GM Holden & HSV Strike New Partnership: Camaro, Colorado Sportscar and Silverado Set to Storm Australia.
In a joint announcement, GM Holden and HSV today released details of a new agreement struck between the two iconic Australian companies. The new partnership marks a pivotal moment in HSV’s 30-year history in Australia and begins an exciting chapter in bringing a whole new breed of vehicles to customers. The focus of the new agreement is to utilise HSV’s famed design, engineering, manufacturing and marketing skills across a broader range of product, giving customers access to some of the very best vehicles from across the GM empire.
Tim Jackson, HSV Managing Director, said it was fantastic to see the new partnership cemented between the two brands. “This marks a new era for HSV and Holden and I hope our customers are as excited as we are. HSV is moving beyond simply ‘hotting up’ existing models, and customers will see two product streams from HSV over the next few years. This is ‘Game-On’ in a very big way.”
Holden’s Chairman and Managing Director, Mark Bernhard, said the new agreement was a pivotal step forward for both companies.
“For a number of years, we’ve been talking about bringing customers the best vehicles from around the GM world, and today we’re proud to announce the next step in that strategy. Our partnership with HSV, utilising their world-class engineering and design capabilities, means we’re able to work together to bring the iconic Chevrolet Camaro muscle-car and the best-selling Chevrolet Silverado pick-up to customers in Australia and New Zealand. Not to mention the imminent launch of the red-hot Colorado SportsCat. Today is a great day for customers”.
In terms of vehicle branding, Bernhard also confirmed that the two Chevrolet vehicle lines will be introduced as just that: Chevrolets. “We’re excited to re-introduce the Chevrolet brand to the Australian market as part of an expanded GM presence in Australia, in partnership with HSV. As far as dealership branding is concerned, the existing HSV dealer network will be
progressively updated to carry the Chevrolet ‘bow-tie’ logo and branding, as part of our new ‘dealership of the future’ program. The DNA of both of these vehicles is pure Chevrolet and we’re going to honour that”.
Tim Jackson continued: “HSV’s engineering involvement starts and stops with the conversion of the vehicles from left to right-hand drive. These are iconic Chevys to the core and we’ll let the famed bow-tie speak for itself”. The first new HSV product stream will be what customers have traditionally expected from the company, centred around vehicle enhancement and extending vehicle capabilities to become a true HSV. “It is important that we continue to play a key role in enhancing Holden’s image in the market place, and potential customers can expect to see us going to work on enhanced products which are a natural extension of the Holden range – the SportsCat is a great example of this approach”, said Jackson.
“Some of our traditional customers will expect more power, and if the opportunities present themselves, we will look at powertrain enhancements where it makes sense. However, we see an opportunity to appeal to customers by investing in enhanced vehicle specification and capability that really delivers a great driving experience and a competitive advantage in various segments. SportsCat is a great example of how we can deliver improved on-road and off-road driving dynamics, and combine a great new look with improved vehicle capability and versatility. The segment is about much more than drag-strip times,” said Jackson.
The second stream of product to be offered by HSV will be the introduction of world-class vehicles from across the GM global range that would not have otherwise been available through Australia and New Zealand. The new agreement has specifically been framed to allow the parties to pursue those programs that make the most sense with consideration for brand development, market-based opportunities, customer preferences, and, of course, commercial viability. The company was, however, quick to emphasise that their overall goal remains unchanged: to create exciting products for niche customers looking for unique vehicles.
HSV also revealed its intention to introduce a freshened logo concurrent with the introduction of its 2018 range.
The new visual identity offers a more contemporary interpretation of the ‘Lion & Helmet’ that has adorned HSV vehicles, and represented the company, since its inception in 1987.
“The current logo has served us well over many years, but as the business transitions to encompass a far broader array of product offerings, this new logo represents a new and expanded brand promise,” said Jackson.
“The Australian market is shifting and, like Holden, we’re shifting with it. This subtle logo change helps signify a new era of vehicle availability from HSV”, he said. “But make no mistake, while it’s a new logo, our customers can expect the same uncompromising attitude to introducing exciting vehicles that Australian’s love to drive”.
In respect of Holden vehicles that have been enhanced for new segments like the 4×4 space, those products will be designated ‘by HSV’ and wear the ‘Lion & Helmet’ in selected environments like on the front grille. “If we then take some vehicles further up the food chain, and both Holden and HSV believe the best branding approach for the vehicle is to receive the full HSV designation, then we will make that call at the time”, said Jackson.
Playing to HSV’s niche design and engineering capabilities, the Colorado SportsCat features a raft of styling and chassis enhancements that will position it as the most advanced sports 4×4 on the market. To be available in two variants – SportsCat and SportsCat+ – the styling enhancements begin with radically modified exteriors featuring all-new fascias and grilles that, with the addition of LED fog lamps and functional tow hooks, combine to deliver two distinctive and sporty front-end appearances.
The SportsCat+ features a rugged “bonnet bulge” while at the side of the vehicle, prominent wheel arch fender flares, smooth-form on SportsCat and casselated on SportsCat+, frame bold 18” x 10” forged alloys wrapped in sports all-terrain Cooper tyres. A stylish hard tonneau, with load-rail provision and quick-release mechanism, combined with a unique sports-bar (an HSV-designed sail plane will also be optional on SportsCat+), enhance the vehicles’ sporty profile, while at the rear, a prominent “Colorado” tailgate applique’ makes a bold statement. The styling enhancements don’t end with the exteriors of the vehicles. The interior also comes in for a substantial make-over to deliver premium levels of comfort and style.
SV Sports seats, the front heated, featuring uniquely designed seat foams for optimum support, are wrapped in Jasmine leather and Windsor suede, with this trim combination also adorning the instrument panel. Twin-needle red stitching provides an added highlight, also featuring on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, door trims and centre console cover. Branded floor mats complete the interior style and comfort make-over. From a chassis perspective, the modifications are marked and deliver the SportsCat’s unique driving dynamics. Both SportsCat models feature HSV Sports Suspension with the front spring rate stiffened to 110 Newtons/mm. Its MTV dampers have been tuned around the revised spring rate, with both modifications contributing to a more performance-based handling characteristic.
In addition to the increased spring rate, front ride height has been lifted by 25mm. This modification further improves the approach angle of the vehicle, increases ground clearance to the body and reduces the vehicle’s overall rake, delivering a more natural on-road stance. The chassis enhancements continue with the adoption of a Rear De-Coupling Anti-Roll Bar on the SportsCat+. Developed specifically for the vehicle by HSV’s chassis engineers, the de-coupling rear sway bar improves the higher speed road driving performance of the vehicle by controlling rear roll, and thereby improving overall vehicle balance and turn-in transient response. The de-coupling feature ensures the vehicle’s suspension settings can be optimised for off-road performance.
SupaShock suspension, as introduced to the Australian market on HSV’s iconic GTSR W1, will also be available as a factory-fitted option on the SportsCat+, taking the vehicle’s suspension capabilities to another level yet again. SportsCat+ also adopts a unique braking package, further enhancing its sporting credentials. Front 4-piston forged AP Racing brake callipers are complemented by 362mm x 32mm diameter rotors and a large (25.4mm) diameter brake master cylinder, to deliver improved pedal feel through a reduction in pedal travel and softness. The functionality of the vehicle’s Traction Control System has also been adjusted to allow for less aggressive interventions, particularly on corner exit. These adjustments also help deliver a more performance-based vehicle response.
SportsCat’s stylish 18” forged alloys are wrapped in Cooper (Zeon LTZ Pro) Sports All-Terrain tyres. These Cooper tyres are a hybrid between a sports-truck tyre and an all-terrain tyre and, in addition to their rugged off-road properties, were specially selected by HSV’s chassis engineers for their outstanding on-road performance characteristics, most notably on tarmac and dirt roads. The overall size of the tyres (285/60 R18), and their rolling radius, also delivers a further 20mm increase in vehicle ride height for a total (front) ride height increase of 45mm.
In commenting on the engineering enhancements, HSV’s Engineering Director, Joel Stoddart, said “We set ourselves some pretty aggressive targets heading into the SportsCat program. We wanted to set the bench-mark for on-road performance without compromising the vehicle’s off-road capabilities. In fact, we’ve managed to improve the vehicle’s off-road performance, so I’m confident the team has delivered on both counts”.
In addition to the styling and engineering enhancements developed by HSV on the new SportsCat range, the vehicle also carries over a raft of core vehicle features that help complete the premium offering. From a performance perspective, both SportsCat models are powered by a 2.8 litre double overhead cam Duramax Turbo Diesel engine that offers 147kW of power and up to 500Nm of torque when specified with the optional 6-speed automatic transmission with Active Select. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard fare. Braked towing capacity of 3,500kg and a maximum payload of approximately 1 tonne deliver impressive workhorse capabilities.
The stylish HSV modifications to the interior also complement a breadth of already impressive driver and cabin comforts and technologies including an 8” colour touch screen, embedded Satellite Navigation, a premium 7-speaker audio, a rear-view camera and seven airbags. Said HSV’s Managing Director, Tim Jackson, “Most 4×4’s Pick-Ups are inherently capable off-road – essentially, it’s a category expectation, and we’ll certainly be amongst the best-in-class in this regard, especially with our added ride height and Cooper tyre package. But what we also wanted to do with the SportsCat program was dial up the vehicle’s on-road characteristics, given that’s where most people tend to spend the bulk of their time driving their vehicle. With our unique suspension packages and AP Racing brakes combined with the interior and exterior comfort and styling enhancements we’ve made, we’re confident we’ve developed Australia’s most stylish and advanced sports 4×4”. The SportsCat range is due to start production at HSV’s new facility in Clayton, Victoria, late January, with Recommended Retail Pricing to be confirmed closer to model availability.
For over 100 years, Chevrolet has forged an enviable reputation for building strong and dependable “full-size” pick-up trucks, and HSV has committed to bringing their pinnacle model – the Silverado – to Australia and New Zealand.
Power, payload and towing capability are what Silverado is famous for and all these attributes will be reflected in the five-model 4×4 Crew Cab line-up that HSV will offer:
• 2500HD WT
• 2500HD LTZ
• 2500HD LTZ “Midnight” Edition
• 2500HD LTZ “Custom Sport” Edition
• 3500HD LTZ
All five vehicles share the same impressive heavy-duty equipment including:
• Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8 engine
• ~332kW* of power
• ~1,234Nm* of torque
• Allison 1000 6-speed automatic transmission
• Towing capacity of ~3.5 – ~6.1 tonne* (model dependent)
• Payload capacity of ~1,140kg – ~1,848kg* (model dependent)
• 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes
• Automatic locking rear differential
(* U.S. data – subject to ADR confirmation.)
Said HSV’s Managing Director, Tim Jackson, “The availability of the Chevrolet Silverado range opens up some wonderful new opportunities for our business in a market segment whose potential is relatively un-tapped, and we believe has high growth potential”. “Whether it be the farming or mining sectors, those who need to pull a large caravan or horse float or simply those who want awesome towing and load carrying capability, Silverado is the pinnacle of the GM range”, he said. Conversion of the Silverado range will commence at HSV’s new production facility in April 2018. The 3500HD LTZ model will be available late in Q2, 2018. Recommended Retail Pricing is still to be confirmed.
The Chevrolet Camaro defines performance and this legendary nameplate, in the form of the Camaro 2SS Coupe, will also be imported and converted to right-hand-drive by HSV, and available in 2018. The driving force behind the Camaro 2SS is Chevrolet’s 6.2L Generation V LT1 Direct Injection V8 engine mated to an 8-speed, paddle-shift automatic transmission and generating up to 340kW* of power and 615Nm* of torque. (* U.S. data – subject to ADR confirmation.)
The vehicle’s Performance suspension provides a dynamic connection to the road with stopping power delivered by 4-piston Brembo front & rear performance brakes with fixed callipers.
High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps and LED Daytime Running Lamps deliver signature front-end appeal while stylish 20”, 5-split-spoke alloys (8.5” front & 9.5” rear) are wrapped in 245/40ZR20 (front) and 275/35ZR20 (rear) Goodyear Eagle tyres. A rear stanchion spoiler and dual-outlet exhaust with bright tips add aggression at the tail. The interior of the Camaro 2SS delivers the perfect marriage of form and function. It starts with power-adjustable heated and ventilated leather-trimmed front sports bucket seats for optimum comfort and support, complemented by a leather-wrapped, flat-bottom sports-profile steering wheel for ultimate grip. Dual zone automatic climate control, a 9-speaker Bose premium audio and 24 colour interior spectrum lighting enhance interior ambience while the Head-up Display, Drive Mode Selector and Enhanced Driver Information Centre blend exhilaration with innovation.
Conversion of the Camaro 2SS is due to commence at HSV in July 2018 with Recommended Retail Pricing still to be confirmed.