2009 Holden HSV ClubSport R8 Tourer

Power. Speed. Practicality.; The Australians can build a vehicle with all three; they have the technology.; Witness the 2009 Holden Specialty Vehicles ClubSport R8 Tourer: a muscle car sheathed within a five-door wrapper.

In reality, it’s little more than a wagon variant of the existing HSV ClubSport R8 – but that’s certainly a good thing.; The ClubSport R8, built upon Holden’s rear-wheel-drive Commodore (known to us Yanks as the Pontiac G8), makes use of a 425-hp, 6.2-liter V-8 underhood.; In GM-speak, that’s known as the LS3, and it’s also what powers the Chevrolet Corvette.

If that weren’t enough to prickle the ears of enthusiasts, the standard transmission is just that – a standard transmission.; Base ClubSport R8 Tourers come fitted with a six-speed manual transmission, while an optional six-speed automatic adds an extra $2000 to the price tag.

That price will already be close to $55,000 – a steep figure, perhaps, but only $900 more than the ClubSport R8 sedan.; Holden plans on building only 120 examples, so don’t wait for any to arrive in your Pontiac dealer.