In a joint announcement, GM Holden and HSV today released details of a new agreement struck between the two companies.
The new partnership marks a pivotal moment in HSV’s 30-year history in Australia and begins a new chapter in bringing a whole new breed of vehicles to customers.
The focus of the new agreement is to utilise HSV’s design, engineering, manufacturing and marketing expertise across a broader range of product, giving customers access to high performance models 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 ‘bowtie’ 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 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 new vehicles from across the GM global range that would not have otherwise been available through Australia and New Zealand.
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 company said 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.
Chevrolet Colorado SportsCat
Playing to HSV’s niche design and engineering capabilities, the Colorado SportsCat features a raft of styling and chassis enhancements.
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 interior also comes in for a substantial make-over to deliver more premium levels of comfort and style. Highlights include sports seats – the front heated – and leather and suede upholstery.
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 promise impressive workhorse capabilities.
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.
HSV has committed to bringing Chevrolet’s largest pick up – 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 / 1,234 Nm 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
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.
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.
Rolling stock is provided by 20”, 5-split-spoke alloys (8.5” front & 9.5” rear), 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 features 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.