Hi-Torque Performance HSV Senator: Hot Tuner 2016

Kent Dalton from Hi-Torque Performance still owes me a pair of underpants after bringing the brutal, 515kW-at-the-wheels “LOLYF” supercharged Gen-F R8 Clubsport to the 2015 Hot Tuner Challenge.

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Even in the dry the Magnusson 2.3-litre-blown, 6.2-litre brute could fry its treads with ease in fourth gear, but the Gen-F2 HSV Senator he brought to the 2016 event was a thoroughly different beast.

“This is far tamer than the car we brought last year,” says the Queensland tuner and driver of Hot Wheels stunt cars. “BADNWS is a factory supercharged LSA car, so we chose to fit one of our LSA580 packs that makes 580hp [433kW] at the back wheels on 98RON. It’s a nice, mild driver that’s reliable but still fun.”

Hi-Torque Performance HSV Senator numberplateThe LSA580 pack retains the LSA’s stock 1.9-litre blower but pushes up boost viaan 18 per cent overdriven pulley and new blower snout, cold air intake, 1000cc fuel injector upgrade and reflashed stock ECU using HP Tuner software. Dalton also added an upgraded cam, Hurricane 3.0-inch stainless exhaust, E85-ready fuel system upgrade, and a set of new MCA Black Series coilovers to get the ride height down and give the car an aggressive look.

“Shane Ross, who owns this car, also has a VL Walkinshaw with a 1000hp turbo LS motor and a genuine VL HDT Commodore with a supercharged big block Chev V8 making over 1800hp, so he wanted something he could drive on weekends and have a bit of fun with.”

Carrying that fine line between just enough and too much, Dalton left a few upgrades off the Senator, as it had reached the point where the returns in power diminished greatly for the work involved. “I had ported heads and blower on the bench ready to go, but I left them at home to ensure reliability,” he says.

The upgraded camshaft was an interesting addition to BADNWS, with the Gen IV small-block Chevy V8s (as found in VE-on Holdens) famous for responding strongly to cam upgrades, thanks in part to their deep-breathing “rectangle port” cylinder heads.

Hi-Torque Performance HSV Senator engineWith the factory supercharger on Gen-F2 HSVs, huge aftermarket cams aren’t a great idea, but that doesn’t mean there’s no playing with other specs. This includes the lobe separation angle (LSA) – the difference in angle between the intake and exhaust lobes of the bumpstick.

“The cam has huge 125-degree lobe separation and massive overlap, but it is really mild to drive,” explains Dalton. “If you just walked past the car idling, you’d be hard pressed to pick up that it has an aftermarket cam, but it works so well with the blower set-up and makes really good mid-range power.

“We have E85 everywhere in Queensland, so I fitted a flex-fuel sensor, twin upgraded in-tank fuel pumps and lines ready in case Shane wants to put a bigger supercharger on. The car makes around 50-60hp more on E85 than 98RON pump fuel; forced induction cars really respond well to ethanol fuel.” 

Hi-Torque Performance HSV Senator wheelsWORKSHOP
car: 2016 HSV Senator LSA
who: Hi-Torque Performance
where: 3/225 Brisbane Road, Labrador, Queensland
how long: Since 2005
contact: (07) 5500 6512
email: admin@hi-torqueperformance.com.au
web: www.hi-torqueperformance.com.au

SPECIFICATIONS
DRIVE: rear-wheel
Engine: 6162cc V8, OHV, 16v, supercharger
Gearbox: 6-speed automatic
Suspension: coil-overs, anti-roll bar(f); multi-links, coil-overs, anti-roll bar(r)
Brakes: 367mm ventilated discs, 4-piston calipers(f); 372mm ventilated discs, 4-piston calipers(r)
Wheels: 20 x 8.5-inch(f); 20 x 9.5-inch(r)
Tyres: 255/35 ZR20(f); 275/35 ZR20(r) Continental ContiSportContact 5P

PARTS AND PRICES
Supercharger kit: $13,000
e85 fuel system: $3000
Headers: $4000
Suspension: $3300
Total mods cost: $23,300
Vehicle cost(mSrp): $92,990
Total cost: $116,290

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