Thursday, December 22, 2011

I spy with my little eye PT1

I was walking through Soho in London's West End recently and saw a very rare sight. This is an HSV (General Motors Holden Special Vehicles) Clubsport and is a petrol-head's favourite from Down Under. It is the Aussie answer to an M5 or E55. These cars are badged as a Vauxhall VXR8 here in the UK and retail for just under £50,000. In Australia they retail for just under AUD$70,000 which when converted is almost price matched like for like.

Check out this from Australian Top Gear where you get a sense of these big engined muscle cars.

Wiki says: 350 VXR8s per year were scheduled for official importation into the UK, at a price of £35,105. The LS3 V8 is particularly popular among tuners in the USA, so performance parts are widely available. The most dramatic warranted upgrade is the £7,000 supercharger kit, which ups power to 395 kW (537 PS; 530 hp). Imports to the US were previously sold as Pontiac G8, with V6, L76 V8, or an LS3 V8 engine in the GXP trim. The supercharged edition Bathurst VXR8 was reviewed on Top Gear, and its power-lap time was 1 min 26.3 seconds, a similar time to the current BMW M5.

In July 2010, Autocar reported that, "VXR8 was quietly dropped from the pricelists several months ago" after stocks ran out. However, a face-lifted version based on the new HSV E3 GTS was released to the UK market in April 2011 at a price of around £49,500, almost £15,000 more than the previous VXR8, but significantly cheaper than most of its rivals, like the Mercedes E63 AMG and BMW M5. Vauxhall is currently offering the 2011 Clubsport to UK customers as a special order model.

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