After the first drive, I loved it. Being that my current Holden Commodore SS is modified, it makes it that much better.
The 5.7-litre LS1 responded really well to some basic modifications: Pacemaker extractors, high-flow cats, Pacemaker cat-back exhaust, VCM Performance over-the-radiator cold-air induction and a MAFless tune. It’s punchy but well mannered enough to use as a daily driver.
Fuel economy isn’t too bad considering it’s a 13-year-old engine tuned for performance. On a recent trip to Sydney from Melbourne it averaged 7.5L/100km. Around town it sits at around 12–13L/100km. The gearbox could do with a slightly better ratio selection, but overall it’s not too bad.
The handling from a 1700kg sedan is also not too bad. Not sloppy, and direct enough to put the car where it needs to be, when it needs to be there.
Mine was originally optioned with leather trim, and the seats hug you enough to feel like you aren’t going anywhere, but not enough to make you feel restricted. I’m not exactly tall at 173cm, but there is plenty of leg room in the front and the back.
On the outside, the paint finish leaves a little to be desired. Mine was finished in Red Hot. There is a lot of orange peel for a factory paint finish. The bodykit looks aggressive enough, but isn’t in the way for going up and down driveways etc.
So far it has been very reliable. My car has 160,000km on it, and from both the previous owners it hasn’t missed a beat.
The best improvement would have been to make them sound like a V8 when they left the factory. The standard exhaust is very quiet and restrictive. If you are in the market to buy a V8, chances are you want to hear it.
Overall, for a car that’s 14 years old this year, it still performs well, doesn’t look dated, and with a few relatively cheap upgrades can bring a smile to the face of anyone looking to get into a V8. A great car for heading to work or heading out on the road for a long-distance trip.