Herald Sun - Motoring - - HEAD TO HEAD -


HSV’s range-top­per comes at a pre­mium — given its per­for­mance, it can be viewed as an ab­so­lute bar­gain. It gets leather trim, heated seats, head-up dis­play, LED day­time run­ning lights, am­ple driver aids and eight-inch in­fo­tain­ment screen with cus­tom driver in­ter­face. Auto adds $2500. War­ranty is three years/100,000km, ser­vice in­ter­vals are nine months/15,000km. Capped price ser­vic­ing over five years will be $2513. Re­sale is 45 per cent.


Com­modore dic­tates much of the de­sign. How­ever, HSV de­sign­ers con­trive some stand-alone char­ac­ter with a dra­matic rear-end de­sign and a unique front clip. The look is much bolder and in-your­face than the C63, with a size­able fixed spoiler on the boot and bright yel­low brake calipers. It is far more ba­sic than the Merc. There is a lot more space for sec­ond row pas­sen­gers too.


The pride of the GTS is in the en­gine bay — a crack­ing Chevro­let LSA V8 dis­plac­ing 6.2 litres. But wait, there’s more. This one has a su­per­charger, so it belts out a re­mark­able 430kW/740Nm, mak­ing it easily the most pow­er­ful Aus­tralian per­for­mance car ever made. Ex­pect 4.5 sec­onds for the 0-100km/h sprint. Drive modes can be changed through the cen­tre screen but the al­ter­ations make far less dif­fer­ence than in the Merc.


The GTS hasn’t been tested. ANCAP gives the Com­modore five stars and 35.06/37. There are six airbags, re­vers­ing cam­era, radar col­li­sion warn­ing, lane de­par­ture and blind spot mon­i­tor­ing.


The GTS is a thrilling mus­cle car that can dou­ble as a fam­ily car. Its sheer per­for­mance will put a smile on your face. The en­gine makes a ter­rific roar, which builds into a vi­cious howl as the revs build. This seems like the clos­est a reg­u­lar per­son could get to driv­ing a V8 Su­per­car. It feels big­ger and heav­ier than the Mercedes (and it is) and the steer­ing dis­ap­points thanks to lim­ited feel. This is a far less re­fined ma­chine than the C63 and lev­els of road and tyre noise are much higher.

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