The HSV Gen-F embraces the sophisticated new exterior styling and cabin design of the Holden VF Commodore on which it's based. Gen-F benefits from a host of the new systems developed for the base car, including electric power steering, electric park brake and automatic reverse-park assist, and boasts a number of firsts for a locally manufactured car, including torque vectoring and high-performance AP forged brakes.
The line-up features familiar names, with the ClubSport sedan, Maloo ute and Tourer wagon all carrying over along with the enhanced R8 line, luxury Senator Signature, long-wheelbase Grange, and the high-performance GTS.
While the rest of the range continues with its naturally aspirated 6.2-litre ‘LS3’ V8, the GTS upgrades to a stonking 430kW/740Nm tune of General Motors’ supercharged 6.2-litre ‘LSA’ V8 from the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, making it by far the most powerful, and almost certainly the quickest, Australian-made production car in history.
All models will reach showrooms at the beginning of June with the exception of the GTS, which is scheduled to arrive three months later in early September. Pricing for the range is not being released by HSV until later this month.
Here’s CarAdvice’s model-by-model guide to the new HSV Gen-F range:
The HSV ClubSport is the entry-level model in the Gen-F range. The base 317kW/550Nm engine tune carries over from the outgoing E Series 3, as do the standard six-speed manual and optional six-speed automatic transmissions.
The ClubSport gets HSV’s standard suspension and stability control set-ups, as well as four sets of 367mm brake discs with four-piston calipers. They sit within 20-inch alloy wheels, which are now wrapped in new custom-tuned Continental tyres.
Standard exterior ClubSport highlights include front and rear parking sensors, side blind-zone and rear cross traffic alert systems, automatic headlights, and LED daytime running lights.
A sensor key with push-button start functionality opens the doors to reveal an entirely redesigned cabin. The headline act is the eight-inch, high-resolution touchscreen featuring Holden’s MyLink infotainment system, which integrates satellite navigation with live traffic updates, eight-speaker audio system, Siri voice control, internet radio apps, Bluetooth phone connectivity with audio streaming, and a rear-view camera.
A new Driver Preference Dial (DPD) also finds its way onto the centre console, allowing drivers to select between three modes – Touring, Sport, and Performance – to vary the response of the ClubSport’s stability and traction control systems, electric power steering, and launch control (manual models only).
Dual-zone climate control and cruise control are standard, along with cloth upholstery and electrically adjustable sports seats.
HSV ClubSport R8
As before, stepping up to the HSV ClubSport R8 specification liberates an extra 8kW from the LS3 engine for 325kW in total. Torque remains at 550Nm. Also included is HSV’s Hi-Flow Intermediate with bi-modal mufflers.
Sports side skirts and six-spoke, machined-face, black-accent alloy wheels are the only visual differentiators between the R8 and the standard ClubSport.
Boosting the R8’s list of advanced driver assist features is a head-up display, forward collision alert, and lane departure warning, while the R8 also adds rain-sensing wipers, nine-speaker Bose premium audio system, and the Enhanced Driver Interface (EDI) system with updated graphics and improved display resolution.
Control of the bi-modal exhaust is also added to the DPD, while the R8 also upgrades to performance sports seats with eight-way electric adjust for the driver and passenger.
HSV ClubSport R8 Tourer
The HSV Tourer R8 is the only wagon in the Gen-F range. Its equipment list largely mirrors that of the R8 sedan, with unique exhaust outlets the only differentiating trim element on the outside.
It misses the ClubSport R8’s nine-speaker Bose audio system, however, and is the only model in the line-up fitted with a standard six-speaker unit.
Flexibility is the Tourer’s strong suit, of course, as it’s the sole variant to feature 60:40 split-fold rear seats, which collapse forward to create a completely flat-based load area.
The HSV Maloo is largely identical to the ClubSport, though misses out on the sedan’s LED tail-lights and passenger-side power-adjustable lumbar support. The ute’s audio system also features six speakers rather than eight, though is a step above the system in Tourer.
The Maloo package is completed by a soft tonneau cover.
HSV Maloo R8
Stepping up to the HSV Maloo R8 brings all of the upgrades when moving from ClubSport to ClubSport R8, although the six-speaker audio unit from the base ute remains.
A HSV performance sail plane and a remote-locking hard tonneau cover further differentiate the R8 from the standard Maloo.
HSV R8 SV option
Available on all three R8 models is the SV option package. Power and torque are bumped up 15kW and 20Nm respectively thanks to the introduction of a new a bi-modal air intake.
R8 SV models are distinguished visually by unique SV badges; forged Satin Graphite alloy wheels; and black plastic side vents, mirror caps and rear spoiler.
HSV Senator Signature
The HSV Senator Signature retains its traditional understated styling theme, highlighted by its single-piece grille, Dark Stainless forged alloy wheels, pewter brake calipers, chrome mirror caps with puddle lamps, and a body-colour lip spoiler. The cabin features premium front seats with driver’s memory settings and luxury interior trim.
The Senator comes standard with the 340kW SV engine tune, and is available in either manual or auto. It also adds HSV’s Generation 3 Magnetic Ride Control suspension with dual coil pistons, designed to offer faster response times, greater body control, sharper handling and improvements in ride quality. Two MRC settings are available – Touring and Sport – via the DPD.
The long-wheelbase HSV Grange misses the design overhaul of the rest of the VF Commodore-based range, instead carrying over largely unchanged from the E Series 3 model.
The Grange is equipped almost identically to the Senator, adding front foglights and unique exhaust outlets, but missing out on the Performance mode in the DPD.
The introduction of the supercharged LSA V8 sees the output of the HSV GTS (pictured top) rise a staggering 105kW and 190Nm – the equivalent of a small hatchback – over the E Series 3 model to the point where it now outguns the likes of the BMW M5 (412kW/680Nm) and the Audi RS6 (412kW/700Nm).
The inclusion of electronic torque vectoring is a first for an Australian car. Torque vectoring is designed to help steer a vehicle into and through a corner by reducing understeer. It uses rotational movement generated in the rear axle when the vehicle is under power, transferring torque across the rear axle by using ESC to brake the inside wheel while adding torque to the outside wheel.
The brakes themselves have been uprated and now measure 390mm at the front and 372mm at the rear. Bright yellow six-piston aluminium calipers grip the discs at all four corners, and don’t add extra weight despite their larger size.
Both the TR6060 manual and 6L90E automatic six-speed transmissions are unique to the GTS. HSV also made substantial changes to the rear module, with the GTS boasting a unique sub-frame, stabiliser bar and prop-shaft, along with a 9.9-inch differential with stacked plate cooler, larger-diameter half shafts and aluminium hubs. A high-flow bi-modal airbox pairs with a high-flow exhaust system to control the flow of intake and emissions.
The GTS exclusively offers drivers a fourth Track mode on the DPD, which takes Performance mode to another level thanks to its Track tune for the Magnetic Ride Control suspension.
Other distinguishing features of the GTS include Satin Graphite forged alloy wheels, black mirror caps and side vents, large rear spoiler, and black-tipped quad exhaust outlets, as well as the luxury interior trim grade, premium heated front seats, and a boost gauge.
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