HOLDEN Special Vehicles (HSV) has released details of its final Commodore-based range, reviving the GTS-R nameplate last seen on the big-winged bright yellow VS Commodore of 1996. Those expecting a similarly spectacular rear end might be disappointed, but there’s no doubting the GTS-R sedan, Maloo GTS-R ute and range-topping GTS-R W1 models will go down as the fastest and most powerful production cars ever built in Australia.
At $169,990, the GTS-R W1 is the priciest HSV ever – and with just 300 being built, one of the rarest. What do you get for around $70,000 (roughly the price of a new ClubSport) more than a standard GTS? It’s all about what’s under the bonnet.
The W1 ditches the LSA blown V8 for the LS9 from the last-gen Corvette ZR1. On paper the 6.2-litre supercharged LS9 doesn’t seem much different from the also 6.2-litre blown LSA, but there are a few key differences. The LSA uses a 1.9-litre blower, whereas the LS9 has a 2.3-litre unit. The LSA uses cast pistons and rods, whereas the LS9 has forged internals. The LSA uses a conventional wet sump, but the LS9 is dry-sumped – which is better for track work where the engine experiences high g-forces. In terms of outright power, the LSA in the standard GTS pumps out a pretty ridiculous 430kW (575hp), but the LS9 takes the party up to 474kW (635hp) and 815Nm of torque.
HSV could’ve just thrown the LS9 at a standard GTS and we’d have all gone mad attempting to sell all non-essential body organs in order fund a GTS-R W1 purchase, but they’ve upgraded a heap of other hardware too. For starters, the transmission is now a Tremec TR6060 close-ratio manual, in order to make the most of the extra power; an auto isn’t available in the W1, most likely because GM has never developed one for use with the LS9.
Suspension has also been fiddled with, the W1 scoring South Australian-made SupaShocks. Basically it’s a track-tuned fixed-rate set-up instead of the usual electronically adjustable magnetic-ride system that the rest of the HSV range uses. With a front spring rate around 2.2 times higher, the W1 should feel more at home on the race track.
The fronts of both the GTS-R W1 and standard GTS-R have also been widened thanks to unique guards with a new vent design to accommodate wider front wheels and tyres. The W1 wears forged alloys with extra-sticky 265mm front and fat 295mm rear Pirelli Trofeo R tyres, up from the usual 255mm/275mm rubber on the standard GTS.
Bigger AP Racing brakes are also part of the deal, with both the GTS-R and GTS-R W1 featuring 410mm fully floating discs with six-piston calipers.
You’ll be able to spot the W1 over your run-of-the-mill GTS-R by the wheel design and all the trick carbonfibre body parts. W1 gets a new ‘Aeroflow’-style rear spoiler made out of carbonfibre, while the new side air intakes are also carbon. Carbonfibre has also been used for the LS9’s custom air intake, which HSV had to design to suit this new application. Inside, the W1 comes with full diamond-quilted Alcantara seating upholstery.
As for the ‘standard’ GTS-R, it still features the LSA V8, although power is upped from 430kW in standard GTS trim to 435kW in the GTS-R thanks to a new air filter. It costs $109,490 in six-speed manual form, while an auto with paddle shifters can be had for an extra $2500. For the extra dosh over a GTSyou get the same front bumper, widened wheelarches and extra-big brakes as the W1, though it doesn’t have the SupaShock suspension. Instead, it sticks with the usual magnetic-ride adjustable set-up. The GTS-R also gets wider front and rear wheels, though with Continental tyres instead of the more aggressive Pirellis.
Inside, the GTS-R features similar interior upgrades to the W1, only here the seats are part leather/part Alcantara with diamond stitching, instead of full Alcantara everything. The $96,990 Maloo GTS-R includes all the same upgrades as the sedan.
With just nine months of Aussie Holden Commodore production left, these last-blast hi-po modern muscle cars will no doubt be in high demand. The 300 W1s are likely already close to sold out with pre-orders, while there is no production limit on the GTS-R sedan and ute. Once they’re gone, HSV won’t be able to build any more, so get ’em while they’re hot!
HSV GTS-R PRICING:
GTS-R Maloo (manual) $96,990
GTS-R (manual) $109,490
GTS-R W1 (manual only) $169,990
THE REST OF THE MY17 HSV RANGE
IN ITS final few months of Commodore-based production and 30th year in business, HSV is also upgrading the rest of the LSA range with the 30 Years-edition cars, including the ClubSport R8, Tourer, Maloo and Senator Signature. These supercharged 6.2-litre cars get a power bump from 400kW up to 410kW and receive the electronic torque vectoring rear-end set-up from the GTS.
Changes have also been made to the Bi-Modal exhaust system, with the valves now opening earlier in the rev range. Six-piston brakes from the GTS have also been added across the LSA range, with new wheel designs available too.
HSV MY17 30 YEARS PRICING:
Maloo R8 LSA (manual) $79,990
ClubSport R8 LSA (manual) $82,990
ClubSport R8 Tourer LSA (auto only) $88,990
Senator Signature (manual & auto) $95,990
GTS (manual) $98,990