This feature was originally published in MOTOR’s.
Yellow paint, big, deliberate stitches in the upholstery, carbon fibre by the truckload and charcoal-coloured, three-spoke alloys just it any more. Surprise.
Definitely, something the US never got, the HSV VS GTS-R is a cult classic that deserves its status as the quintessential sports car. Based on the Holden Commodore, this performance version was tuned by HSV, an Australian tuning company with close ties to Holden. It features a 5.7L LS1 V8 dubbed “The Stroker” by locals. The engine produces 226 kW which translates to 307 HP, a heaping amount of.
The GTS-R cost a whopping, a huge departure from the normally value-oriented Holden. To add to the rarity, HSV only made 85 examples of which 75 were ever . Also, the only color available is yellow. You’d need to find the right people, but you can own one of the best sports cars.
See, with a tough driveline and probably the best local V8 ever, the big yella bloke was a real force to be reckoned with.
Obviously, one of the highlights of the GTS-R was that legendary stroker engine which, with a bore of 101.6mm and stroke of 88.4, measured 5737cc and suddenly made the five-litre the little brudder of the pack.
the stroker’s 215kW at the same revs was, at the time, a hell of a thing. And then compare the torque peaks which, in the five-litre was 400Nm at 3600rpm.In fact, it wasn’t until the 255kW version of the Gen III in the VX HSV that the GTS-R’s torque was matched. And you better believe the stroked Holden-block made its grunt a whole lot earlier in the rev range than the peaky Gen III.
HSV had already identified the need for a bigger stick than the 200kW version of Ol’ Faithful, and Harrop’s got HSV’s white coats thinking.
Harrop was eventually coerced into building a stroked short motor which was shipped to HSV where it was fitted with a couple of different camshafts (not at the same time obviously) and, apparently, “went like hell”. (Well enough for one staffer to stick the mule backwards into a pole, anyway.) Harrop’s original strokers used 350-cube with the snout machined off and a new one welded on.