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Future models - HSV - Grange

Grange behind

Due for replacement: HSV's Z-Series Grange.

HSV's top drop, the long-wheelbase WM Grange, won't be released until 2007

23 Aug 2006

THE grapes are still maturing on the next vintage of HSV’s top-shelf Grange.

HSV has traditionally followed closely in the footsteps of Holden, launching its family of fast-paced Commodores within one month of the donor models on which they are based.

It has delivered true to form on its VE Commodore-based sedans this week however, lead-foot limo drivers will have to wait a while for the next-generation long-wheelbase HSV Grange.

"We will be doing a Grange, but we’re not quite ready to release it at this stage," HSV managing director Phil Harding confirmed. "We’re still working out the final specifications."With Holden ready to roll out its WM Statesman and Caprice models next week, HSV is taking the opportunity to provide its dealers with enough clear air to move existing stock and generate traffic for its volume-selling short-wheelbase models.

However, it has promised to set new benchmarks above and beyond the E-Series sedans with its next vintage of Grange.

"It will pick up the technology (introduced in the GTS and Senator), but will have some goodies that set it apart," Mr Harding said. "We’re going for technology rather than lipstick with that car."A show special Grange is currently being prepared at HSV’s styling studio and will take centre stage at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney in October with production scheduled to commence later this year for an early 2007 introduction.

With HSV’s all-wheel drive experiment now defunct, production of the GTO Coupe about to end (with a limited final run of Signature models now rolling out of HSV’s Clayton HQ) and a new-generation Maloo ute not due out until late next year, the Grange will form a strong pillar in HSV’s aspirations to tackle conquest buyers from high-priced European marques.

Beyond the Grange, HSV was remaining tight-lipped about any future product plans. It would not comment on the much-rumoured flagship 7.0-litre powered supercar – likely to adopt the GTS-R nameplate – but Mr Harding admitted the VE platform had enough headroom to handle extra power without significant re-engineering.

There is also the likelihood of the base ClubSport name returning with a value-driven model that drops some of the fruity features.

"Never say never... but we have rested the nameplate at the moment," HSV marketing manager Andrew McKenzie said. "Maybe there is room for the ClubSport to return to its heritage of bang-for-your-buck performance. We’ll just wait and see what happens."

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