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First Drive: HSV Evolves Its Breed With New LS3 V8

James Stanford
13 May 2008
www.goauto.com.au

HSV improves its breed, ever so slightly, with its upgraded 317kW LS3 V8 range.

Holden Special Vehicles is bucking the trend toward downsizing by switching to an even bigger V8. The performance outfit has upgraded its range with a new 6.2-litre LS3 V8 straight out of the crate from the US.

A hefty total of 317kW at 6000rpm (up 10kW on the previous 6.0-litre LS2) hands HSV's new E-Series range the title of the most powerful Australian-made vehicles, pipping the upcoming Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) GT by just 2kW.

When it comes to torque, the new HSV LS3 produces 550Nm at 4600Nm - 1Nm less than the GT and 15Nm less than FPV’s F6 turbo.

The engine has the potential to produce more torque, but HSV was forced to limit the maximum torque figure to 550Nm because that is the maximum that the automatic transmission and differential is rated for.

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Badge Of Honour

Samantha Stevens
13 May 2008
www.wheelsmag.com.au

HSV keeps its kingpin status alive and throbbing with an LS3 heart transplant.

Subtlety is not a word that’s usually seen in the same sentence as HSV. But, thanks mainly to its new LS3 engine, HSV wants to change all that.

The GM Corvette-sourced 6.2-litre V8 is already lurking under the bonnet of showroom cars across the country. Yet all there is to show for it is a ‘317’ badge on the rear bumper and new, optional alloys. On the road, there’s also a more compelling delivery of power and sound.

Despite the minimal exterior changes, internal changes are major. HSV’s chief engineer Joel Stoddart explained it well, saying “the top end of the engine has had a bit of a birthday.”

The 0.2-litre gain in capacity to 6162cc has increased the bore 1.6mm to 103.25mm. Stroke is 92mm, and intake lift is up 0.75 to 14.0mm. New high-flow cylinder heads and intake manifold, strengthened pistons, revised cam timing, more efficient valves and injectors, and a front-mount transmission cooler forces the new power under consistent control, and produces a 10kW increase in power to 317kW at 6000rpm, and the same 550Nm at 4600rpm.

While 10kW is a decent boost for a less powerful car, the difference in a 300kW car is somewhat marginal.

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HSV Introduces LS3

Ken Gratton
14 May 2008
www.carpoint.com.au

More Corvette power for GM's performance arm in Australia.

The mainstream range of Holden Special Vehicles has officially adopted the C6 Corvette's LS3 engine in place of the discontinued LS2 engine.

With a peak power figure of 317kW, the new HSV engine delivers more grunt than either FPV's new Boss 315 V8 or the F6 turbo six (more here). However, both the Ford-based rivals deliver more torque (albeit by just one Newton-metre, in the case of the Boss engine). Note further information on the FPV engines here 2918004, ahead of the media launch for that new range.

Both the superseded LS2 engine and the new LS3 share the same stroke, but the 6.2-litre LS3's bore measures 103.25mm, accounting for the new engine's extra 200cm3 displacement. Peak power is 317kW -- developed at 6000rpm -- and 550Nm of maximum torque occurs at 4600rpm.

The LS3 is fitted to the ClubSport R8, GTS, Senator Signature, Maloo R8 and Grange. All vehicles, other than the Senator and the Grange can be identified by the '317' badge on the left of the bootlid, signifying the car's power output in kilowatts.

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New Manual Gearbox For HSV

Joe Kenwright
14 May 2008
www.carpoint.com.au

HSV will introduce the new TR6060 manual transmission and a manual Senator as further 2008 running changes.

As part of the ongoing improvement of the HSV E-Series range, the old T56 manual gearbox that HSV has used since 1994 is about to be replaced by Tremec's new TR6060 six-speed manual as a running change later in 2008.

As part of the transmission upgrade, HSV will also offer a new manual version of its Senator Signature range for the first time since the E-Series release.

HSV exploited the T56 six-speed manual five years ahead of Holden after it fitted the gearbox to its special stroker version of the Holden V8 for the VR GTS early in 1994.

This gearbox, which started off as a Borg-Warner before Tremec added several early B-W transmissions to its own range, was always something of a clunker with odd noises and groans that would often drive owners and service managers to despair.

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Seems fine, especially if you can pay the tab. Again, I do like the new Commodore line-up, particularly since they've got several iterations and use GM's parts bin well to leverage development costs. The Corvette's attributes should be shared across many platforms. After all, you're never going to get a sedan fitted with the same engine to outperform a lighter two-point sports coupe.

My only point of contention: what's with all the Toyota HiLux ads adulterating the Commodore story?! The ad photos are larger than the photos of the vehicles addressed in the article. Ugh, I get a violent, visceral reaction to what should have been a fun article to read.
 

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So why is the G8 GXP downrated again? Same car (essentially) made on the same line with less HP. Im confused... And does HSV not use the 6L80 like the Corvette does? Why is there a torque problem all of a sudden?
 

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So Ford FPv and HSV to use the new TR6060.. I'm sure holden will use it in VF, The G8 already is i seen somewhere.

Yes finally a manual Senator that's a shock!.

I can't help but feel if the LS3 was dyno it would produce more torque then 550Nm:D.
 

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You won't see a manual in a Calais - hasn't been there for eons, certainly not since VT. I'd buy one, but last time they were available they only sold hundreds for the whole year IIRC. Same reason you don't even see a fivespeed in the Omega. People have just gotten lazy. Someone who I gave a lift to in my car the other day said 'why do you keep moving that lever between the seats?' I didn't think anyone could be so dumb.

People who've driven both say the TR6060 is not much if any better at shifting than the Tremec. Different ratios, yes. Lower top IIRC which actually hurts economy a little.

Plain fact is, a manual capable of that much power just has big spinning bits in it that take more force to move and have more intertia. The shifter hasn't changed. A Harrop or Ripshift improves it, but it's still a very fine gate.
 

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I'm sure you're right about no manual appearing in a Calais again. I'm actually suprised that a manual Senator will get another run.

I'm not a big fan of wings and spoilers on road cars, at least on the VL group A they had a purpose. A Calais V would pretty much give me all I want without having to jump up to a HSV. The SS V is all good and well but a delete option on the spoiler would be nice.
 

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I'm sure you're right about no manual appearing in a Calais again. I'm actually suprised that a manual Senator will get another run.

I'm not a big fan of wings and spoilers on road cars, at least on the VL group A they had a purpose. A Calais V would pretty much give me all I want without having to jump up to a HSV. The SS V is all good and well but a delete option on the spoiler would be nice.
From the what car would you buy if you won lotto thread:
Holden Calais V Sportwagon 6.0l with a 6M conversion on country pack suspension with the optional challenge wheels and a tow bar....then I would set about creating a custom 1974 HQ Holden, but I have a few ideas how to do it so I might do 2 or 3 of them.
All though the SS is nice, it doesn't quite fit my bill. Don't even get me started on one press release or article saying that you can get a 6M in the SV6 wagon (which you can't apparently) BOOO!
 
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