GTSR spotting in the city
Waking up an hour late and realising the train you were meant to catch was arriving in 10 minutes wasn't a great start to my Saturday morning. As hastily as I could I threw my kit together and chugged down an Up and Go in hopes that I wouldn't end up passing out on the train halfway to Sydney. I hadn't intended to walk from Redfern station as my friends were already wandering round the CBD but I hoped to grab some shots on the way for some of my other University assignments. Halfway there is when I happened to wander past this VF Commodore parked in one of the quieter streets of inner Sydney.
To most Australians this is just another Commodore, the last of kind to stay true to the RWD V8 platform with the ability to make lots of noise and burn through some thick rubber. But looking a little closer this one managed to catch my eye. It is a Holden VF Commodore HSV GTSR in Sting red, the front and rear bumper, bonnet and side skirts all unique to the GTSR. It sits on huge 20"x9" front with 20"x10" wide rear wheels which respectively run a 255 and 275 Continental ContiSportContact 5. On the noise making side of things the there is an LSA 6.2L block with a supercharger producing a claimed 435kW (607HP) and tire thrashing 740nm or torque to its rear wheels and with the car weighing in at a rather heavy 1858kg kerb it definitely needs it. In order to stop such a heavy car or assist in an emergency situation such as a sick burnout the GTSR runs titanic 410mm front and 372mm rear 2 piece drilled discs utilizing 6 piston calipers on each which almost completely fill the wheels. This one also happened to be sporting a manual gearbox which appeased the purist in me a little.
Now I'm by no means a Holden fan boy but ingrained in almost every Australian is the choice we must make between a Ford or a Holden, and I happen to fall into the latter category. Growing up I remember weekends in front of the CRT TV to watch the Bathurst 1000, arguably Australia's most iconic race, as well as viewing in person as their roaring V8's would fly past at Oran Park. Watching a car as big as these shoot down the straight at up to 300km/hr to then jump on the brakes and then get twitchy on the corner exit while trying to fend off another driver close behind is an awesome spectacle to see, as many Aussies would know.
These cars hit the market just shy of $100K but with the many options available can easily exceed this. Now at this range it's competing with some pretty heavy hitters like the BMW M5 or Mercedes C63 both of which come with the European appeal and more refinement options available. Commodores have never really been a luxury car but in recent years with increasing technology and options offered with them they have started leaning toward this sector. The newest model available which is a re-badged Opel Insignia along with the death of car manufacturing in Australian has seen the end of the lumbering V8 RWD vehicle's which we have grown to love, and or hate. One of the meanest looking HSV's produced I hope that these vehicles continue to get loved and thrashed for years to come as a little bit of the Asutralian Spirit goes with it.