It’s bright red, lead-sled low and boasts more than 485kW at the treads.
It’s also one of the more fastidiously modified late-model Aussie cars we’ve seen. But before we take a closer look at what’s under the bonnet, let’s learn more about its creator, Tekno Performance, what it offers and how it goes about making late-model performance cars go even faster.
Located close to the Gold Coast, the performance workshop sits alongside Jono Webb’s Tekno Autosports V8 Supercar crew so there’s a synergy between road and track, following in the footsteps of Ford in the 1970s, Brocky’s HDT and Nissan’s SVD in the 1980s, and of course HSV and HRT in modern times.
Keeping standards high is a foundation for this young and growing company. “Jono has always said to me, only the best products and do it right the first time,” says the company’s performance manager Greg Markham.
That’s a lesson Jono (who, as well as pedalling a V8 Supercar, assists MOTOR with driving duties from time to time) has no doubt learnt from his time in competition. You don’t get a second chance with reliability on the track, and just like the race team, getting it right first time doesn’t happen by magic – it occurs after plenty of product and component development and research.
Tekno’s performance upgrade packages for Holdens and HSVs are marketed and installed as Stage One, Two and Three. The $3500 Stage One Tekno Power pack involves a free-flowing intake (with the standard air-filter and its box retained), a cat-back exhaust system and a bespoke tune for a bit of extra eagerness from the base car.
Stage Two is where things get serious, adding extractors in front of Tekno’s pipes and an intake system that provides cold air to the engine from over the radiator. “With an SS straight off the showroom floor, we deliver around 350kW from the Holden’s 270,” says Markham. “It’s a popular package that really wakes things up but leaves the engine internally standard.” That means Tekno can offer customers a driveline warranty.
Tuning is performed on a car-by-car basis, with Tekno shunning load-and-go tuning. “That was one thing Jono and I determined early on,” says Markham. “No generic tunes. Regardless of manufacturing tolerances and the like, [the engines] are all different.
And if you’re putting the money and effort into building something like this, a dedicated tune gets the most from the hardware – it’s a shame not to. That extra hour and a half on the dyno, or some extra time spent on-road, can pay big dividends.”
Brakes play a big role in performance so they’re also a big part of what Tekno does, depending on the requirements of the specific car and customer. “HSVs may not need a brake upgrade but for Holdens it’s a good step-up,” explains Markham.
“We usually install Harrop brakes; a mono-block four-piston caliper over a 355mm front and rear rotor. Or the Ultimate kit, which has a six-piston front and a four-piston rear over a 381mm front and 356mm rear rotor. That takes braking performance right up.”
Tekno is particularly proud of its exhaust systems. Manufactured to specs that exceed original equipment, the system is integral to most of Tekno’s upgrades. “Exhaust systems can be difficult,” admits Markham. “You need to strike a balance between exhaust note
and drone; one person may want it loud while another wants it quiet. There’s a considerable amount of trial and error to work out a package that suits our customers.
“There are plenty of exhaust systems available on the market, but reliability over time is important to us – we can’t have the mufflers failing and the system getting louder, for instance. We provide lots to dealerships so it’s not worth compromising the brand. We’re doing more and more dealership work. As well as us modifying customer cars, the Tekno 350 and Tekno 500 packages can be bought as brand new vehicles straight off the showroom floor.”
Which brings us to this scorching red HSV ClubSport. Straight after the launch of HSV’s Gen-F range in 2013, Tekno bought a white ClubSport and threw its whole catalogue at it as a demonstration vehicle. “Then a customer came along and fell in love with it,” laughs Markham. “We only owned it for a month or so! So we bought this red one and we’ve taken it to the next level.
“It’s a showcase for what we can do,” says Markham. “People look at this one and it’s ‘oh wow!’. Being air-bagged really gets peoples’ attention. We do a lot of trade shows and try to get out there with the fans at the V8 Supercars as much as possible. [Building cars] works for us nationally.”
To develop almost 500kW at the treads, this ClubSport is supercharged with an Eaton-tech Harrop supercharger with integral intercooling (the charge air is intercooled within the intake manifold).
The engine’s bottom end – everything below the head gaskets such as crank, rods and pistons – is standard which is Tekno’s usual path to performance.
“With a cam change and supercharger, 600 horses at the wheels is no problem,” says Markham. “But for this car we wanted to go that bit further, so we decided to do the heads. If you are going to that extra level with chasing power, as we wanted for this car, the heads are a definite advantage.”
The heads were removed and CNC-ported and while they were off the cam and lifters replaced. Modified cams assist both naturally aspirated and supercharged engines, but force-feeding requires different cam timing: too much overlap (the time the intake and exhaust valves are open simultaneously between the exhaust stroke and the intake stroke) and some of the incoming air – and of course the fuel it carries – can be blown out the exhaust valve.
The wheels are Tekno’s own design. “They’re a fully forged wheel made in the US. When we get a car in, we’ll buy-in rims to suit a budget depending on what the customer wants but these rims are our premium wheels.” And they’d want to be – they’re around $1400. Each.
Markham placates the ‘sticker shock’ by pointing out their international-grade quality and exclusive trick design. “You’re not going to roll up to a set of lights and see another set next to you,” he says. “They’re one-offs. And they’re not going to shatter like cheap wheels – that’s becoming more and more common.”
You want your Clubbie to look like this? It’ll cost $40K over the sticker price. Which doesn’t include the human-eyeball-magnet. That’s sort of included.