HSV has released details of what will go down in history as the fastest and most powerful Australian-made car ever produced. Based on the Holden Commodore that will cease production on October 20, the HSV GTS-R W1 gets a new 6.2-litre supercharged V8 (codenamed LS9) producing more than 470kW and able to launch the car to 100km/h in 4.2 seconds. There are also significant styling modifications that include a new front bumper, carbon-fibre rear wing and plastic front guards to house wider wheels and tyres.
The new car has been designed with the race track in mind and gets much stiffer suspension, bigger brakes, a louder exhaust and a new six-speed manual gearbox (no auto will be offered).
Priced from $169,990, the W1 will also be the most expensive car ever built in Australia. Not that it’s deterring would-be buyers, with HSV dealers already holding more than 800 orders despite only committing to a production run of 300 cars for Australia and New Zealand.
Sting in Kia’s tail
Korean brand Kia has Holden in its sights with the all-new Stinger, due in September. With sleek styling and a sizeable four-door body, the new fastback sedan represents a big change in thinking for a car maker that has built its reputation in value-packed small cars.
But it’s what beneath that defines the new performance offering, which will be the fastest and most powerful Kia produced. In a world that’s shifting to more economical front-wheel drive – witness the 2018 Holden Commodore – the Stinger drives the rear wheels in an effort to cement it as a true sports sedan.
To be priced from about $40,000, the new Stinger will get the choice of a four-cylinder turbocharged engine or a 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6, the latter producing 272kW and enabling 0-100km/h sprints in 5.1 seconds.
Holden’s Astra family will be complete in May when the new sedan joins the recently arrived hatch. Despite sharing a name the two are very different, with no panels the same between them. The sedan – which is longer and has more legroom than the hatch – will be made in Korea. The hatch comes from Poland.
The sedan also gets the lesser-powered 1.4-litre turbo engine as well as a different rear suspension set-up. Standard equipment will include forward crash alert, a reversing camera and the Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity.
New baby SUV
Suzuki is hoping to spark interest in the entry-level SUV segment with the Ignis.
With prices starting at $16,990 drive-away for the distinctively styled new five-door, it undercuts other light-duty SUVs, including Mazda’s CX-3 and Suzuki’s own Vitara, while bringing features including a reversing camera, sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
An all-new Hyundai i30 arrives by May sporting new European-styled skin and a vastly improved interior.
The i30 will be hatch only, and engines will initially include a 2.0-litre four-cylinder, a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo and a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel.
All models will come with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a reversing camera.
Toyota’s ninth-generation Camry has broken cover.
The new four-door sedan will be imported from Japan and go on sale late this year.
Styling is bolder and the new Camry promises significantly improved refinement and driving enjoyment thanks to a new platform, while the return of the V6 is the big news under the bonnet.