Vauxhall says 130,000 square millimetres of open frontal surface was needed to deliver the cooling required for the new engine - 75 per cent more than the outgoing LS3-engined car

Vauxhall says 130,000 square millimetres of open frontal surface was needed to deliver the cooling required for the new engine - 75 per cent more than the outgoing LS3-engined car

General Motors Europe's Vauxhall brand is to launch the next VXR8 GTS in December, its version of Holden's just-announced HSV GEN-F GTS. Both are powered by the 576bhp supercharged V8 from the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.

The VXR8 GTS is basically a modified version of Holden Special Vehicles' latest super-sedan, itself based upon the newly facelifted VF series Holden Commodore. Changes include an MPH speedo and odometer plus the addition of a rear foglight. Vauxhall will import the new model from Australia in sedan form only, though ute [pickup] and estate [wagon] body styles should follow.

HSV set out to create the most powerful production car yet from Australia with the new GTS and this was achieved thanks to the addition of a supercharged engine.

The LSA V8, which is identical to that used in the recently launched Camaro ZL1, delivers 576bhp and 545lb ft of torque, rises of 150bhp and 140lb ft respectively, over the outgoing, LS3-engined VXR8. Performance figures are yet to be announced.

The engine's Eaton supercharger has four-lobe rotors, 9psi boost and 1.9 litres of air per revolution. Other LSA features include:

  • Stand-alone water to air charge cooling system
  • Separate transmission and differential cooling system
  • Water to oil engine cooling system
  • Bi-modal air-intake system
  • High-flow exhaust manifolds and exhaust system with Bi-modal silencers

Delivering drive to the rear axle is the latest MG9 spec six-speed manual transmission with oil cooler and twin-plate clutch. A six-speed automatic is optional.

The GTS' styling reflects the changes that Holden has given the new VF Commodore compared to the outgoing VE. That means new front and rear ends, a major update for the interior and much new technology such as lane departure warning, forward collision alert (a first for Vauxhall), head-up display which will also show g-forces, side blind zone alert with reverse traffic alert, automatic park assist, front and rear park assist, reversing camera and keyless entry/start.

Vauxhall has started taking orders for the new car priced from GBP54,999.

Author: Glenn Brooks