Astra

HSV to build high performance version of the Cruze

September 29th, 2010 by NZV8

Holden Special Vehicles over in Aussie has confirmed that it will be adding a 4-cylinder turbocharged model to sit along side the beefy V8s in its range.

After discontinuing the Astra-based VXR, HSV currently has no models smaller than the Commodore and has decided to develop the Holden Cruze platform for much increased performance.

HSV’s big cheese Phil Harding confirmed that the company was investigating adding a performance-tuned Cruze to its line-up, but he wouldn’t offer any solid technical details on the forthcoming model.

Rumours are that HSV’s Cruze will be based on the locally-built model that’s set to enter production at Holden’s South Australian plant in 2010.

What isn’t known is if HSV’s small car offering will be based on the sedan or hatchback version of the Cruze (both of which will be built in Australia), but the sedan’s greater structural rigidity may see it go ahead. The hatchback (pictured in Chevrolet form), however, may look sharper and be more direct replacement for the now-discontinued Astra VXR.

In terms of engine and power there’s no official word yet but HSV is likely to draw from one of GM’s new breed of small-displacement direct-injection turbocharged engines, ranging from a 104kW 1.4-litre to a 200kW 2.0-litre. The Delta-platformed Astra VXR utilises a turbocharged 2.0 litre inline four developing 177kW, so there’s plenty of potential for decent power.

Suspension will be modified to improve handling, but HSV could stay with the Cruze’s rear beam axle set-up or shift to the Euro-market Astra’s independent rear suspension.

Styling will naturally be injected with more excitement for HSV’s Cruze, with new bumpers, larger wheels and body kits making it stand out.

A launch date hasn’t been announced, but with Australian production of the Holden Cruze scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2010, HSV’s small car may make an appearance mid to late next year.

Click here to read a Car and SUV review of the HSV VXR.

Click here to read a Car and SUV review of the Holden Cruze Sedan.

HSV to launch LPG models next year

September 25th, 2009 by NZV8

Holden Special Vehicles has confirmed that it will be wheeling out a range of high-performance LPG-fuelled models early next year.

The gas-powered engine will be based on HSV’s current 6.2 litre LS3 V8, but will make use of advanced liquid propane injection (LPI) technology that allows very precise usage of the fuel.

Speaking at the media launch for the HSV E-Series 2 range (read news), HSV Managing Director Phil Harding said cold-weather evaluation trials had pushed back the debut date for the LPI engines, but that the technology was going to market in the first quarter of 2010.

“We have sent three mule vehicles for cold weather testing in recent weeks,” Mr Harding said. “The reports back from the Engineering team are encouraging and we have engines on dynos completing durability programmes. “If all goes well, we should be able to launch LPI in early 2010. That’s a little later than I planned but it’s still an exciting program.”

When asked about a diesel-powered HSV model Harding downplayed speculation, saying such a vehicle wouldn’t sell enough units to warrant its development. “At this stage, a diesel product program will not proceed,” he said. “We looked at it seriously and the business case doesn’t stack up.”

Harding went on to reveal that in addition to dumping the Astra VXR from its line-up, HSV would not be importing the European-market Vauxhall Corsa VXR and Insignia VXR.

1955 Astra Coupe – one of one

February 20th, 2008 by NZV8

1955 astra coupe

This amazing car was hand fabricated by Jay Everett in 1952. The body was handcrafted of aluminum and sits on a tubular frame with aircraft style assembly. In 1955 the car went to the Barris shop for restyling. There are over 20 custom car magazines, including Rod & Custom, Car Craft and Motor Trend (1952 — 62) that feature and show the car, and the car has the Barris Certificate of Authenticity.

The car runs an Olds 303 with a Zephyr o/d transmission, ’37 tube front axle and Lincoln brakes. It has been professionally restored to the same condition it was when it drove out of Barris Kustoms.

Considering the design was conceived prior to 1952, it is obvious that the styling is way ahead of its time. Want to see it in your garage? Call Barry in the USA on (250) 485-2900. He’ll want somewhere in the region of US$286,000