The lead engineer behind the recently revealed 2017 Holden Special Vehicles GTSR W1, says while the LS9-hearted HSV might not quite be able to beat its General Motors compatriot – the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 – the supercharged Holden-based hero would most definitely give it a run for its money.
Speaking to CarAdvice, HSV engineering director Joel Stoddart said, as happy as he is with what he and his team managed to create with the borderline ludicrous 474kW/815Nm 2017 HSV GTSR W1, extreme was the only acceptable outcome for the car and the brand.
“We always knew the LS9 was around, and we kind of knew it’d fit… it’s something we’ve been trying to get into a program for quite a while, but these things don’t always just happen,” Stoddart said.
“It’s how it should be - your car should progress in performance, particularly for our organisation, we need to keep progressing and pushing that performance aspect.”
Admitting that he personally never thought he’d see the Zeta platform pushed as far as the W1 has taken it, the engineering chief said, over the years, the boundaries have most definitely continued to be pushed.
“I think if you look back at the [7.0-litre] LS7 and the [375kW/640Nm] W427, I always thought that was at the limit of the vehicle,” Stoddart said.
“Then the LSA came along and that had a whole new level of performance and engineering in it, so the LSA took it to that next level. And I still remember thinking with the [430kW/740Nm] GTS, ‘We’re at the limit, we’re as far as we can go’.
“[Now with W1], I’m really happy we got to this point though. I don’t think there’s much left. There’s not a lot left on the shelf. I think at the end of the day, the car’s pretty good.”
Asked how ‘our’ HSV GTSR W1 would stack up against the Yanks’ 476kW/819Nm LS9-powered Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 – a car that ceased production back in 2013 – Stoddart is confident but realistic.
“I don’t know. They’ve got a serious weight advantage over us [around 370kg], that’s for sure, and they’ve got the [335mm-wide rear) tyres that I want.
“So, I think the Corvette would have us, but I think we’d push it – we’d push it for a family saloon, that’s for sure. And look, if you had to take your family with you, we’d probably win.”
Although the $169,990 HSV GTSR W1 might lose to a Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 around a racetrack, it’s worth remembering, the two-seat American sports car is based on an aluminium chassis, features carbon-fibre body panels, and, back in the day, was available locally - via right-hand-drive conversion experts Performax International - priced from $360,000. Gulp.
Given the choice, which LS9-powered beast would you pick? The HSV GTSR W1 or the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1? Let us know in the comments section below.
MORE: 2017 HSV GTSR W1 REVIEW