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HSV ClubSport R8 Tourer: Practical Performance

Motoring Channel Staff - 3/September/2008

HSV ClubSport R8 Tourer
HSV ClubSport R8 Tourer

HSV ClubSport R8 Tourer
Powered by a 6.2-litre engine that pumps out
317kW of power, the R8 Tourer is no shuttle bus

HSV ClubSport R8 Tourer
For $2,500 you can upgrade to 20-inch wheels

HSV ClubSport R8 Tourer
The interior of the HSV ClubSport R8 Tourer

Melbourne, Australia — The Europeans have been building red hot performance wagons for decades, and now Holden Special Vehicles has jumped on the band wagon, so to speak.

HSV has launched it's all-new ClubSport R8 Tourer, which is on sale now and has been priced $1000 more than the equivalent ClubSport R8 sedan at $65,990. Full pricing is as follows:

HSV ClubSport R8 Tourer: $65,990
Automatic Transmission: $2,330
Full Leather Seats: $2,490
20-inch Tyres/Wheels: $2,500

The new HSV R8 Tourer is the first home-grown high performance wagon we've seen in Australia in at least five years, and is based on Holden's Sportwagon model.

In 2003 HSV developed the Avalanche, based on the AWD Adventra model, which was met with mild enthusiasm.

There was also a limited number of VT Senator Signature Estates built in 1997, just 27 units, and HSV has said that around 120 ClubSport R8 Tourers will be built in 2008, which should keep the new model relatively exclusive.

Sitting on large 19-inch alloy and surrounded by Holden Special Vehicle's aerodynamic body kit, which includes new front and rear aprons, side skirts, grille treatment and other upgrades, it's one hot looking wagon.

Unlike its sedan siblings however, the brake lights are not LEDs.

Like the rest of the Commodore-based HSV range, the R8 Tourer has an almighty wallop thanks to its American-sourced LS3 V8 engine.

This 6.2-litre engine outputs 317 kilowatts of power (425hp), making it one of the most powerful V8 wagons in Australia. The performance figures are as follows:

Power: 317kW @ 6000rpm
Torque: 550NM @ 4600 rpm

The R8 Tourer will come standard with a 6-speed manual transmissions from Tremec, while GM's 6-speed 6L80 E automatic is optional. 

The Holden tuning group has not released benchmark sprint figures, but it is expected to be about a tenth of a second slower to 100km/h than the ClubSport wagon, which is quoted at 4.96 seconds.

Things like stability control (ESP) are standard, as are as the large AP racing brake calipers that are fitted to massive 365mm front and 350mm rear cross drilled and grooved rotors.

Combining the beefed-up 6.2-litre V8 engine with upgraded suspension and brakes, the R8 Tourer is expected to be a very sharp drive, one that customers would appreciate driving just as much as the HSV sedan range, saysHSV's Chief Engineer, Joel Stoddart.

"We've built on our knowledge gained since the launch of the E-Series range in August 2006 - particularly in chassis development and tuning - coupled with the all new LS3 engine, to produce one of our best ever products," said Stoddart.

Riding on large 19-inch alloy wheels with chunky 8-inch front and 9.5-inch rears tyres, the go-fast wagon is set up to deliver high levels of grip: "The ClubSport Tourer R8 is a versatile and extremely responsive package," added Stoddart.

As well as it's tuned V8 engine, modified chassis and upgraded body kit, the HSV R8 Tourer much of the practicality of a traditional wagon or estate model. 

The large boot has 895 litres of cargo space and features the Holden Sportwagon's space efficient tailgate mechanism. The cabin meanwhile will be the same as the ClubSport R8 sedan's interior.

Darren Bowler, HSV's General Manager of Sales, said "We were very impressed with the Sportswagon product our colleagues at Holden have released and believe the ClubSport R8 Tourer takes the concept to the next level.

"The Tourer is powered by the high performance LS3 engine producing 317kW of power and 550Nm of torque, making this one of the most powerful wagons produced anywhere in the world," explained Bowler, taking a pot shot at the German estates.

"The Tourer also has impressive handling and ride characteristics and HSV's enormous brakes and safety package - we expect this product to appeal to a range of customers, including families who will enjoy the versatility this HSV brings to the garage," concluded Mr Bowler.

Related Links:
HSV W427 (2008)
- HSV Maloo Ute (Road Test)
HSV Grange (Road Test)
- HSV Senator vs. FPV Force6 (Road Test)
HSV Clubsport R8 (Road Test)
HSV E-Series - GTS, R8, Senator (2006)
HSV SV6000 (2005)
HSV GTSR (race car)
HSV Coupé 4 (2005)
HSV Z Series (2004)

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