Filling the Aussie performance car boots
Motor Magazine / Louis Cordony / 28 Sep 2018 (photographs courtesy Motor Magazine)
The all-new Holden Special Vehicles-converted Chevrolet Camaro is just the beginning of the brand’s return to performance cars.
Having focused on the Holden Colorado SportsCat and Chevrolet Silverado pick-ups since it stopped enhancing the locally-made Holden Commodore, the Camaro represents a new era of performance cars for HSV.
It will never match the Falcon or Commodore’s scale of manufacturing, but HSV currently has 51 people producing three to six cars a day. Both figures will increase with demand.
It takes 357 parts to convert one to right-hand drive, almost three times as many needed to transform a Commodore into a HSV. This has retained three quarters of HSV’s local supplier base.
Meanwhile, engineering and development have benefited from new in-house testing rigs for steering, suspension, and seat belt validation.
The HSV Chevrolet Camaro is powered by a small block V8 unlike you’ve ever known. The Chevrolet 6.2-litre LT1 shares its basic architecture with the VFII generation Commodore’s LS3 but new technologies make it completely different.
It uses pushrod valves but now employs variable cam timing, direct injection and cylinder deactivation. The cylinder heads and rotating assembly are redesigned, along with the aluminum cylinder block. New pistons help achieve an 11.5:1 compression ratio.
The engine name ‘LT1’ has been around since 1970 but this fifth-generation engine was first bolted into the 2014 Corvette. It makes 339kW and 617Nm in the Camaro SS. It is paired to GM’s 8L45 eight-speed automatic in Australia. It also comes with a TREMEC six-speed manual transmission in America.