Walkinshaw's 480kW HSV. For times when 325kW isn't enough.
- 2010 HSV GTS E2 Supercar - Walkinshaw Performance; 6.2-litre V8 supercharged; six-speed manual $49,920
- 2010 Holden Commodore SS-V Sportwagon - Walkinshaw Performance; 6.0-litre V8 supercharged; six-speed automatic $43,990
- Walkinshaw Performance options, read below.
There are few people who believe 325kW and 550Nm of torque from the standard HSV GTS doesn’t suffice. For those crazy few, Walkinshaw Performance has released the aptly named E2 Supercar. 480kW and 802Nm of torque is the bi-product of a WP190 supercharger and a 3-inch quad-outlet exhaust, rammed through a six-speed manual gearbox.
When I first read the vehicle’s name, I thought the exact same thing you’re probably thinking now. Nothing with a Holden/HSV badge will ever earn the elusive ‘supercar’ title. I’m glad to admit that I was very wrong.
Before you even set foot in the car, your visual senses are seduced by evil looking quad exhaust pipes, a boot-lid carbon fibre spoiler, custom 20-inch alloy wheels, carbon fibre lashings on the bonnet and side flanges and the most important of all, ‘supercharged’ badges on the front and rear.
While Walkinshaw Performance will modify any Commodore, whether it is with a sound system, or the full fruit fitted to this car, the E2 Supercar tested had the full gauntlet. Inside the cabin you will find unique Walkinshaw Performance stitching on the seats and centre console, along with a killer Rockford Fosgate sound system specifically engineered for the VE Commodore.
The rest of the cabin will be a familiar place for HSV owners, with no other visual differences.
Even though the visual enticements are exciting, the fun really begins when you turn the engine over. Once all eight cylinders fire to life a deafening V8 rumble is heard at idle. It’s a classic V8 idle with a lumpy note to boot.
While the engine idle volume won’t impress the neighbours, it’s bound to make your mates instantly jealous.
The assault on the senses as soon as you open up the throttle in second gear is indescribable. At least three of the four words I yelled when I first tried a full throttle burst through second gear couldn’t be repeated in front of my mother.
Supercharger whine provides most of the aural pleasure until around 4000rpm. From there, small kids and anyone within earshot is forced to run for cover as the bi-modal exhaust opens two vacuum driven butterfly valves. This thing literally sounds like a V8 Supercar. The exhaust note can only be described as brutal and I simply couldn’t get enough of it. The terrified gaze from onlookers is simply priceless.
Throttle response in any gear is instant, with the supercharger providing an added punch that the 6.2-litre LS3 V8 never had.
The standard clutch (originally taken from the HSV W427 and now used throughout the E2 Series HSV range) does a superb job of handling the 802Nm of torque on offer – despite the already hard life this particular test car had gone through.
Gear shifts are short and sharp, but no different to a run-of-the-mill 325kW HSV GTS. I ended up spending a little over one and a half hours in peak hour traffic and was pleased with the way the car handled the continuous stop/start traffic.
On that same token, ride quality has been improved over the previous generation of Walkinshaw’s psychotic HSV enhancements. The 21 inch wheels have been ditched for a set of unique 20 inch wheels that fit the standard HSV rubber. Although the ride height has been lowered by 10mm, it soaks up bumps and B-grade roads with little fuss.
While it was too wet for us to perform 0-100km/h and 1/4-mile performance tests, APC Magazines has managed a 4.25-second 0-100km/h time and a remarkable 12.48-second 1/4-mile time.
Unique Walkinshaw Performance brakes upgrade the four-pot 365mm slotted front and four-pot 350mm slotted rear brakes to six-pot and four-pot respectively. Brake feel and quality is great both when it’s first started and when they have been under the pump for a while. In fact, I’d rate them as on-par with HSV’s optional 6-pot 380mm brake package.
If you ever get bored of that insane exhaust note, there’s always the custom Rockford Fosgate 600W sound system, coupled with a 12 inch boot-mounted sub-woofer to keep you pleased. The system was designed by Rockford Fosgate specifically for the VE Commodore and can be fitted to any VE Commodore in the range by Walkinshaw Performance (regardless of engine modifications).
The bass punch can be adjusted from mirror-shaking to thought-altering at the flick of a rotary knob fitted to the glove-box.
What about the fuel economy? I was bracing for a mortgage busting fuel bill at the end of my time with the car, but surprisingly it ended up using less fuel than the last HSV E2 Series we had on test, averaging just 13.4L/100km.
This full fruit package costs $49,920 and is fitted by Walkinshaw Performance at their Clayton production facility. The $49,920 is on top of the purchase price of your vehicle. In this case, including the price of the vehicle you would be looking at around $131,210 (plus on-road costs).
If you don’t have that much money to fork out for performance upgrades, fear not. While the test vehicle featured the full gauntlet of options, you can simply tick the option boxes you want. If I was choosing, I’d ditch the cheap looking carbon-fibre tack-ons.
If you have a partner to convince, we also test drove the SS-V Sportwagon tuned by Walkinshaw Performance. It’s dubbed the Superwagon. Fitted with the same WP190 supercharger as the E2 Supercar sedan, the SS-V Sportwagon uses Holden’s 6.0-litre V8, producing 450kW and a hefty 770Nm of torque.
The tough looking Sportwagon is fitted with the same 20-inch wheels as the E2 Supercar, in addition to the interior stitching and Rockford Fosgate sound system. The Sportwagon also receives a 3-inch quad-outlet bi-modal exhaust in addition to brake upgrades for a total of $43,990.
The white test car sent all of its power through Holden’s standard six-speed automatic transmission. While the E2 Supercar’s six-speed manual had me gagging for more, the less-than-impressive GM six-speed automatic gearbox leaves a lot to be desired.
The slow-shifting indecisive automatic gearbox is often in a world of its own and seldom reacts to driver input. Luckily though, you can ditch the six-speed automatic for the far more impressive six-speed manual gearbox. The SS-V Sportwagon represents the perfect performance option for those with family values in mind. The same performance modifications can also be fitted to V8 Calais-V, SS, Statesman and Caprice variants.
The best news about all Walkinshaw Performance modifications is that they're covered by a warranty. Walkinshaw Performance covers all their work under the balance of the new car warranty. You are able to drop your one year old car to Walkinshaw Performance and they will ensure that it remains warranted for the balance of your original warranty. You won't find many aftermarket tuners that will do that.
When it comes to the E2 Supercar at just $49,920 on top of the purchase price of the car, it represents the performance bargain of the century (considering most of it can be added on to the less expensive SS Holden Commodore). There is nothing within cooee of the astonishing straight line performance times and exhaust note on offer from Walkinshaw Performance.
The blokes at Walkinshaw Performance turn an already fast car into something out of this world, with a warranty on their work. Each week I’m asked by somebody, “What car would you buy, considering you drive so many?”
The E2 Supercar, ladies and gentlemen, is a car I would call me own in a heartbeat. The raucous performance and in-your-face styling make this the ultimate daily driver tuner car. Now I just need to persuade my partner, and the bank.
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CarAdvice Overall Rating: How does it Drive: How does it Look: How does it Go:
- Wheels: 245/35R20 (front) / 275/30R20 (rear)
*Pricing is a guide as recommended to us by the manufacturer and does not include dealer delivery, on-road or statutory charges.