HOLDEN’S fast-car division is preparing to send off the Commodore on a high note.
Holden Special Vehicles is poised to add supercharged V8 power to most of its line-up from the end of this year, fitting the engine that was previously exclusive to the flagship GTS sedan and limited edition ute.
To maintain bragging rights, the GTS will still have the power and performance edge because HSV will fit a slightly detuned version of the “blower” engine to the Maloo ute, Clubsport sedan and wagon and Senator luxury model.
However, even the most basic cars will have a whopping output — nearly 400kW, say well placed sources.
The Series II Commodore range is due in showrooms in October. The supercharged HSV variants are expected to be identified by a new front bumper and vented bonnet.
As the cost of extracting even more power was prohibitive, the supercharged GTS is expected to retain its output of 430kW/740Nm.
Holden plans to equip the Commodore SS with the Corvette V8 that HSV has used for the past decade, obliging the latter to fit the supercharged V8 on all but the Grange limousine.
The massive changes to the HSV range come at a price. The supercharged Maloo ute and Clubsport sedan and wagon and Senator are expected to add at least $10,000 to cover the cost of the dearer engine and heavyduty hardware such as the transmission, tailshaft and differential.
The Maloo probably will top $70,000 and the Clubsport $80,000, bringing it to within about $15,000 of the flagship GTS, which will retain bigger brakes and adjustable suspension.
Holden sales are at 21-year lows yet V8 sales are up — more than one in three Commodores is a V8.
HSV refuses to comment on the plans. Selected Holden dealers have been informed about the power upgrade but have not yet been told of the new output figures.
The HSV GTS Maloo, of which 250 examples were made, will retain its exclusivity as the world’s fastest ute.
Meanwhile, Ford is also getting in on the high-power act, with two special editions planned for the XR6 Turbo and XR8 supercharged V8.
Both models are expected to wear “Sprint” badging from early next year, as the Falcon starts its 10-month march to extinction.
Maloo, too: The ute will get a supercharged V8 as will Clubsport and Senator