With the end of production of rear-wheel-drive, V-8-powered Holden Commodores in October, Australian tuning firm HSV no longer has access to suitable donor vehicles to continue churning out its signature muscle sedans.
But instead of going quietly into the night, HSV has struck a deal with General Motors to help with the soft launch of Chevrolet in Australia.
Specifically, GM’s Australian subsidiary Holden will tap HSV’s engineering skills to convert some popular Chevy models to right-hand drive for sale in Australia and New Zealand, starting in 2018. The first two confirmed models are the Camaro SS and Silverado 2500/3500. It’s possible programs for the next-generation Corvette and Silverado 1500 will follow.
“This marks a new era for HSV and Holden and I hope our customers are as excited as we are.” HSV Managing Director Tim Jackson said in a statement. “HSV is moving beyond simply hotting up existing models, and customers will see two product streams from HSV over the next few years.”
The cars will be badged as Chevrolets and sold through existing Holden and HSV dealerships which are to be upgraded to carry the famous bowtie logo.
“The DNA of both of these vehicles is pure Chevrolet, and we’re going to honor that,” Jackson said.
HSV isn’t giving up on its tuning business, however. The first of HSV’s tuned products beyond the Commodore will be the Colorado SportsCat pickup truck. There’s no extra power here. HSV says it’s focused on styling and handling enhancements for now but will look at adding more power down the road.
The Colorado SportsCat will be offered in two variants, standard and plus, with the list of modifications either standard or available including sport-tuned suspension, uprated wheel and brake packages, and styling enhancements.
The sole powertrain available on the Colorado SportsCat will be a 2.8-liter turbocharged diesel good for 197 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque. The engine will be mated to a standard 6-speed manual or available 6-speed automatic, and spin all four wheels.