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LS3 for HSV

More: Pricing, fuel consumption and power all goes up for HSV in 2008.

HSV drops 6.2-litre LS3 V8 into its entire E-Series range on eve of FPV launch

28 Mar 2008

TWO weeks after it appeared in the high-performance GXP variant of the Holden Commodore SS-based Pontiac G8 sedan at the New York motor show and within weeks of the release of arch-rival Ford Performance Vehicles’ new FG Falcon-based range, Holden Special Vehicles has confirmed that General Motors’ new 6.2-litre LS3 V8 will power its entire E-Series and WM Grange model range.

As we reported a fortnight ago, the GXP’s employment of the 6.2 LS3, which will replace the 6.0-litre LS2 that serves current HSV models, demonstrates that GM Holden has already done a lot of the packaging work for the new-generation V8’s potential fitment in homegrown large-cars from both HSV and Holden, which currently utilises the 6.0-litre Gen IV V8 from a different engine family.

20 center imageBut the rapid deployment of the LS3 Down Under - in all HSV models on sale from April - beats even the release of the US-bound Pontiac G8 GXP by late this year, when Holden begins producing the range-topping Pontiac sedan at its Elizabeth plant near Adelaide.

Also found in the Chevrolet Corvette in the US, the LS3 is built by GM Powertrain in North America. As fitted to the HSV ClubSport R8, GTS, Senator Signature and Grange sedans, and the Maloo R8 ute, it will produce 317kW at 6000rpm and 550Nm of torque at 4600rpm – representing 10kW more peak power at the same revs, and the same torque 500rpm earlier (down from 5100rpm) compared with the current LS2 V8 on 98 RON premium unleaded.

Despite the extra performance that results from what HSV has described as a running change, the LS3 is alleged to deliver slight fuel consumption reductions for the Maloo R8 and Grange (no figures are given), while average consumption on the remaining mainstream short-wheelbase E-Series sedans is said to rise by 0.1 litres per 100km to 14.5L/100km in auto mode.

Production of the LS3-powered HSV range, which comes with price hikes of between 1.3 and 2.8 per cent, begins this month before hitting showrooms in April.

HSV’s rebadged Vauxhall VXR8 and CSV R8 sold in the UK and Middle East respectively will also receive LS3 power in 2008, as will New Zealand’s “Murph”-badged LS3 ClubSport R8 and Maloo R8 limited-edition models.

The upgraded HSV range will also include a standard transmission oil-cooler on automatic cars, the availability of the Red Hot paint colour on the Grange and Senator Signature for the first time and, the introduction of a new 20-inch wheel option across the board. The latter will cost $2500 for Grange, Senator Signature and ClubSport R8 customers, and a no-cost option for GTS and Maloo R8 performance pack buyers.

The updated entry-level Maloo R8 manual pushes HSV’s base large-car pricing beyond $60,000 to $61,550, while the least expensive auto sedan, the ClubSport R8 ClubSport, now costs $66,750 (up from $64,890) and the top-shelf Grange price goes up $1700 to $82,690.

HSV’s 2008 VE/WM line-up will be swelled later this year by the production version of the 370kW/640Nm 7.0-litre V8-powered W427 supercar revealed at the Melbourne motor show earlier this month.

HSV LS3 pricing:
Maloo R8 $61,550
Maloo R8 (a) $63,750
ClubSport R8 $64,550
ClubSport R8 (a) $66,750
GTS $76,990
GTS (a) $79,190
Senator Signature (a) $79,190
Grange (a) $84,690

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