Some car­mak­ers have learned the hard way not to take his­tor­i­cal ku­dos for granted. Just look at Chevro­let’s Im­pala and Mal­ibu, both hav­ing shed his­tor­i­cal cred­i­bil­ity over the years on a jour­ney to be­come se­date re­tiree-trans­porters. Where HSV has been con­cerned, there has been no such prob­lem — not with re­viv­ing the hal­lowed GTS badge for its top-of-the-range king hit­ters, and es­pe­cially not with the sa­cred GTS-R name­plate. For its lat­est in­car­na­tion, HSV has left noth­ing on the ta­ble, equip­ping the lat­est GTSR — note the miss­ing hy­phen — with a func­tional racein­spired front bumper, wider front fend­ers, the lat­est in­car­na­tion of the MRC elec­tronic damp­ing sys­tem, mas­sive AP Rac­ing monobloc calipers, and light­weight 20x9-inch and 20x10inch SV Panorama forged al­loys. While it’s nowhere near as ex­u­ber­ant as its VS pre­de­ces­sor, it doesn’t need to be. Just look­ing at it, you know that it means busi­ness, and that’s con­firmed by the su­per­charged 6.2-litre LSA, good for 435kW (583hp) and 740Nm (509lb·ft), chan­nelled through a Tre­mec TR-6060 six-speed man­ual. If ever an HSV was wor­thy of bear­ing the GTSR badge, this is it. This one is owned by a bloke named Hugh, who was un­able to make it to our photo shoot. For­tu­nately, he has a petrol­head brother who didn’t need to be asked twice to drive it there. Hav­ing only re­cently taken pos­ses­sion of the GTSR, Hugh is no doubt go­ing to be hard to prise out of its sculpted, Al­can­tara-swathed driver’s seat.

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