Australia’s most powerful production car will lead the GEN-F VF Commodore based HSV range.
With 430kW and 740Nm, the supercharged 6.2-litre OHV V8 is the highest horsepower engine ever fitted to a locally produced car. Sourced from GM’s US parts bin, the engine is very closely related to the powerplant used in the Camaro ZL1, and Cadillac and Corvette models.
The new engine, dubbed LSA in GM speak, easily eclipses the 7.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 used in HSV’s previous flagship, the W427. Unlike the W427, however, the GTS is not a limited edition model. Thus though the W427’s 7.0-litre engine was fitted at HSV’s Clayton (Vic) facility – a costly and time consuming process – the GTS’s supercharged ‘LSA’ V8 is installed on Holden’s normal production line.
The new GTS was the subject of leaks and broken media embargoes. Thus many of the statistics around the new monster mill have already been aired
. We can now officially confirm the power and torque number, however, performance figures are still to be announced by HSV. Fuel consumption figures are also yet to be revealed. So too, the new car’s price tag.
HSV says significant development work was required simply to fit the new engine into Commodore despite Camaro and the Holden’s shared roots. The use of a twin-plate clutch on the manual version – it will be sold in both manual and auto – meant even the gearshifter had to be modified. The VF’s higher bonnet delivered the clearance required to fit the LSA mill without a bonnet scoop.
HSV’s engineers had to engineer a new rear sub-assembly, the GTS has a unique differential and there have been changes to prop shaft and the majority of the LSA’s ancillary system. Cooling requirements were also a challenge and were a key consideration in the restyling of the Gen-F range.
Key also to the model, and to many changes incorporated into the GEN-F range overall, was HSV’s decision to fully integrate its program into General Motors and Holden’s development timeline.
A 33 month program in total, the LSA-engined GTS was approved by GM for production in late 2010, around three months after the LS3-engined VF-based models were signed off.
The arrival of the bi-model inlet system used on the supercharged car also had benefits for the atmo V8 HSVs. When fitted to the non-boosted V8s, the new inlet freed up even more horsepower allowing HSV to offer a new 340kW power-level, dubbed SV Enhanced.
But the GTS is not just about its 430kW V8. The range-topping HSV also pioneers torque vectoring for HSV. The brake traction-control based system applies differential braking to help ‘steer’ the car in high-performance driving.
The system is activated as part of HSV’s Driver Preference System – a new feature fitted across the GEN-F range. By turning a dial located on the centre console, the driver can move through five modes on the GTS – Touring, Performance, Sport, Track and Off.
Manual versions of the GEN-F HSV models retain launch control and higher spec models also feature the latest version of the company’s MRC electronically adjustable dampers.
New AP Racing forged aluminium brake calipers are used on all key HSV GEN-F models. The GTS features six-piston front calipers matched to two-piece rotors that are a whopping 390mm in diameter and feature a V8 Supercar style 72-vane ventilation system. The outgoing GTS used 48-vane 378mm rotors.
One telling statistic is the 250g reduction in mass for each six-piston caliper. Coupled with forged 20-inch alloy wheels – now also standard across the Gen-F range – the brake change contributes to a net reduction in unsprung mass of up to 5kg per corner.
GTS also benefits from the range of driver assistance and convenience systems Holden has delivered in the donor VF models. Everything from keyless entry and start through to self-parking and collision alerts systems...
Check out our GEN-F model walk article for more details.
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