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30 Years of HSV

30 Years of HSV

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1. Concept Car Innovations

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Known primarily for producing Australia’s best performance cars, HSV have also developed some of the most exciting concept cars during their 30 years in the industry.

On this day (17th October) in 2002 the HRT 427 was unveiled at the 2002 Sydney Motor Show, with an array of media attention to follow. HSV’s concept cars are not all just for show, with many design and engineering features on these vehicles being put into production, even if the cars haven’t themselves. Take a walk down memory lane with some of our most prominent concept cars to date.

HRT 427

Unveiled at the 2002 Sydney Motor Show, the HRT 427 was powered by a 7.0-litre V8 racing engine based on the Le Mans-winning C5R Corvette power plant (427ci, hence the name), and featured a carbon fibre bonnet, 18-inch magnesium wheels and T56 six-speed manual gearbox. Braking was via a race-bred AP Racing six piston system including competition style full floating and grooved rotors.

Inside, there was a half roll-cage and Sparco Pro 2000 driving seats (as used in the British Touring Car Championship) to hold the driver securely in place behind an HRT style steering wheel and MoTeC instrument panel. The HRT 427 was initially intended for production and to be put on the showroom floor for an estimated $215,000. However, to achieve a road car level of specification would have required significantly higher investment and, as such, a higher recommended retail price. As a consequence, the HRT 427 was to remain a Concept Car only.

HRT 427 1
HRT 427 2
HRT 427 3

GTS/R

Unveiled at the 2004 Australian International Motor Show in Sydney, the GTS/R – code named project P120 – was conceived out of the desire to reinforce HSV’s race-relations heritage.

Designed in-house by HSV Head of Design, Julian Quincey, who is still in this position today, the GTS/R was based on the sleek, wide-body Coupe 4. Painted in “Volcanic Orange”, it was powered by a modified 6.0-litre LS2 engine, with enhancements including forged pistons with billet conrods, double row timing chains, a high lift camshaft, roller rockers and recalibrated ECU. Output measured a massive 335kW of power and 605Nm of torque.

A more aggressive appearance was achieved through the use of a large front air dam, HID headlights, LED tail lights, a carbon fibre rear spoiler, and a rear diffuser which was developed with input from the Holden Racing Team. Other features included dual stainless steel 2 ½-inch exhausts protruding from under the door sill, carbon ceramic cross-drilled rotors, three-piece 19-inch ROH alloy wheels, mesh grilled vents at the rear of the front guards, and a MoTeC data logger, while inside featured a chrome rollcage, a six-point harness, and a three-spoke racing steering wheel.

Despite HSV assessing the merit of a GTS/R one-make racing series, the concept never went into road-car production. However, certain styling ideas and innovations were carried through to the showroom floor on various future HSV models.

GTS/R 1
GTS/R 1
GTS/R 1

HRT Maloo

The HRT Maloo was a lean, mean, driver's machine that looked every inch the racing rocket it was.

Based on the VX HSV Maloo R8, it housed an awesome 350kW of power on tap, courtesy of its 6.2-litre Corvette LS6 engine. The distinctive vehicle featured a wider track (50mm front, 75mm rear), 20-inch magnesium wheels shod with Pirelli P-Zero tyres, unique body styling including a race-style front clip, side and rear skirts, flared front and rear guards, a sports-style roof sailplane and side rail extensions, integrated tonneau decklid with race-style fuel fillers and a handcrafted bodyshell with lowered roof, longer cabin and extended doors - all on a standard wheelbase.

Painted in “Violet Echo”, a colour unique to the vehicle, the HRT Maloo featured an interior trimmed in leather and suede in purple and charcoal with silver highlights, race seats and pedals, Italian steering wheel and gear knob and a built-in VDO sound system including in-dash CD stacker. Stopping power was enhanced by an HRT 6-piston race bred braking system developed with AP racing.

Effectively, there was an extra cab behind the two racing-style seats, but it allowed for storage rather than extra seating. There are two open shelves, two lockable compartments and space for the mechanics of the audio system, while the rear tray featured integrated down-lighting and a built-in fridge.

The decision to develop a stylised Maloo involved input from HSV's engineering and workshop teams and TWR designers, and came together in just four months. Built from scratch in HSV's Melbourne workshop, the program went from a basic idea to clay model to master moulds to body, significantly compressing the usual design process. The HRT Edition was a showcase for many design and engineering features developed by HSV.

HRT Maloo 1
HRT Maloo 2
HRT Maloo 3

Maloo Cab Chassis Concept

In Australian motoring psyche the traditional car-based cab chassis is looked upon with a reverence far above its station as a pure tradesman’s work vehicle. And, in 2006, HSV set to further enhance that reverence by creating the ultimate interpretation of this great Aussie workhorse – the Maloo Cab Chassis concept.

Viewed from the front the Maloo Cab Chassis essentially consisted of well-known Maloo hardware, including Y Series front styling, 260kW HSV enhanced LS1 V8 under the bonnet and, inside, the distinctive Y Series dash and interior treatment.

However, a step around to the rear made it clear that it was no ordinary Maloo. Extending from underneath the rear of the cabin was a pair of chassis rails that provided the strong backbone needed for more commercially oriented applications. For Maloo Cab Chassis they supported a superb polished ‘Jarrah’ hardwood timber tray capped by polished aluminium sports bars, multiple stainless steel tie-down points and an integrated fuel filler.

The Maloo Cab Chassis concept was another showcase of HSV’s extensive engineering capabilities. It was created totally in-house by HSV design staff and utilising HSV’s own extensive CAD expertise.

Maloo Cab Chassis Concept 1
Maloo Cab Chassis Concept 2
Maloo Cab Chassis Concept 3

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KEY MOMENTS AND MODELS IN HSV’S HISTORY

1. Concept Car Innovations

2. VL Walkinshaw (1988)

3. VN SV5000 (1989)

4. VN ClubSport (1990)

5. VG Maloo (1990)

6. VN Group A SS (1990)

7. VP GTS (1992)

8. VR GTS (1994)

9. VS GTS (1995)

10. VS GTSR (1996)

11. VSII Grange (1996)

12. VT GTS (1997)

13. VTII SV99 (1999)

14. VX ClubSport R8 (2000)

15. VX GTS (2000)

16. GTS Coupé (2001)

17. VY GTS (2002)

18. GTS Coupe Series 2 (2003)

19. Coupe4 (2004)

20. Z Series Maloo R8 (2004)

21. Z Series Signature Coupé (2006)

22. E Series GTS (2006)

23. W427 (2008)

24. E Series 2 GTS (2006)

25. 20 Years of Maloo (2010)

26. E Series 3 GTS (2011)

27. 25th Anniversary GTS (2012)

28. GEN-F GTS (2013)

29. GEN-F GTS Maloo (2014)

30. GEN-F2 ClubSport R8 LSA (2015)

31. GEN-F2 ClubSport R8 Track Edition (2016)

32. HSV Founder, Tom Walkinshaw

33. HSV Builds 75,000th Vehicle

34. HSV’s Owners Clubs

35. Car Badges Over the Journey

36. HSV Moves to Clayton

38. GEN-F Launch

39. World’s Fastest Ute

40. GEN-F2 LS3 Limited Editions

41. Ambassadors through the years

42. HSV Drive Experience program

43. HSV Television Commercials

44. 25th Anniversary ClubSport R8

45. 50,000 Strong

46. Ambassador “Driven by…” Series

47. HSV builds its 40,000th vehicle

48. E Series Launch

49. GTS Maloo

50. HSV Performance Technologies

51. Cameron Smith/Barry Ford Prank

52. GEN-F2 Launch