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HSV Engineers Corvette-Powered Fire-Breathing 636-HP ‘SS’

Though you would never know it, Chevy offers an honest-to-goodness performance machine that’s not a Corvette or a Camaro – the Chevrolet SS. Based on the Australia’s Holden Commodore, the SS sports a 415-horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8 (previous gen Camaro/Corvette powerplant) and six-speed automatic (the manual, also six-speed, is preferable).

The rear-drive SS uses Brembo binders front and rear for the best stopping power, while magnetic ride control contributes to fantastic handing. Overall, the SS is quite a machine, whose lines are reasonable. The performance bits are what sets it apart. A full boil, the SS will zip from 0 to 60 in 4.6 seconds.

The HSV GTSR W1 has a Corvette LS-9 V-8 under the hood for 636 horsepower. 

Now, imagine what a development team could do if they were able to drop the Corvette LS-9 powerplant into the engine compartment. The SS, already a fierce competitor, would become a fire-breathing monster. And, while it hasn’t been done in the U.S., Holden Special Vehicle (HSV) folks took care of that task, using the Commodore – the basis of the SS – as the development mule. Dropping the Corvette’s LS-9 into the Commodore, HSV added a supercharger running twin four-lobe rotors to maximize performance.  The result is the Commodore-based GTSR W1, a performance sedan that sports anodized alloys and performance rubber, a telltale body-color spoiler and LED lighting front and rear.

The HSV GTSR W1 is made by General Motors Holden division in Australia. 

The development team did some unique tuning to get the GTSR W1 to pavement-ripper status. In addition to the supercharger, the engine uses an integrated dual-element air-to-liquid intercooler, carbon fiber airbox, direct-mount ignition coils, high-flow rotocast cylinder heads and ceramic-coated, stainless steel headers. It’s all controlled by an E67 control module. The results are tremendous — 636 horsepower at 6,500 rpm with 601 pounds-feet of torque ready to rip more than a bit of pavement at 3,900 rpm. The HSV team used a Tremec TR-6060 close-ratio six-speed manual to get the power to the wheels.  A high-flow exhaust with x-pipe intermediate bimodal mufflers and quad tailpipes enhances the great sound the supercharger makes as it spools up.

Sideview of the HSV GTSR W1 supercar. 

The team also massaged the front suspension using coil over monotube struts with double-acting, dual-bush lateral support.  These changes, when combined with a multilink suspension and steering, plus a direct-acting stabilizer bar, keep handling stable when the power hits the road.  The same is true in the rear, where the HSV team used a multilink independent suspension, controlled via coil over damper with built-in lateral support. All of the suspension massaging allows the GTSR W1 to set up correctly for great drifting. To haul it down from speed, HSV used AP Racing’s biggest steel brakes.

The HSV GTSR W1 uses the Corvette LS-9 powerplant for huge power numbers. 

The GTSR W1 is a parting shot from the soon-to-be-shuttered Holden Works in Australia. Sometime later this year, the automaker will be locking the front door and turning out the lights. HSV, seeing the end of the ride, decided to show what the world will be missing and the GTSR W1 was born.

LED lighting highlights the HSV GTSR W1.

The HSV GTSR W1 uses all-steel brakes to haul down from speed. 

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