The Camaro is coming. The God of American muscle cars is on its way to Australia, and it’s got factory backing too. In a mammoth announcement, GM Holden has confirmed it’s struck a new agreement with HSV to deliver a whole new breed of vehicles to Australian customers, including the Chevrolet Camaro 2SS, the Silverado pickup, and a high performance version of the Colorado, to be known as the SportsCat.
The new partnership marks a pivotal moment in HSV’s 30-year history in Australia and will focus on utilising HSV’s famed design, engineering, manufacturing and marketing skills across a broader range of product, giving customers access to some of the very best vehicles from across the GM empire.
“For a number of years, we’ve been talking about bringing customers the best vehicles from around the GM world, and today we’re proud to announce the next step in that strategy,” Mark Bernard, Holden Chairman and Managing Director, said.
“Our partnership with HSV, utilising their world-class engineering and design capabilities, means we’re able to work together to bring the iconic Chevrolet Camaro muscle-car and the best-selling Chevrolet Silverado pick-up, to customers in Australia and New Zealand, not to mention the imminent launch of the exciting Colorado SportsCat.”
For HSV, the change represents a new era for its relationship with Holden, and will see the company move from simply hotting up existing models, to creating new versions of products that form part of the GM global family, including factory right-hand-drive conversions and upgrades for the Camaro and Silverado.
The first product stream will be what customers have traditionally expected from HSV, being centred around vehicle enhancement and extending vehicle capability beyond the existing Holden offering – the SportsCat.
“It is important that we continue to play a key role in enhancing Holden’s image in the market place, and potential customers can expect to see us going to work on enhanced products which are a natural extension of the Holden range – the SportsCat is a great example of this approach,” Tim Jackson, HSV Managing Director said.
“SportsCat is a great example of how we can deliver improved on-road and off-road driving dynamics, and combine a great new look with improved vehicle capability and versatility.”
To be available in two variants – SportsCat and SportsCat+ – the styling enhancements begin with radically modified exteriors featuring all-new fascias and grilles that, with the addition of LED fog lamps and functional tow hooks, combine to deliver two distinctive and sporty front-end appearances.
The SportsCat+ features a rugged bonnet bulge, while at the side of the vehicle, prominent wheel arch fender flares, smooth-form on SportsCat and castellated on SportsCat+, frame bold 18-inch x 10-inch forged alloys wrapped in sports all-terrain Cooper tyres.
A stylish hard tonneau, with load-rail provision and quick-release mechanism, combined with a unique sports-bar on SportsCat and sail plane on SportsCat+, enhance the vehicles’ sporty profile, while at the rear, a prominent “Colorado” tailgate applique’ makes a bold statement.
Inside, there’s SV Sports seats, the front heated, featuring uniquely designed seat foams for optimum support, wrapped in Jasmine leather and Windsor suede, with this trim combination also adorning the instrument panel. Twin-needle red stitching provides an added highlight, also featuring on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, door trims and centre console cover. Branded floor mats complete the interior style and comfort make-over.
From a chassis perspective, the modifications are marked and deliver the SportsCat’s unique driving dynamics. Both SportsCat models feature a 25mm lift in ride height, and HSV Sports Suspension with the front spring rate stiffened to 110 Newtons/mm. Its MTV dampers have been tuned around the revised spring rate, with both modifications contributing to a more performance-based handling characteristic.
SupaShock suspension, as introduced to the Australian market on HSV’s iconic GTSR W1, will also be available as a factory-fitted option on the SportsCat+, taking the vehicle’s suspension capabilities to another level yet again. SportsCat+ also adopts a unique braking package, further enhancing its sporting credentials.
Front 4-piston forged AP Racing brake callipers are complemented by 362mm x 32mm diameter rotors and a large (25.4mm) diameter brake master cylinder, to deliver improved pedal feel through a reduction in pedal travel and softness.
The second stream of product to be offered by HSV will be the introduction of world-class vehicles from across the GM global range that would not have otherwise been available through Australia and New Zealand. As mentioned above, this includes the monster truck spec Silverado, which will include five models in Australia, all featuring a 6.6-litre turbo diesel V8 engine capable of 332kW of power and an incredible 1,234Nm of torque.
Towing capacity on the American pickup will range between 3.5 and 6.1 tonne, with an 1,140kg to 1,848kg payload depending on the model choice with the new truck scheduled to be available from April.
Joining the Silverado is the legendary Camaro 2SS Coupe, available from July, and powered by a 6.2-litre Generation V LT1 Direct Injection V8 engine mated to an 8-speed, paddle-shift automatic transmission and generating up to 340kW of power and 615Nm of torque. In a separate announcement, HSV has confirmed a 6-speed manual will also be available at launch.
The vehicle’s performance suspension provides a dynamic connection to the road with stopping power delivered by 4-piston Brembo front & rear performance brakes with fixed callipers.
High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps and LED Daytime Running Lamps deliver signature front-end appeal while stylish 20”, 5-split-spoke alloys (8.5-inch front & 9.5-inch rear) are wrapped in 245/40ZR20 (front) and 275/35ZR20 (rear) Goodyear Eagle tyres. A rear stanchion spoiler and dual-outlet exhaust with bright tips add aggression at the tail.
The interior of the Camaro 2SS delivers the perfect marriage of form and function. It starts with power-adjustable heated and ventilated leather-trimmed front sports bucket seats for optimum comfort and support, complemented by a leather-wrapped, flat-bottom sports-profile steering wheel for ultimate grip.
Dual zone automatic climate control, a 9-speaker Bose premium audio and 24 colour interior spectrum lighting enhance interior ambience while the Head-up Display, Drive Mode Selector and Enhanced Driver Information Centre blend exhilaration with innovation.
The new agreement between GM Holden and HSV has specifically been framed to allow the parties to pursue those programs that make the most sense with consideration for brand development, market-based opportunities, customer preferences, and, of course, commercial viability. The company was, however, quick to emphasise that their overall goal remains unchanged: to create exciting products for niche customers looking for unique vehicles.
In conjunction with the announcement, HSV has a new and refreshed logo, offering a more contemporary interpretation of the ‘Lion & Helmet’ that has adorned HSV vehicles, and represented the company, since its inception in 1987. The Camaro and Silverado will be sold in Australia as Chevrolet. Prices are not yet known.