Australia's leading performance car manufacturer, HSV, has announced the introduction of the fastest, most powerful performance production car ever built in Australia.
The company has finally confirmed full details of its ground-breaking new GTS which will be powered by a 6.2 litre LSA supercharged V8 that delivers 430 kilowatts of power and 740 Newton-metres of torque.
The LSA engine features a raft of unique componentry:
"The imminent production of the LSA powered GTS is the culmination of nearly four years of development and testing by our design and engineering divisions. We're excited that our work has almost come to fruition", said HSV's Managing Director, Phil Harding.
Complementing the new engine are some significant technologies and upgrades that make GTS the complete package.
GTS' braking capacity has been dramatically increased with AP radical forged 6- piston brake calipers with two-piece rotors front and rear now fitted as standard equipment. Combined with increased brake rotor diameters, the calipers, forged from 6061 T6 aluminium, offer a vastly improved strength-to-weight ratio and deliver noticeable improvements in brake modulation and feel. Rear brake pad size has also been increased by 12%.
"Australia's most powerful production engine demands a premium braking package, and this was a key program priority right from the outset. With our new forged calipers, larger rotors and increased pad size, we're confident the GTS brake package is the equal of anything in the world", said HSV Chief Engineer, Joel Stoddart.
In a first for an Australian made vehicle, the new GTS will also be fitted with brake Torque Vectoring. Currently only fitted to a few exclusive global marques, HSV's brake Torque Vectoring helps reduce understeer by generating a "rotational moment" in the rear axle when the vehicle is under power. The vehicle's Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system detects the understeer event, applies braking to the inside rear wheel and transfers torque to the outside rear wheel.
The vehicle also receives third generation Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) featuring three independent settings - Touring, Sport and Track. Hardware and software improvements combine to deliver greater body control, sharper handling and significant improvements in ride quality over the E3 model.
To assist the driver in manipulating the various electronic vehicle performance systems at his disposal, HSV has introduced a Driver Preference Dial.
Located conveniently behind the gear shifter, the Driver Preference Dial adjusts the vehicle's ESC, Traction Control, Launch Control (manual transmission), Torque Vectoring, Electric Power Steering (another new addition to the GEN-F range), MRC and Bi-Modal Exhaust, according to four distinct pre-set modes - Touring, Sport, Performance and Track. In doing so, the vehicle's handling characteristics instantly change.
"With so many electronic systems at the driver's disposal, we wanted to reduce complexity and assist the driver by taking the guess-work out of manipulating the various settings at his disposal", said Stoddart. "The Driver Preference Dial does just that: the vehicle's performance characteristics can be adjusted with a simple clockwise turn of the dial", he said.
In addition to an all-new engine and vehicle dynamics improvements, the vehicle also receives a complete exterior and interior make-over and a raft of new technologies.
The new front-end design features bold graphics and shallow ramp angles that emphasise width and stance. Central to the new look is a "twin-nostril" grille and an all-new fascia, unique to the GTS, that helps deliver both an aggressive look and the air intake surface area required to cool the powertrain.
"The LSA program posed a number of design and packaging challenges none the least involving engine, transmission and differential cooling", said Stoddart. "For starters, we required almost 130,000 square millimetres of open frontal surface area to deliver the level of cooling the package requires which is roughly 75% more than that offered with the E3 GTS. I think our designers have done a wonderful job in fulfilling the needs of the engineering team but also in delivering a front end that is signature HSV", said Stoddart.
Contributing to the bold front-end design are new Daytime Running Lamps that can now function when the headlamps are in operation.
The vehicle also features new light-weight 20" "Blade" forged alloy wheels finished in Satin Graphite which are wrapped in Continental 255/35 R20 (front) and 275/35 R20 (rear) tyres. The wider front tyres deliver improved grip while the higher tyre walls contribute to a noticeable improvement in ride comfort.
"After an extensive development and testing program, we have chosen Continental tyres as standard fitment on GTS and, in fact, across our entire GEN-F range", said Stoddart. "The new tyres, custom tuned for HSV, deliver exceptional performance in wet and dry conditions. And, our testing around Winton Raceway in Victoria, piloted by HRT driver, Garth Tander, has seen the Continental tyres deliver significant improvements in lap-times", he said.
The rear of the new GTS receives just as significant a make-over as the front end.
Prominent are the new, distinctive LED tail lamps while the "diffuser" rear fascia houses quad exhaust outlets finished in shadow-chrome. GTS also features a unique body-coloured "super-flow" performance rear spoiler with black accents.
An all-new interior signals a new era for HSV.
An upgraded instrument panel with suede-style inserts, a new instrument cluster, gauges, centre console, appliques' and door trims combine to deliver a more premium look and feel.
All-new HSV Performance seats are wrapped in Onyx leather trim and feature 8-way electric adjustment and seat heaters for both the driver and front passenger.
The new GTS also features the most significant array of technologies ever offered in an HSV.
In addition to Side Blind Zone Alert with Reverse Traffic Alert, Automatic Park Assist, Front and Rear Park Assist, Satellite Navigation with Reversing Camera and Passive Entry/Push Button Start - features now standard across the entire HSV range - GTS also picks up a number of additional driver convenience and safety technologies.
GTS features a Head Up Display - technology originally introduced on fighter jets - that displays a raft of driver information on the windscreen such as vehicle speed, Gforces and engine temperature.
Forward Collision Alert is another technology fitted standard on GTS. A camera, located above the rear view mirror, scans the road ahead up to 14 times per second. When a crash is predicted, the driver is alerted with an audible tone and a visible alert in the Head Up Display. Anticipating hard braking, the system applies sufficient brake pressure to close the space between the brake pads and rotors, thus delivering a quicker brake response time.
Using the same camera technology, GTS also features Lane Departure Warning. Designed to help combat driver fatigue and/or distraction, a warning indicator and audible sound will alert the driver to any unintentional lane departures.
"We are extremely proud of the new GTS - our hero model and the one we view as the pinnacle of the HSV GEN-F range", said Harding. "We firmly believe that the standard technology and performance of GTS make it the greatest performance production car ever built in Australia and a real testament to the skill and dedication of our team at Clayton", said Harding
The company confirmed that production of the new GTS will begin in late August 2013 with vehicles due to arrive in HSV showrooms early September 2013.