Like Holden, Aussie tuning house HSV (Holden Special Vehicles) has had to re-invent itself. If the new Coloradobased SportsCat TD DC ute is anything to go by, that isn’t such a bad thing.
Subtle is hardly a word you would associate with any Commodore-based HSV product. Yet that’s the word that keeps popping into my mind when I think of the Melbourne-based tuner and bespoke manufacturer’s ground-breaking latest model. I recently enjoyed just over a week driving a pretty much’ top- of-the-line’ SportsCat+ model on or off-road; and ‘subtle’ is the best word I can come up with to describe it. For a start unless you know what you are looking for ( the Lion ‘n helmet logo) you’d be hard pressed to actually tell it is a product of the renowned Holden tuner. Because grille, wheel centre and steering wheel badges aside there is literally no way of telling. If you know that Holden makes a ute called the Colorado, then you’re getting somewhere, because the word Colorado is embossed into the rear tailgate. But that’s about it. It certainly sounds no different to the standard 2.8 litre four-cylinder turbo diesel on which it is based. Nor does it accelerate quicker, punch harder or otherwise out-perform a base model Colorado because – shock, horror – the SportsCat and SportsCat+ models must ( surely!) be the first HSVs to land on showroom floors with absolutely no ( none, zero, nil, nada) engine mods. That’s right, what once was the company’s stock-in-trade is no more; no cold air box ‘n K& N filter upgrade, no exhaust manifold upgrade, not even a chip remap. And as for the LS3 V8 petrol upgrade one reader swore black and blue ‘ the new HSV ute’ was going to arrive here with, well, all I can say is ‘good luck with that!’
Needs must, of course, and with four-door DC TD utes selling like gang-busters on both sides of the Tasman the decision by
HSV to swap RWD Commodores for 4x4 Colorados can hardly have been a difficult one to make. It’s not as if your average Colorado was going to be difficult to improve either. Regular readers will know that I am a bit of a fan of the latest model. But given the task and a suitable budget there are improvements I know I’d like to make. Or, the case of the HSV SportsCat, let someone who knows what they are doing, do the job! There are two models in the new line-up, the SportsCat with RRPs of $ 73,990 ( man) and $ 75,990 ( auto), and the SportsCat+ ( as tested here) with RRPs of $ 80,990 ( man) and $ 82,990 ( auto). Both get wholesale upgrades to the chassis, suspension, brakes, wheels and interior. The SportsCat+ also gets a trick de-coupling rear anti-roll bar ( which disengages automatically when you select low range) for greater rear wheel articulation, plus the option of a set of
SportsCat fitted right in on mate’s Waikato dairy block.
Interior is Colorado but with better seats, and HSV badge on steering wheel.