Leaving on a high note
IT’S a bit sad really that Holden (HSV) and Ford have left their best products to last.
It’s a shame that Australian new vehicle buyers are opting for imported SUVs instead of Aussie designed and made big sedans and wagons that devour our big open spaces.
As we become more urbanised and with cheap air travel, the day of the big lazy six or V8 four-door sedan and wagon is over.
But that hasn’t stopped Ford and HSV from producing the best Commodores and Falcons yet.
The Falcon XR8 and XR6 Turbo Sprint models are sold out. A total of just 1400 limited edition Falcon Sprints were built with 550 XR6 Sprints and 850 XR8 Sprints.
New Zealand was allocated 150 cars – 50 XR6 Sprints and 100 XR8 Sprints.
Each will receive numbered build plates for each model, located on the engine.
Now HSV enters the fray. Supercar power is coming to the homegrown Commodore to create fastest Holden of all time.
Talk about going out with a bang, Holden will build a Commodore with more power than a Lamborghini as a high octane farewell present before the Adelaide production line falls silent next year.
The fastest and most powerful Commodore ever made will also be the most expensive, expected to cost more than $165,000, almost twice the price of the GTS model on sale today.
It will be the last V8 sedan made locally and the most powerful vehicle produced in more than 100 years of Australian car manufacturing.
General Motors in Detroit has given the green light to build a Commodore powered by the supercharged “LS9” V8 from the Corvette ZR1.
The swan song supercar will eclipse the power of the current Commodore flagship – the Holden Special Vehicles GTS (pictured) – with performance that will outpace the latest Porsches and Ferraris.
It will only be available with a manual gearbox because the engine has too much power for an automatic.
With in excess of 600 horsepower or 475kW, the limited edition will have more grunt than a V8 Supercar racing machine.
Fewer than 250 are expected to be built, as there are only a limited number of these particular supercharged V8 engines available for export from the US. UNPRECEDENTED demand for the new BMW M2 has enabled BMW Australia to secure a substantial additional allocation of the awardwinning sports coupe.
Reflecting Australia’s standing as a key market for BMW M vehicles, up to 100 extra units of the six-cylinder, 272kW, rear-wheel drive M2 will be added to 2016 production.
BMW Group Australia chief executive Marc Werner said the M2 had garnered glowing reviews.
“It’s also had great success on the showroom floor, with our initial 300 unit allocation for this year already sold out,” he said.
“Securing these additional vehicles – a supply increase of up to 33 per cent – is a huge achievement for BMW Australia and reflects strong support from the global BMW family.
“We’re delighted to be able to respond to Australian customer and market demand so quickly with these extra vehicles.
BMW Australia expects most of the additional M2s will be available by the end of 2016.
Australia has one of the highest proportion of Mvehicle sales in the world, trailing only South Africa.
Last month, the BMW 2 Series achieved 185 sales, a rise of 37 per cent over the same month last year, and neck-andneck with the other in-demand new sports car, the Mazda MX5.
The new allocation will be split between the manual-only M2 Pure at the regular price of $89,900 plus on-road costs and the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic M2 at $98,900.
Powered by a 272kW turbocharged six-cylinder engine driving the rear wheels, the M2 coupe is a unique proposition among German cars, with similar-sized Mercedes-AMG and Audi highperformance hatchbacks fitted with turbo four-cylinder engines and all-wheel drive. MAREEBA brothers Mitch and Leigh Naylor are competing in the Australian Production Cars season opener this weekend.
Mitch, 18, and Leigh, 24, are taking part in the Shannons Nationals in a Suzuki Swift Sport (Class E).
The Naylors have been competing side-by-side in karts for more than 13 years and are making their debut in a national car racing series at the Phillip Island grand prix circuit.
“Although we have little experience in a race car, we expect nothing less than a strong finish in the Saturday race,” said Mitch (pictured in the black Suzuki Swift behind Leigh in the white Swift).
“I have always been a quick starter, and manage to work a few spots off the first lap, and Leigh is generally the consistency guy throughout the race.
“So I think I’ll have the first stint and see what we can do from there.”
The brothers say they could not have made it without sponsors Mareeba Smash Repairs, Curcio’s Bakery, NQ Off-road Specialists, Ross Cardillo Financing, Performance Motors and Bob Ramsay.
Round one of the 2016 Australian Production Cars started yesterday with three sessions of practice and a 30- minute qualifying session, before the Island Four Hour today.
In the biggest entry list for national production car racing in some time, 22 cars and more than 45 drivers will tackle the opening round of what is a fourevent season.
“With 22 cars for round one and even more waiting in the wings to hit the track with us at future rounds this year, I am very excited about how the APCS is growing and what lies ahead for us as a series,” said APCS category manager Iain Sherrin.
Class battles will be the name of the game at Phillip Island this weekend, with strong competition lining up in each class.
“A look at the entry list throws up a lot of great names and I can see some great battles unfolding,” he said.
“From series debutants to reigning class and outright champions, from established and well-known racers to 15 year old kids just starting out, we have it all in the APCS.
Today a 10-minute warm-up will be held at 10.40am before The Island Four Hour kicks off at 1pm.
The race will be live streamed for free today through thenationals.com.au.