PERFORMANCE Holden specialist HSV is about to give its range a significant shot in the arm, rolling out the supercharged LSA powerplant across the lion’s share of its line-up from next month.
Forced induction versions of the Clubsport R8 Sedan and Tourer, as well as Maloo and Senator Signature models, will deliver 400kW and 671Nm, up by 60kW and 101Nm respectively on their naturally-aspirated LS3 predecessors.
HSV has been tight-lipped on performance gains for these Gen-F2 models thus far but, as expected, the Clubsport LSA is being offered only with a manual gearbox, to preserve the performance advantage of the flagship automatic GTS sedan.
The 6.2-litre LS3 continues to be offered in the Grange, with Atmo Maloo R8 and Clubsport R8 models arriving in dealers in quarter one of next year and their power creeping up to 340kW.
Spreading the LSA love further across the range has resulted in some serious bang for your buck. Consider for a moment that the Clubsport R8 LSA develops more power than a Ferrari F50 yet retails for $80,990.
The Maloo R8 LSA shaves another four grand off that price, which is less than you’d expect to pay for an upper-echelon hot hatch like the Audi RS3 Sportback. The auto-only R8 Tourer LSA at $85,990 develops more power than a $157,000 Mercedes C63AMG S wagon, making it one of the world’s most rapid load-luggers.
Aside from the engine upgrades, the LSA-engined models get beefier springs and dampers, with a stiffer rear end promising superior braking. The styling has come in for a few sympathetic nips and tucks too, with ‘pitch black’ bonnet vents, mirror cappings and fender breathers. Restyled side skirts, spoilers, a rear diffuser and a new five-spoke alloy wheels design help revitalise the VF theme.
“The changes we’ve made to exterior styling evolve the current design language and give the GEN-F2 range distinctive street presence,” said HSV’s Managing Director, Tim Jackson.
At the top of the range, the $95,990 HSV GTS remains mechanically unchanged, but gets a subtle restyle that includes 20-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels and a reprofiled body kit.
So what is the LSA?
THE LSA is just a 6.2-litre LS3 with a supercharger bolted on, right? Wrong. The supercharged lump is built to be 20 percent stronger than the LS3 short-block and features higher grade rods, pistons and cranks to handle the additional power.
The beefier head on the LSA has also been redesigned to handle the altered forced induction fuel/air combustion process. Factor in detail changes such as piston oil squirters, a higher volume oil pump and a vastly different compression ratio, and it’s clear the LSA is more than a superficial go-faster version of the base LS3.