COM­MODORE VFII SS-V RED­LINE

Herald Sun - Motoring - - HEAD TO HEAD -

VALUE

Holden has pinched the 6.2-litre LS3 V8 used to date by HSV. But the price has crept up a few thou­sand dol­lars due to the ex­tra good­ies, in­clud­ing stag­gered wheels (the rear tyres are wider than the front, for bet­ter grip), Brembo brakes front and rear, new front bumper and tail-lights, and some other treats un­der the skin. Trans­mis­sion is also six-speed auto.

DE­SIGN/TECH

Holden has in­tro­duced a me­chan­i­cal sound en­hancer un­der the bon­net to pipe the V8’s in­duc­tion growl di­rectly into the cock­pit in front of the driver. The dual-mode ex­haust note is also fun­nelled into the rear of the cabin. Af­ter years of Holden V8s be­ing too quiet, this one fi­nally sounds like a V8 Su­per­car.

EN­GINE

The V8 has less power than in HSV tune (304kW v 340kW) be­cause the Holden ver­sion of the same en­gine is re­stricted by a stan­dard ex­haust — HSV Club­sports were fit­ted with ex­trac­tors. Why didn’t Holden stretch the out­put to 308kW, a nod to the last Holden-made V8? The 304kW num­ber was the best they could get out of it.

SAFETY

Sim­i­lar deal to the HSV: six airbags, five safety stars and rear-view cam­era with guid­ing lines that turn with the steer­ing. There are also park­ing sen­sors front and rear. The fit­ment of Brembo brakes front and rear (pre­vi­ous mod­els had them on the front only) def­i­nitely help the Red­line pull up more sharply.

DRIV­ING

This may come as a shock but the SS-V Red­line sounds faster than the Club­sport LSA. How­ever, the stop­watch tells a dif­fer­ent story. In real world driv­ing, we got a 0-100km/h time of 5.2 sec­onds (Holden claims 4.9) or al­most half a sec­ond slower than the HSV. But it doesn’t feel like it. The elec­tric power steer­ing seems to bet­ter suit the Holden’s Bridge­stone tyres, com­pared to the HSV’s Con­ti­nen­tals. It has a more di­rect feel. Over­all, a bril­liant pack­age.

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