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2017 HSV Clubsport R8 LSA 30 Years quick review

By Dylan Campbell, 21 May 2017 Reviews

HSV GEN F2 ClubSport R8 LSA Media Drive

Our quick drive in the HSV Clubsport R8 LSA with 30th Anniversary tweaks

With GTS production quietly and sadly due to wind up in the not-too-distant future (prior to production of the GTSRs) your only option if you want a hot sedan – sub-$100K – from Holden Special Vehicles will shortly be the Clubsport.

And so it makes sense that HSV has moved the much-loved (and last all-Aussie) Clubbie more into GTS territory as part of its recent round of 30th anniversary updates.

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While power and torque from the venerable 6.2-litre supercharged LSA V8 are now up 10kW/20Nm to 410kW/691Nm, the Clubsport R8 LSA now cops the trick brake-torque-vectoring rear diff as standard – once the preserve of the GTS – and, for $3495, you can also now have the GTS’s bigger six-pot brakes.

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While the brilliant Magnetic Ride Control is still off-limits for Clubsport, the fixed dampers still offer a well-judged ride/handling balance in a car that’s been subtly improved rather than dramatically overhauled.

While the power increase simply makes it feel the tiniest bit more eager – like you’d only just started putting 98 into it instead of 91 (and boy will you be putting some 98 into this thing) – this is still a seriously fast car.

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It sounds better, too, with HSV fiddling with the bi-modal exhaust to seemingly remove the odd ‘chuffing’ sound of the old model as the valves opened. HSV has put the price up $2K, now $82,990 for the manual, the price also inching further into GTS territory.

But as well as a tonne of special ‘30th anniversary’ badges, it scores you a subtly improved car – one that was a truly excellent, practical muscle car to begin with – fast, surprisingly agile for its size, a car that you want to take for a long drive.

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