COMMODORE VFII SS-V REDLINE
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.