This feature was originally published in MOTOR’s May 2005 issue
It’s been nearly two years since our last All Aussie shootout (July 2003) – won by Ford’s Falcon XR6 Turbo. Since then, both Holden/HSV and Ford/FPV camps have been busy upgrading models with new engines, gearboxes, suspension tweaks and minor styling changes. Or in the case of HSV with the all-wheel drive Coupe4, adding brand new models to the line up.
The 13 starters for 2005 divide into five categories. It kicks off with the sub-$40k sixes: Holden’s SV6 and Ford’s nat-atmo XR6. Essentially entry-level sporties, the sixes may be light on outright bang, but they’re not too heavy on bucks either.
The next class is the biggy with five cars: from the $44k Commodore SV8 to the $61k Holden Monaro CV8. If that sounds like a big spread of price, this category is grouped more on power output – from the 240kW XR6T to the 260kW CV8 and XR8.
Cat Three is an all-auto, all HSV coupe affair with both the GTO Coupe and the all-paw $90k Coupe4, the most expensive in the field. Cat Four and we’re into the big boys with HSV’s 6.0-litre 297kW ClubSport playing the 290kW Falcon GT from FPV. Our final class pitches FPV’s Pursuit against the Maloo in a battle of B&S ball tearers.
The obvious question for anyone paying attention is, “where’s the Typhoon and Tornado?” We tried, but at the time of testing FPV’s engineers were still about two months away from declaring it fit for sale (see news for more details). Rest assured, though, once the Typhoon is a goer, we’ll put it through its paces and find out just where it sits with this crowd.
That’s a mix of four Holdens, three Fords, two FPVs and four HSVs – and before Blue Oval fans fire up about the balance of numbers, remember Ford or FPV do not make a coupe, which accounts for the discrepancy.
Included in the 13 car field are seven different engines in nine differing states of tune: two capacities of aspirated and turbo sixes, V8s ranging in capacity from 5.4-litre, 5.7-litre to 6.0-litres, and (apart from the GTO Coupe and Coupe4) all manual gearboxes.
After a hard data day of dyno testing, acceleration sprints and Eastern Creek lap times and top speeds, the $700,000 group will head west from Sydney on a 2000km round trip to the back of Bourke in temperatures peaking in the high 40s.
For base-line number comparos, we also tested an automatic Holden Commodore Acclaim and Ford Falcon XT on the dyno and at Eastern Creek.
The judging process uses a mixture of Bang For Your Bucks-style categories, PCOTY scoring and good old fashioned road testing. Each car is assessed on Performance, Dynamics, Driveability and Value for a score from each judge out of 40. This total score will determine each category winner, before a single vote is cast for one of the five class winners by each judge for the overall winner.
The judges themselves include MOTOR staffers Jesse Taylor and Dean Evans, Melbourne-based road test guru David Morley, columnist and anarchist Paul Cockburn, plus reader and Lucky Bastard George Lafrenais. Over the next three days and 35-pages, we find Australia’s best and baddest muscle car.
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