It’s the last hurrah for the Commodore based HSV, and the 2014 HSV Gen-F GTS is going to make sure it is the very best.
The sedan with some serious attitude is powered by a push-rod LSA V8 engine borrowed from the Camaro that has been pumped up to produce a fear inducing 430kW of power and 740Nm of torque.
To achieve those European saloon beating numbers from the V8, a supercharger has been attached. No turbochargers to be seen here.
What makes all of that power manageable both in straight lines and corners is a combination of adjustable suspension, torque vectoring systems, steering wheel responsiveness, and a loud/quiet bi-modal exhaust modes to equal a proper Australian made muscle car feel and sound.
You can even rest easy knowing that the GTS is rocking a 5 Star ANCAP safety rating whilst it shoots from 0-100km/h in just 4.4 seconds.
But all of this comes at a cost. It is the most expensive HSV GTS to be made, but can the power and tech make it worth it? Let’s find out.
When it comes to an initial impression, it doesn’t get any better than approaching the Gen-F GTS and knowing that you’re going to be taking the helm to one of the fastest cars currently available in Australia.
Its pumped guards, bright daytime running lamps, MASSIVE drilled brakes, yellow calipers, big rear wing and LSA Supercharged badging that makes this car stand out like a sore thumb. There’s no hiding in this car, even when in the black on black paint scheme.
On the inside you’re met with the already beautiful interior from the VF Commodore, including the soft touch surfaces, MyLink and steering wheel. But also add in HSV specific bucket seats, head up display, and the HSV EDI system and you’re in heaven.
And we aren’t even at the best part. Push the start engine button and the V8 orchestra starts to warm up and let everyone know in a 10km radius that you’re about to venture out onto the road.
With the choice of a 6 speed manual or 6 speed automatic, you can choose what type of driving experience you want from the Gen-F GTS. With a manual, you'll want to be an experienced high performance driver that wants to be in total control of every aspect of your drive.
In the automatic, and the car that we tested, you can relax a little more and focus on the road and the experience that comes with it and boy…what an experience.
Thanks to the inclusion of a drive mode selector, you can further refine what type of driving experience you would like. You can choose from the comfortable ‘Touring’ mode, to the more fun filled ‘Sport’ mode, or move up to the more extreme ‘Performance’ mode, and for the brave, the ‘Track’ mode.
Each mode changes the vehicle dynamics from all systems on, through to everything loud and all systems barely turned on. Throughout our drives, we found the Sport mode to be the best mix of loundess and ride comfort.
Back to the driving…
As soon as you find yourself in the front of the queue at the highway onramp, you can fully experience the mind bending, pant wetting and awe-inspiring acceleration. The rear of the car squats down and places all the weight you need onto the 275/45 20inch wheels to grip the road and find yourself at 100km/h before you can think to yourself “I’m driving a HSV GTS.”
But don’t think that GTS is only good for straight lines. No sir or ma’am’. It grips and will peel your face when attacking a good corner at speed.
The addition of Torque Vectoring, when in the Performance or Track modes, instills confidence as it uses the ESC system to detect understeer, and helps to correct it to help you not run out of road.
However, the most surprising aspect of the GTS is its ability to completely change its demeanor and turn into an awesome highway cruiser. When in touring mode you have an acceptably quiet interior and very smooth ride that will keep the kids asleep in the back.
The reason why it can change its suspension settings so dramatically is because of the magnetic ride control system. Standard on the Gen-F GTS, the 3 independent settings uses dual coil pistons that allow greater body control and faster weight shifting responses.
And even though you aren’t buying the GTS for fuel economy, on the highway the active fuel management system can mean a cruising fuel economy of under 10L/100km. It’s bi-polar in the very best of ways.
With the HSV GTS doubling as a family sedan, the ability to keep everyone comfortable is fantastic.
Up front you can have a 6ft 2” driver and a 6ft 5” passenger directly behind and everyone is happy. Couple that with a massive boot for your big BBQ shop that will help to make sure you’re home before V8’s start on the TV.
Plus it looks out for you! With the combination of automatic parking, rear and front sensors, and rear camera means that you will have a perfect park every time. Plus the standard traffic alert system looks out for approaching traffic when exiting a car park. So that car you almost backed into last time, probably wouldn’t have happened in the GTS.
Oh, and even on the road the collision alert, lane departure warning, blind spot alert and head up display makes sure you’re better equipped than a US Nuclear sub.
The HSV Gen-F GTS is unlike any other car HSV or Holden has produced, and for $100,000 there’s nothing that comes close to the horsepower, level of features and street cred it has. To even get close to this type of power, you'll be looking north of $200,000 for a BMW or Mercedes equivalent saloon.
Servicing is a bargain at just $220 for the first four scheduled standard services that occur in the first three years or 60,000km. That’s cheaper than a medium sized Cruze Diesel sedan.
Also included is a 3 Year/100,000km warranty.
Even in this lengthy review, we didn’t get to cover absolutely everything that makes this car great. HSV has done an outstanding job of delivering a car that rivals the very best saloons that Europe can produce for a fraction of the price.
HSV’s tag line of ‘I just want one’ doesn’t even begin to describe driving one of these. You know why you want one, and you’re going to be prepared to do whatever it takes to own one.
The on road experience is one won’t be matched for a very long time. From the roaring exhaust, slight idle shake from the LSA or the appreciation from all walks of life that you get, it is awesome.
There’s nothing like the HSV Gen-F GTS and first the first time since they launched last year, stock is available in both of our dealerships. There’s no need to wait for an order.
If you haven’t experienced the 430kW Gen-F GTS, make sure you come on down to Motorama City Holden in Moorooka or Motorama Springwood Holden!
Thanks to Gavin Clark for the photos!
See the HSV GTS at Motorama Holden
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