Owner Review

2014 HSV Clubsport R8 review

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This vehicle is an SV variant. Having owned a VY II SE and a VZ Clubsport, this vehicle caught my eye and, well, it got the mind and heart racing.

The only things I dislike, and still do until I carbon-fibre wrap them, are the in-built exhaust tips. Aside from that, the car is comfortable, rides superbly and is powered nicely. SV Enhanced grabs the MRC magnetic ride control, EDI interface, 20-inch Black Sapphire staggered rims, Black Sapphire rear wing, AP Racing brakes and 340kW.

The interior is amazingly comfortable, with passengers surprised at the fit-out right down to the Bose sound system, which I rarely use as I prefer to listen to the sound – the cackles and pops along with the roar as the air intake opens up.

A few mods have been done (retune by OzTrack and OTRCAI) to give it a little bit of performance for track days. Its time stock standard was 68.7secs around Symmons Plains – compare that to a Supercar at 54sec a lap. On a track day, this car is delegated to the high-speed group consisting of a GTS, two Lamborghinis (Gallardo and a Huracan) and an Audi R8. I love surprising one of the Lambos at the end of the two straights – he simply cannot power into the braking zone as quick as I do.

The bi-modal exhaust stays in Sport mode, with Performance mode for track days, but in saying that I have never had the need to use launch control. The bi-modal that normally shuts off one of the high-flow pipes at 1300–3000rpm has been disconnected to improve sound and power output as well. Given the SV has high-flow headers and cats, nothing more is required except maybe a rear muffler change to deepen that infamous V8 roar.

This car has never missed a beat mechanically and turns heads at every show, mostly due to Bowden’s Own products now being used.

Sadly, there are no more Clubsports, and given this was the most powerful naturally aspirated engine built for an Australian production car, it is now my investment. An investment to reflect Australian built, produced and cared for products.

I simply love it.