively and has since dou­bled out­put.

Ford will also in­tro­duce late this year or early next year a spe­cial edi­tion of the highly re­garded Fal­con XR6 Turbo, us­ing much of the hard­ware and tech­nol­ogy from the Ford Per­for­mance Ve­hi­cles F6 sedan that in­creased power to 310kW.

The demise of the Fal­con and Com­modore in the com­ing years will also spell the end of af­ford­able V8 sedans in Aus­tralia, which is why many buy­ers are keen to act.

Ford will fill the void with the V8 Mus­tang, which starts from $50,000, about the same price as a Fal­con XR8.

Holden says it has a “true sports car” com­ing to ap­pease per­for­mance fans af­ter 2017, but it’s un­der­stood this will be a Corvette priced in ex­cess of $100,000 rather than the more af­ford­able op­tion, the Mus­tang’s arch ri­val the Chevro­let Ca­maro, the new gen­er­a­tion of which has not been de­vel­oped for right-hand-drive.

Afff­for­rdaablle pow­err:: HSV Cl­lub­ss­porrtt R8

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