The power-hungry engineers at Holden Special Vehicles, the performance wing of General Motors Australia's Holden division, have cooked up another batch of fast sedans, wagons, and pickups. The cars, dubbed the HSV Gen-F models, are all based on the Holden VF Commodore -- which in turn shares many components with the upcoming 2014 Chevrolet SS.
All versions of the HSV Gen-F cars have rear-wheel drive and V-8 engines. The lineup starts with the Clubsport sedan and Maloo pickup, both of which use GM's 6.2-liter LS3 V-8 engine (which can also be found in the Chevrolet Camaro SS and outgoing Corvette). It sends 425 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque through a six-speed manual or automatic transmission to 20-inch wheels wrapped in Continental performance tires. Other standard goodies include four-piston front brake calipers from AP Racing, launch control for manual-transmission cars, bucket seats, and an eight-inch infotainment system.
The next step up is the Clubsport R8 sedan, Clubsport R8 Tourer wagon, and Maloo R8. The mechanically identical trio packs a version of the LS3 V-8 tuned to produce 436 hp; other upgrades include different wheel designs, a two-mode exhaust, a head-up display, forward collision and blind-spot warning systems, and LED taillights. Opting for the R8 SV Enhanced package adds a two-mode air intake that boosts power to 456 hp and torque to 420 lb-ft, along with Satin Graphite wheels and a unique trunk spoiler.
The HSV Senator Signature is a luxury-oriented version of the performance sedans. Along with the 456-hp version of the 6.2-liter LS3 V-8, it packs a more subdued bodykit, projector headlights, a subtler trunk spoiler, power front leather seats, heated front seats, a nine-speaker Bose audio system, and dual-zone climate control.
The most exciting of the new Holden HSV Gen-F cars is the GTS sedan, which co-opts the supercharged 6.2-liter LSA V-8 engine from the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Fitting the engine forced Holden to make many adjustments to the VF Commodore, including adding larger radiators and more cooling surfaces, but the result is 577 hp and 546 lb-ft. In addition to a unique bodykit with deeper side skirts and a larger rear wing, the HSV GTS receives six-piston front brake calipers, quad exhaust tips, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather sports seats, metal pedals, and a nine-speaker Bose sound system. The video embedded below details more on the HSV GTS, as HSV's Greg Murphy provides a walkaround of the performance sedan.
Because the upcoming 2014 Chevrolet SS shares its basic components and chassis with the Holden VF Commodore, we'd love to see some of these go-fast HSV variants come to America -- particularly the 577-hp GTS model. Sadly, for now the SS will be offered only with a 415-hp version of the LS3 V-8 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. Still plenty powerful, but not quick as enticing as an HSV GTS with a manual transmission. For that, we'll have to move to Australia.