Saturday, August 16, 2008

HSV launches W427, Australia's most powerful production car

HSV’s most powerful and expensive model ever offered for sale has already sold out for the year, with all 90 vehicles planned for 2008 pre-ordered.

The new model is the W427, which was first revealed in concept form at February’s Melbourne Motor Show and today went on sale priced at a staggering $155,500.

The car was originally created to celebrate HSV’s 20th anniversary and wasn’t confirmed for production until a month ago. During that time HSV received more than 2,000 firm orders, but with a painstakingly slow build process of only six cars per week only a fraction of those customers could be satisfied.

Race-bred LS7 powerplant
One of the reasons for the limited production run is the car’s exclusive powerplant. Residing under the bonnet of the W427 is the same high-performance 7.0-litre LS7 V8 engine that powers the Chevrolet Corvette Z06. Like much of the W427, the LS7 engine is hand built by the General Motors Performance Build Centre in North America and is then shipped over to HSV’s Clayton production facility before being modified to meet local standards and specifications. The changes include the addition of an advanced dry-sump lubrication system and a unique two-mode exhaust system designed to enhance the V8 roar.

Based on the Gen IV V8 engine architecture, the LS7 picks up forged titanium connecting rods and pistons, as well as titanium intake valves and sodium-filled exhaust valves. This allows the engine to rev freely to 7,000rpm, and makes it one of the highest-revving production pushrod V8 engines in the world.

Possibly Australia's fastest road-legal car in production
With 375kW and 640Nm on tap, the W427 is quite possibly the fastest road-legal car ever produced in Australia and should be able to complete the 0-100km/h sprint in around 4.7 seconds.

HSV's Managing Director Scott Grant said the car demonstrated engineering and design ingenuity was alive and well in the Australian car industry.

The W427 nameplate is a tribute to the first HSV model – the Group A SS VL Commodore, produced just over 20 years ago. This car became known as the 'Walkinshaw' in deference to the owner of the HSV business, Tom Walkinshaw, while '427' is the cubic inch capacity of the engine. The title also represents the high level of motorsport development that went into creating the new model. Tom Walkinshaw and his Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) division are heavily involved with Holden in the V8 Supercars series and in 2006 it helped the HSV/HRT team win the championship.

Host of drivetrain upgrades included
In keeping with its all-around performance image, HSV also packs the W427 with a comprehensive list of safety features including a new six-piston front braking system and oversized brake pads. The car also receives an upgraded electronic stability program, six air bags and a recalibrated Magnetic Ride Control suspension set-up that’s 30% stiffer than the previous GTS flagship and sits 20mm lower.

Other upgrades include a high strength limited slip differential and a reinforced Tremec TR6060 six speed manual gear box with a new clutch actuator and pedal assembly.

Styling and design highlights include an all new front fascia, a three piece carbon-fibre rear spoiler, 20-inch machined alloy wheels, unique exhaust tips and a red leather interior.

Only 427 cars planned for total production
Like all HSV's the W427 will carry a full three year 100,000km warranty, and first deliveries will start next month. Customers will also receive a personally signed letter from Tom Walkinshaw along with a unique vehicle build certificate. A Customer Access Portal, containing build information, servicing details and other information on the history of their car will also form part of the ownership experience.

HSV has also confirmed that no more than 427 W427s will ever be built but that doesn’t mean there won’t be other limited build models offered down the track.

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