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by David Zalstein

Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) has unveiled what will be its final-ever range based on the long-serving Zeta platform, with the main drawcard being the rumoured LS9-powered GTSR W1 – the most powerful and most expensive HSV model, ever.

With eight models in total making up the 2017 HSV line-up, prices are up between $2000 and $3000 for refreshed and re-badged supercharged GEN-F2 vehicles, while three new high-performance GTSR models have been created to ensure the Zeta platform most definitely goes out with a bang.

Dubbed the ‘30 Years’ range – to celebrate HSV’s three decades in operation – the ‘entry-level’ models are stamped accordingly, with unique ‘30 Years’ branding on the front fenders, floor mats, sill plates (except for the Maloo R8 LSA), and on a rear window sticker (except for the ClubSport R8 Tourer LSA). A special engine build plate is also included.

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Based on the Maloo R8 LSA ($79,990), ClubSport R8 LSA ($82,990), automatic-only ClubSport R8 Tourer LSA ($88,990), Senator Signature ($95,990), and GTS ($98,990), the 30 Years range is more than a mere sticker pack, with models receiving new front and rear bumpers, new side skirts and bonnet vents, and new wheels and revised suspension, among other goodies.

All models, bar the 430kW/740Nm GTS, gain an extra 10kW of power and 20Nm of torque through a calibration upgrade, taking the Maloo R8 LSA, ClubSport R8 LSA, ClubSport R8 Tourer LSA, and Senator Signature’s supercharged 6.2-litre LSA GenIV V8 out to 410kW and 691Nm.

Previously reserved for the GTS, HSV has made torque vectoring standard across the ‘30 Years’ range, while each and every model in the line-up benefits from a re-calibrated bi-modal exhaust system.

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Freeing up more exceptional V8 noise from notably lower in the rev range, the tweaked exhaust also means less throttle pressure is required to hear the thumping engine tucked under the nose – a welcome change from the previous GEN-F2 range.

Additional revisions include matte black accents for the 20-inch alloy wheels of the GTS, ClubSport R8 LSA, ClubSport R8 Tourer LSA, and Maloo R8 LSA, with HSV’s previously optional 20-inch ‘SV Rapier’ forged-alloy wheels now added as standard to the Senator Signature.

And, while three new colours have been introduced for the new model year – a properly bright green ‘Spitfire’, gunmetal ‘Son of a Gun’, and burnt orange ‘Light My Fire’ – the options list has also been rejigged to include 20×9.0-inch front and 20×10-inch rear ‘SV Rimfire’ forged-alloy wheels, and the GTS’s previously exclusive AP Racing brake package (comprising six-piston calipers, 390mm front discs, and 372mm rears).

HSV says production of the 30 Years range is already underway, with models due to reach dealers shortly.

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GTSR reborn

The second tier in HSV’s 2017 line-up sees the return of the brand’s iconic GTSR moniker – a nameplate not seen on an HSV since April of 1996, on the original 215kW/475Nm naturally-aspirated 5.7-litre V8-powered, VS Commodore-based, GTSR.

Starting with the $96,990 GTSR Maloo and $109,490 GTSR sedan (both exclude on-road costs), the first two models of the GTSR family are powered by a slightly uprated 435kW/740Nm-version of the GTS’s supercharged 6.2-litre LSA engine. Up 5kW on the GTS – thanks to a new hi-flow K&N performance air filter – the unit now becomes the most powerful LSA V8 engine ever offered by HSV.

Ensuring GTSR models stand out from the rest of the new-look 2017 range, both the GTSR Maloo and GTSR sedan feature unique LED daytime running lights, a new front bumper and front splitter, newly styled and positioned front fender vents, and visually wider front fenders (12mm wider per side).

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At the back, a restyled rear bumper houses a new rear diffuser and new chrome-finished ‘diamond-shaped’ exhaust tips – the latter hiding a re-calibrated quad-exit bi-modal exhaust. A touch more subtle than the original GTSR’s eye-catching, monster rear wing, 2017 GSTR sedans also receive HSV’s new ‘Aeroflow’ spoiler.

Both the GTSR Maloo and GTSR sedan sit on ‘GTSR’-embossed ‘Hyper Dark Stainless’ 20×9-inch front, 20×10-inch rear ‘SV Panorama’ forged-alloy wheels, wrapped in Continental ContiSportContact 5P tyres (255/35R20 front, 275/35R20 rear).

A step up from the GTS’s already impressive brake package, all GTSRs come equipped as standard with six-piston mono-block AP Racing calipers, partnered with decidedly huge 410mm cross-drilled two-piece floating rotors up front and 372mm cross-drilled items out back.

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Although torque vectoring, as well as HSV’s Enhanced Driver Interface (EDI) and driver preference dial, are all standard on both GTSR variants, the brand’s semi-active Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) suspension system is reserved for the sedan, with the GTSR Maloo riding on HSV’s single-setting ‘performance suspension’.

Inside, HSV is back with what it claims are its best seats ever. Upholstered in diamond-quilted Alcantara, and featuring leather bolsters and red, twin-needle-stitched highlights, the new eight-way heated and power-adjustable ‘Podium’ seats (four-way in GTSR Maloo) are joined by ‘GTSR’-branded headrests, and a leather-wrapped sports profile steering wheel and gear shifter.

‘GTSR’ branding on the passenger-side airbag cover, floor mats, sill plates (except on GTSR Maloo), ID plates, and on the EDI start-up screen complete the package, while, uniquely, the GTSR Maloo also receives an HSV hard tonneau cover and performance sail plane.

 

Big money, big power

Well and truly topping the 2017 HSV and GTSR range is the much-speculated $169,990 (before on-road costs) GTSR W1.

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Limited to 300 cars, the GTSR W1 significantly raises the bar over all other HSVs that have come before it, with power coming from the sixth-generation C6-based Chevrolet Corvette ZR1-sourced supercharged 6.2-litre GenIV LS9 V8.

Recently confirmed as having 474kW of power at 6500rpm and 815Nm of torque at 3900rpm, the unashamedly track-focussed GTSR W1 is a six-speed manual-only proposition, with a Tremec TR-6060 (MH3) close-ratio gearbox employed to send power to the rear wheels, with help from a model-specific input shaft, a solid flywheel, and a twin-plate clutch.

With genuine on-track performance high on the agenda, HSV made the decision to fit the GTSR W1 with an all-new fixed-rate suspension package from highly-respected South Australian suspension gurus SupaShock, rather than using its own adjustable MRC suspension.

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According to HSV, the lower and stiffer race-inspired suspension system developed for the GTSR W1 mirrors that fitted to Walkinshaw Racing’s competition Supercars, albeit refined for on-road driving.

Sharing its AP Racing brakes with the rest of the GTSR range, the GTSR W1 also sports the same 20×9-inch front, 20×10-inch rear ‘SV Panorama’ forged-alloy wheels as GTSR Maloo and GTSR sedan, though, finished in matte black, embossed with ‘W1’, and exclusively encased in wider, stickier 265/35 front, 295/30 rear Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R rubber.

Nail a perfect launch and HSV says the GTSR W1 is capable of claiming 0-100km/h in 4.2 seconds and 0-400m in 12.1 seconds (preliminary performance figures HSV is still yet to officially confirm).

As with all VFII-based products, however, the ‘Big Dog’ W1 is still speed limited to 250km/h (as is the entire HSV range). That said, HSV says the potential is there for the GTSR W1 to hit approximately 293km/h in sixth gear at 6600rpm (the LS9’s maximum revs).

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More expensive and more powerful than HSV’s last ‘W’-car, the $155,500, 375kW/640Nm naturally-aspirated 7.0-litre LS7-powered W427, the 2017 HSV GTSR W1 also pips its more senior relative in terms of fuel efficiency, claiming 16.5 litres per 100km, compared with the W427’s 17.2L/100km.

Providing additional points of difference from the rest of the GTSR line-up, the GTSR W1 is bestowed with a range of model-specific additions, including carbon-fibre front fender vents, a carbon-fibre upper plane for its ‘Aeroflow’ rear spoiler, and a shadow-chrome-finish for its ‘diamond-shaped’ exhaust tips.

Inside, the GTSR W1 gains full diamond-quilted Alcantara-upholstered ‘Podium’ seats, with ‘W1’-branded headrests, along with an Alcantara-wrapped sports profile steering wheel and gear shifter – optional on both the GTSR Maloo and GTSR sedan for $1590.

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As with the ‘regular’ GTSR models, the flagship W1 features ‘GTSR’ branding on the passenger-side airbag cover and floor mats, with ‘W1’ branding reserved for the sill plates, ID plate, EDI start-up screen, and key fob.

HSV says production of the much-anticipated GTSR W1 is due to commence on April 10 and run through until late September, with the GTSR family due to be split between 670 GTSR Maloos, 1300 GTSR sedans, and 300 GTSR W1s (approximately).

Further, the Clayton-based company says all 2017 models – including the LS9-equipped GTSR W1 – are covered by its five years or 105,000km (whichever comes first) capped-price servicing program, with recommended service intervals unchanged at 15,000km or nine months (whichever comes first).

Click on the Photos tab for the full 2017 HSV range image gallery.

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HSV 30 Years range (before on-road costs)

Maloo R8 LSA – $79,990 (+$3000)
ClubSport R8 LSA – $82,990 (+$2000)
ClubSport R8 Tourer LSA (auto only) – $88,990 (+$3000)
Senator Signature – $95,990 (+$3000)
GTS – $98,990 (+$3000)

HSV 30 Years range key options

Six-speed automatic transmission with active select and paddle shifters – $2500
Enhanced Driver Interface (EDI) (standard on GTS) – $1095
Lo-line rear spoiler (GTS only) – No cost
Hyperflow rear spoiler (ClubSport R8 LSA) – $795
Hyperflow rear spoiler (GTS) – No cost
Electric sunroof (sedans only) – $1990
Phantom Black roof (sedans only) – $550
Six-piston AP Racing brake package (standard on GTS) – $3495
20-inch ‘SV Rimfire’ forged-alloy wheel with fender extensions (R8 LSA models) – $2495
20-inch ‘SV Rimfire’ forged-alloy wheel with fender extensions (Senator Signature and GTS) – $995

 

HSV GTSR range (before on-road costs)

GTSR Maloo – $96,990
GTSR – $109,490
GTSR W1 (manual only) – $169,990

HSV GTSR range key options
Six-speed automatic transmission with active select and paddle shifters – $2500
Electric sunroof (GTSR and GTSR W1 only) – $1990
Phantom Black roof (GTSR and GTSR W1 only) – $550
Alcantara-wrapped sports-profile steering wheel and gear shifter (standard on GTSR W1) – $1590
Car cover (GTSR and GTSR Maloo) – $990
Car cover with build number (GTSR W1 only) – $1090

MORE: 2017 HSV GTSR W1 review – Phillip Island pre-production mule quick drive
MORE: ‘Behind the Beast’ – what makes the GTSR W1 so special?
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