Finally fitted with wider rear rubber and a sophisticated launch control system, FPV's limited edition GT R-Spec is the fastest-accelerating car ever made in Australia. On a sticky Sydney Dragway, a six-speed manual R-Spec stormed to 100km/h in 4.57 seconds before crossing the standing 400 metres in 12.64 seconds at 189km/h. Unfortunately a missed shift into third gear caused one run to be aborted but not before the brash FPV hit 100km/h in 4.52 seconds. These numbers beat the 4.7/12.8 recorded by a 7.0-litre HSV W427 back in the August 2008 issue of the Wheels.
The R-Spec runs 1-inch wider 19x9.0 rear wheels fitted with 275/30 ZR19 Dunlop SP Sport Maxx rubber (245/40 ZR19 fronts on 8.0-inch rims), to finally match the footprint of HSV's line-up. To make full use of the extra grip, both manual and auto R-Specs run a launch control system (a first for FPV).
Like many such systems, the FPV's launch control is activated only when stability and traction control remain on. There's no secret handshake to activate launch control either, simply dial up wide open throttle with the clutch pedal depressed and first gear engaged. Revs settles to around 3200rpm and once you drop the clutch, the blown V8's ECU manages torque throughout first gear. That's not to say there's no wheel spin, and there's a surprising amount of slip on the snap shift into second. The fat tyres chirp and squirm again into third and give a brief chirp into fourth towards the end of the quarter. The slow-shifting manual costs time and there's little doubt an auto R-Spec will go faster again.
Other changes to the R-Spec include 45 percent stiffer rear springs, firmer front control arm bushes and front strut mounts, retuned ZF Sachs dampers and a 1mm thicker (now 19mm) rear anti-roll bar.
FPV will build 350 R-Spec sedans, half of which will be available in the hero colour combination of Silhouette (black) with Vixen (red) strips, wheels and details. White, red and blue (all with black detailing) will also be available. Both manual and auto R-Spec’s cost $76 990 plus on road costs.
See the current issue of Wheels magazine for a comparison test between the FPV GT R-Spec, HSV Clubsport R8 and Chrysler 300C.