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No petrol engine for Colorado: HSV

New world: HSV is putting faith in its chassis abilities to convince a new generation of buyers not to look at horsepower numbers first.

Complexity and expense means HSV Colorado SportsCat will stay diesel-powered

8 Dec 2017

HOLDEN Special Vehicles (HSV) management has defended its decision to not tweak the diesel engine in its freshly revealed SportsCat pick-up, while pouring cold water on the reports of a high-performance petrol-powered version.

Prior to the Colorado SportsCat that launched this week, HSV’s last release was the Commodore-based GTSR W1 that produced 474kW, almost 300kW more than the diesel dual-cab ute.

Aside from chassis and electronics tuning, and the addition of items such as Supashock dampers and decoupling anti-roll bars, the SportsCat, however, gains no more power or torque over the Colorado pick-up on which it is based.

HSV managing director Tim Jackson urges critics to consider the bigger picture and evaluate the SportsCat as a complete package.

“I can tell you when we rolled out W1, we were nervous about how people would respond to it,” he told GoAuto at the SportsCat’s launch in Queensland. “So, all we can do is believe in delivering our product.

“All we can do is ask people to evaluate our product by starting at its competitive set, its price point, and we think it's really going to stack up well. Any time you roll out a car, it feels like you're launching a new baby.”

He acknowledged that there will be questions around the lack of engine modifications to the 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel. No part of the powertrain was tweaked in any way even the exhaust pipe is still a standard steel item.

He also explained why a more ‘HSV-like’ engine was not transplanted under the bonnet of the Colorado, which was developed in just 18 months.

“Doing something to the diesel engine, that wasn't viable ... to put a petrol engine in, that's not a scenario at this point in time,” he said.

“We recognised most people are going to say ‘you should have a power up, shouldn’t you?’ But where we’re looking at this product is really extending the Colorado range. From our perspective it’s how we’ve taken and evolved that product to a point and at a price point, so people say ‘yeah, there’s a real value added to that product.’“I’m not saying we’ve given up our basic DNA to want to look for those types of other performance improvements. In terms of a first execution, that’s where we’re at.”

Mr Jackson explained that emissions regulations meant that tuning the diesel engine was not an option, while converting the diesel-only Z71 ute to petrol power would have been prohibitively expensive.

Asked about media stories that suggested that the Colorado would get a twin-turbo V6 petrol powerplant from the US-market Cadillac CTS, Mr Jackson indicated that the concept existed and had been discussed, but was now in no way tied to HSV.

“There are absolutely no model plans around that,” he told GoAuto.

Reports suggest that the concept may be produced by HSV’s sibling, Walkinshaw Performance.

HSV has relatively modest hopes for the Colorado SportsCat in sales terms, and Mr Jackson said he believed the company was well prepared to build on the new path it has forged for itself.

“We understand it’s a different segment,’ said Mr Jackson. “So, we approach it with confidence, but we also have tried to do as much homework as we can before we entered.”

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