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As General Motors’ sole brand in Australia, Holden’s lineup gets most of GM’s better products, like the Cruze, Captiva (a re-badged Saturn Vue) and 6 varieties of the Holden Commodore, formerly known as the Pontiac G8. While GM claims that Cadillac is ready to go head to head with the Germans, in truth, the G8 was the closest GM has come to making a car as good as a BMW.
Our G8 was essentially a Holden Commodore SS, a fairly standard model in its home market, despite having a 6.0L, 361 horsepower V8, but in Australia, customers can opt for a Commodore that’s been breathed on by Holden Special Vehicles, a division similar to Mercedes-Benz’s AMG outfit, or BMW’s M division. The “base” model HSV Clubsport, has been selected for a special edition to commemorate the groups 20th anniversary. Only 100 cars will be produced, featuring a unique leather interior, sport suspension package, 20″ wheels and special decals echoing the original Clubsport’s graphics package.
Power remains the same, but that’s ok – with a 425 horsepower 6.2L LS3 V8 engine, straight line acceleration will be so rapid that bystanders won’t be able to tell that your car is any different from a standard car.
Gallery: HSV Clubsport 20th Anniversary Edition
[Source: Motor Trend]
Smaller turbocharged engines to replace other V8s in Merc's lineup
Starting next year, the high-performance AMG division at Mercedes-Benz will begin to replace all 6.2-liter V8 engines with smaller, twin-turbo units. The replacement motor will be a twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8 that is expected to make just as much (if not more) power, but reduce fuel consumption significantly. This move follows in the footsteps of other automakers to move away from naturally aspirated motors, to forced induction ones. Interestingly, the 6.2-liter V8, the first ground-up engine built by AMG, only recently joined the company’s lineup after it ended a long run with the supercharged 5.5-liter V8.
News of the downsizing and switch to turbocharges comes from a report by InsideLine, after an interview with Dr. Thomas Weber, a member of the board at Merc’s R&D department.
Dr. Weber also said that the move towards turbochargers won’t be isolated to just the AMG group. It is expected that the 5.5-liter V8 will be decommissioned in favor of a turbocharged engine with a displacement of anywhere from 4.5 to 5.0-liters.
An official announcement is expected at next year’s Paris Auto Show, possibly in a revised version of the SLS supercar, or in a Black Series version of the E-Class (Coupe perhaps), as Mercedes has made known plans to brand the AMG division as a leader in performance through the efficient use of materials, and engines.
We just hope they work on the sound of the new turbo mills, as the current lineup of twin-turbo V12′s don’t sound half as good as the 6.2 or the old supercharged 5.5.