Friday, February 29, 2008

The Land Down Under - 2008 Melbourne Auto Show

You gotta love Australia. It's like a trip to the past as GM and Ford continue to duke it out in a serious horsepower war reminiscent of the the 60s and 70s. Here in the US, it's all about green this and hybrid that. A prime example of the awesomeness in Australia is this years Melbourne Auto Show. On display are more than a few cars that I would absolutely kill to have them available here.

Thankfully, GM (thank you Bob Lutz) have embraced their Holden brand and are starting to bring the once forbidden fruit here to us rear drive horsepower junkies. That started with the fantastic but ignored 2004 - 2006 Pontiac GTO and continues with the new and, so far, well received Pontiac G8. Holden is not alone either as Ford has been building similarly bad-ass RWD sedans in Australia for years.

Here are a few of the most exciting cars featured at the Melbourne Show:

Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) Falcon:
This car is based on the latest generation of the Australian Ford Falcon, a RWD sport sedan available with either a turbocharged straight 6 cylinder or an optional V8 and of course the option of a manual transmission. How killer would this be if it were available here? Ford Taurus anyone?

The FPV versions always get the flash to match the dash and this one seems to be no different. So far there has been no word on power figures but they should be pretty impressive.

FPV F6 - 6cyl turbo


Holden HSV W427:
The new generation Holden Commodore was recently introduced in Australia and has made it to our shores as the new Pontiac G8. Not being satisfied with the 360HP of the standard V8 powered Commodore, Holden's performance wing, HSV, has stuffed the W427 with the sick 7.0l V8 from the Corvette Z06. Power numbers are expected to exceed 496HP and 472TQ. The car will also feature GM's magnetic shocks, huge brakes and the dual mode exhaust. Production numbers will be very limited.

Rumors have been swirling about a higher performance Pontiac G8 eventually being released. Please, please let it be this. More than likely, the US monster G8 will probably feature the 6.2l V8 from the standard Corvette producing over 400HP. I guess we'll have to settle for that. Beggars can't be choosers.

Holden HSV W427

Holden Coupe 60:
Well, with the lukewarm reception the previous Holden Monaro Coupe received in it's US guise as the Pontiac GTO from 2004 - 2006, you can imagine they would be hesitant to do it again, but, come on GM, right here is the next Pontiac GTO. Hell, I don't care what you call it, we must have it.

This is supposedly just a concept but production is a possibility. Based on GM's Zeta platform, the coupe was built by taking a Commodore sedan and removing the rear doors and trimming over 2 inches from the overall length. The wheelbase is the same as the sedan. The engine is a flex-fuel 6.0l V8 transferring power through a proper 6-speed manual. No power figures have been divulged but they should be as impressive as everything else from HSV.

Having always been a fan of the 2004 -2006 GTO, I really think they should give it another try with this car.

Holden Coupe 60:

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