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Last hurrah HSV ‘GTS-R’ to get LS9 Corvette ZR1 engine – rumour

May 31, 2016

A rumour is spreading at the moment, suggesting Holden’s last hurrah will be equipped with the supercharged V8 from none other than the Corvette ZR1.

2016 HSV GTS

Yep, according to a News Corp report GM in the US has apparently approved the production of a Commodore powered by the 6.2-litre supercharged V8 LS9 engine from the Corvette ZR1. In that, it produces around 475kW.

This doesn’t technically mean it will be the current Commodore as we know it, but it does sound like an awesome idea nonetheless. It’s understood the model will be the much-hyped GTS-R model, a nameplate which was recently trademarked by GM.

The report claims fewer than 250 will be made, making it even more exclusive than Ford’s last hurrah special edition XR Sprint models. Apparently it will only be offered with a six-speed manual to both fall in line with HSV’s tradition of offering a manual and also because the engine could be too powerful for an auto.

PerformanceDrive spoke with Damon Paull, HSV’s general manager of marketing, to try and uncover some truth to the rumour. Paull said it is pure speculation. We tried to extract more, but, as per usual GM policy, he said: “HSV doesn’t comment on speculation in the market”.

Holden recently announced a number of LS3 special edition models that will send off the LS3 motor. It seems natural HSV will be planning something special for the Commodore and the flagship GTS before local production comes to an end in 2017.

Interestingly, Paull said market interest for the current models is still going very strong, particularly for the GTS.

“Ever since we launched the GTS, back in 2013, we have not seen momentum dip at all. Typically, after launch, GTS interest would soften somewhat, but we’ve seen no change in momentum,” Paull said.

This suggests buyers are starting to realise the end of production is creeping ever so much closer, with fans getting in while they still can. If a GTS-R special edition is launched, we suspect all will be sold in no time, no matter what price tag HSV might put on it.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.

  • Squeaky_1

    I can see some HSV arrogance creeping in there if that last statement is even close to true. They will not sell all they want “at any price” The rumours suggest $200K drive away – well, that’s what $165K will turn into after options and on roads + LCT rubbish. This car needs to start at no more than $140K for it to start at all. Even that would put it over $160K on road. No, I’ve given this a lot of thought and, as a buyer of Aussie cars for over 4 decades (all new) I can say with hand on heart I’d get a GTS and put an $8K WP507 pack on it and drive the ring out of it and enjoy myself to death. That’s the Walkinshaw 507Kws pack, fully properly engineered with warranty by the people who know better than anyone about the LSA motor in Aus – they own HSV after all! No, 475Kws from this LS9 doesn’t cut it for me, not at the stupid rip-off money they’re dreamin’ about! Oh, and NO AUTO _ the perfect GM 8-speed I would see as mandatory at that price – quicker than any manual AND the wife can drive me home!! :-)) I’m out. Good luck to HSV, they’ll need it. Thanks for the heads up Brett.

    • John Mun

      They said they’d sell all of them at any price, meaning 250 cars, not “all they want”

    • VimFuego

      Cars like this are like long term investments in art, doesn’t matter what it costs now, come back here in 20 years and see what a low KM’s one is asking. If you buy it now for $160K I would expect that value to double that in 20 years time, the right car can be a very good financial investment.
      The last of the VZ Monaro CV8’s are already increasing in value just 10 years after they stopped being made (LOW KM’s examples asking $50K+) and they weren’t a limited to 250 run.