It’s well-known at this point that General Motors’ Australian division Holden is ceasing local production in late 2017. With the end local production comes an end to the rear-wheel drive Commodore sedan in favor of, reportedly, a rebadged Buick LaCrosse. Perhaps in an effort to achieve some dignity, Motoring reports that Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) is planning an almighty V-8 sendoff for the iconic sedan.
Citing sources familiar with Holden’s performance division, the Australian publication claims that the company is planning to product a limited run of HSV Commodores powered by GM’s supercharged 6.2-liter LS9 V-8. The most powerful of all Gen IV Small Block V-8’s, the engine powered the previous Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 with a heaping 638 horsepower.
The report claims that HSV is going to call the LS9-powered variant the GTS-R W1. Perhaps even more interesting is that the W1 is expected to have more modifications than just a bigger engine. HSV is also expected to swap out the typical HSV’s magnetic ride control dampers in favor of Australian-produced Supashock dampers. Along with new dampers will be revised, larger AP brakes.
Apparently the company has gone back and fourth regarding what the transmission options should be on the W1, but they’ve apparently settled on offering exclusively the Tremec TR-6060 manual gearbox, which sounds completely right to us.
Now that you’re totally salivating at the thought of a 600+ horsepower four-door sedan, let’s talk brass tax. HSV is expected to produce only 250 copies of the W1 and the list price will be around $170,000 in Australia, or about $125,000 in U.S. Dollars.
At any rate, this seems like w very worthy sendoff for a car that’s been an Australian icon since 1978.