Australian sports car maker Elfin will be backed by Australia's largest and most successful performance car group under new ownership arrangements just announced in Melbourne.

Elfin Sports Cars has been acquired by Walkinshaw Performance, a division of the high-performance automotive engineering group who conduct Holden's V8 supercar racing operations, the niche manufacturer Holden Special Vehicles business and the large Adelaide based fitment centre for Holden Sport accessories.

The arrangement means that Elfin can now harness the engineering, design and sales expertise of the Walkinshaw group to lift its product profile and sales volumes to a new level.

Opportunities will range from access to the group's supplier base and technical skills, to taking advantage of export opportunities via HSV's growing sales channels in overseas markets, a press statement said.

Walkinshaw performance director Chris Payne said the company had been working closely with Elfin for the past eight months, providing expertise in production engineering, ADR (Australian Design Rule safety and emissions laws) compliance and marketing.

"Elfin has done very well under the stewardship of previous owners Bill Hemming and Nick Kovatch for the past several years, with the development of its new MS8 Clubman and Streamliner range," he said.

"But all parties felt it was time for Elfin to take the next step to fully realise its potential. To achieve this, the business had to be re-organised and embrace a more modern niche production company with wider sales opportunities, backed by the necessary technologies and resources to take it forward.

"An alliance with Walkinshaw Performance was the ideal fit. While we have the necessary resources to propel the Elfin brand forward, the Elfin sports cars are complimentary to existing Walkinshaw business interests, sharing similar exciting values and enthusiast appeal."

Elfin cars will be sold through a new dealer network across Australia and New Zealand, with distribution and delivery rights being initially offered to leading HSV dealers in each mainland state. This means that for the first time, potential buyers will be able to see showroom cars and drive demonstrators in their home state.

Potential buyers may also view, test drive and order the cars at the Elfin factory in Melbourne.

Buyers will also gain the benefit of of local service facilities by dealers well acquainted with the Holden 5.7-litre Gen III V8 fitted to Elfin models.

Elfin was founded almost 50 years ago in South Australia, by legendary Australian racer Garrie Cooper. After he died in 1982, his business passed through a number of owners before being bought by Elfin enthusiasts Bill Hemming and Nick Kovatch in 1998. They stepped up the business by developing the new Holden 5.7-litre V8-powered Elfin MS8 range, which was famously designed by Holden design director and Elfin fan Mike Simcoe, and members of his Holden Design team, in a major collaboration with GM's Australian unit Holden.