HSV Y Series 2 – The power and the driving passion

Published: 04 September 2003

Pictured: HSV.

The enthusiasm generated by the original Y Series is a significant factor in HSV reaching record sales levels for the first seven months of 2003, putting the company on track for it’s sixth successive year of record sales. Now, an injection of tempting enhancements for Y Series 2 is set to ensure that trend continues.

“With this upgrade HSV confirms its leadership position with more innovation and excitement across the range”, states HSV General Manager, Chris Payne.

“Style and power are key ingredients to HSV’s success, and this model change offers a truckload of both”, he added.

The changes relate to the HSV enhanced LS1 V8 and the raw numbers make impressive reading – maximum power has been boosted to 285kW @ 5800rpm (292kW DIN) while maximum torque soars to 510Nm @ 4800rpm. What’s even more impressive is the increased spread of power and torque throughout the rev range, resulting in even stronger bottom end and mid range thrust.

Revisions to the lower airbox and the ‘zip’ tube, which directs air from the airbox to the engine, headline the changes on the intake side. Replacing the zip tube’s current ‘bellows’ section with a tube sporting a smoother internal shape – similar to that employed on HSV’s C4B 300kW engine – has resulted in less disruption to intake airflow at all engine speeds.

Similarly, the alterations to the lower airbox are designed to provide the engine with a plentiful supply of air.

A larger opening allows a greater volume of air to enter the airbox and a relocation of the intake to increase isolation from engine heat. That’s an important factor in limiting the negative effect heat soak has on engine launch performance, particularly after the vehicle has remained stationary – for example at traffic lights.

To take maximum advantage of the more efficient intake system HSV’s unique exhaust system also came in for a rework and, here, engineers set themselves the challenge of designing the ultimate set of extractors. There’s a common misconception that simply increasing pipe diameter will increase exhaust system efficiency, however, it actually relies on a wide variety of factors.

Firstly, each primary pipe was precisely matched to its corresponding exhaust port in the cylinder head. Then, the eight primary pipes were subtly curved to achieve ideal gas flow into the redesigned four-into-one collectors. Pipe diameters were also optimised for maximum efficiency – primary pipes increase from 41mm to 44mm, collectors to catalytic converters go from 57mm to 63mm as do the converter outlets.

All modifications were extensively road tested and the new system passed strict ADR drive by noise regulations. A side effect of the engine revisions sees the original gutsy exhaust note now joined by a perceptibly deeper intake note.

To better cope with the engine’s more potent output the automatic transmission for all models is now the 4L65E heavy-duty electronic four-speed unit, first introduced on Y Series GTS. This provides a more refined up-shift quality to the HSV powertrain.

With Y Series ‘Touring’ and ‘Luxury’ suspension packages receiving so many plaudits for their ride and handling combination the focus was turned to HSV’s ‘Performance’ suspension tune. R8 sedan now joins GTS in featuring this suspension package as standard, while it’s also optional on ClubSport sedan.

The aim was to maintain the outstanding handling characteristics while, at the same time, adding a further degree of ride comfort. Front springs were revised, rear rebound control increased and more digressive shock absorber valving incorporated (a major factor in improving ride quality on Y Series ‘Touring’ and ‘Luxury’ suspension), as HSV chassis engineers sought to eliminate pitching motion and maintain all-round body control. Pirelli’s high performance 19-inch tyres, which accompany the HSV Performance suspension package, also contribute with a more compliant sidewall design that assists ride quality.

Dubbed ‘HSV Performance 3 suspension’, the result combines tightly controlled body roll and sharp handling response with a ride quality that’s still supple enough not to induce impact harshness. So good is the new package that HSV engineers deemed it the quickest they had ever lapped Holden’s Lang Lang ride and handling circuit to date.

All models in the Y Series 2 range benefit from a new strut brace linking the front strut towers.

Exterior styling revisions for Y Series 2 are limited to VY R8 18-inch wheels in ‘Silver Sparkle’ becoming standard on ClubSport and Maloo, Maloo R8 wheels being finished in ‘Chrome Shadow’ and R8 sedan receiving an upgrade to 19-inch wheels, also finished in ‘Chrome Shadow’. Two new colours join the range, ‘Syracuse’ (a subtle gold colour) and HSV’s exclusive ‘Ultra Violet’.

Cutting edge High Intensity Discharge (HID) driving lamps will become an option on HSV models shortly after start of production. Rather than fog lights ‘HSV Xenon Performance Lamps’ are genuine driving lamps, emitting a brilliant beam of white light that offers a greater safety margin during night driving.

New design Sport, Performance and Luxury seats with active head restraints, feature across the model range and provide a true HSV focal point of the interior. Entry and exit to the car is now easier.

Interior changes are aimed at enhancing safety, convenience and appearance. HSV’s trio of specialised front seats – Sports, Performance and Luxury – have been redesigned based on customer feedback for greater comfort and the new Performance seat has been carefully designed to provide considerably more under thigh support and to be less intrusive into the shoulder area for spirited drivers with larger frames. The HSV seats remain a key focal point of the HSV interior and the newly designed seats feature improved leather quality.

All seats now offer more functionality too – 4 way adjustable driver and passenger for ClubSport, 8 way for R8, and 8 way (with memory for driver) on Senator models.

The range of seats also incorporate a new passive safety feature – active head restraints.

The head restraint is attached by a lever to a pressure plate mounted in the front seat backrest. During a rear impact, the occupant’s body is pressed into the backrest which moves the pressure plate backwards. Via a lever and pivot that movement is reversed to push the head restraint forward and upwards to meet the occupant’s head, thus reducing the chance of whiplash neck injuries.

The interior features don’t stop there. A new full leather anthracite steering wheel design fronts the driver.

A new anthracite coloured headlining material features on all models, excluding Senator and Signature which continue to use a neutral tone to match their light shale interior. Back seat passengers never had it so good with the option, on all sedan models, of a built in HSV roof mounted DVD Entertainment system complete with a large format screen (available shortly after start of production). Senator and Signature occupants receive a boost to night driving safety and convenience with a new feature – HSV Interior Lighting Effect – which uses a soft LED light to illuminate the centre console controls.

Another new HSV technology feature will also come available in Y Series 2 – HSV TPM – Tyre Pressure Monitoring System. HSV TPM allows the driver to dynamically monitor tyre pressure and temperature, and to receive a warning should pressures drop.

From Y Series 2 the R8 sedan returns to it’s original concept when released at VT2 – as a package for customers looking for an extra edge in on road performance and sporting style. With it comes some very desirable new standard features – full leather upholstery, 19-inch wheels, Pirelli tyres and Performance suspension – thus making R8 sedan a fabulous value package.

The range-topping GTS will again head up the Y2 model line up. The specification of the GTS will include as standard an impressive array of features including Tyre Pressure Monitors, Xenon Performance driving lamps and a new and exclusive HSV fast ratio steering system.

The GTS will be available from February ’04, but only to special order through HSV Retailers (to a maximum build of 100 examples in the model series).

One of the major enhancements for the GTS will be the standard fitment (optional for R8 and GTO) of HSV-APS; adjustable performance suspension.

HSV has teamed with leading supplier Ohlins Suspension to offer for the first time in an Australian car an adjustable remote canister gas pressurised suspension system. Ohlins supplied this technology to HRT for many years and it was through this partnership that the package was developed.

HRT’s Mark Skaife worked on the development of the feature and confirmed: “APS is for the true enthusiast and for those who appreciate excellence in suspension dynamics this premium system will transform the car. This is a classic example of how HSV can benefit from the partnership we have with HRT. Genuine race car technology cascading down into road use for HSV owners”, Skaife added.

Pricing on the new range is as follows:

- ClubSport auto/manual A$60,200

- ClubSport R8 A$69,150

- Maloo A$52,400

- Maloo R8 A$59,600

- Senator A$75,500

- Senator Signature A$81,050


(RRP + on road costs)

HSV Y Series 2 production commences mid September.

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