HSV 25th Anniversary GTS is an Extra Hot Holden
In 1987, GM’s Australian division, Holden, and Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) got together and formed a new quasi-in-house tuner of cars wearing the red lion badge. In the quarter century since, Holden Special Vehicles (more popularly known as HSV) has built over 70,000 extra muscular Commodores, Caprices, Utes, Monaros and other Holden models and sold them to excited owners throughout Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere.
So considering a 25th anniversary for anything is one of the biggies (It is, after all, called the silver anniversary.), it should be no surprise that HSV is making a big deal about it. Such a big deal, in fact, that it’s releasing a special model to commemorate the occasion. But if you think the HSV 25th Anniversary GTS is just a decals-and-numbered-dash-plaque job, you’d be wrong.
Starting with the current VE-series Commodore Sedan (which was offered on these shores all too briefly as the Pontiac G8), the HSV team adds an angry new front fascia with LED running lights, a vented hood, fender vents, rocker panel extensions, a new rear fascia with new LED taillights, and a rear wing. The wheels are 20” alloys that, collectively, reduce unsprung weight by 48.5 lbs. compared to the regular HSV GTS. Lastly, there’s a “25th Anniversary” badge on the trunk and “GTS” badges on the trunk and lower front grille.
Inside, the front seats feature the “25th Anniversary” logos embroidered on the headrests, and the dashboard features HSV’s Enhanced Driver Interface (EDI) system. EDI, which is viewed and controlled via the navigation system touchscreen, allows the driver to track performance figures like lap times, g forces, and engine power and torque.
And what an engine it is. Instead of the regular Commodore SS’s 6.0L V8, the 25th Anniversary GTS gets its power from the 6.2L LS3 V8 you’ll find under the hood of the Chevrolet Corvette and manual transmissionCamaro SS. It makes 436hp (or, as our Antipodean friends prefer, 325 kilowatts), and is offered with a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. Unfortunately, you can only have Launch Control with the stick, but upgraded brakes with six-piston calipers, a dual mode exhaust system and magnetic dampers are standard with either gearbox. And your transmission choice won’t affect the availability of a liquid propane gas (LPG) dual-fuel kit, either.
Alas, if you want one of these four-door muscle cars, you have two not-insignificant things working against you. Firstly, this baby will only be available in Australia and New Zealand. Secondly, only 125 will be sold in the former country, and just 15 will be offered in the latter. So, yeah, most of you reading this are S.O.L. However, the upcoming Chevrolet SS should be pretty similar from a mechanical standpoint, so don’t go hatching a plot to marry a Wicked Weasel model to get dual citizenship just yet (not that there’s anything inherently wrong with that, mind you).