HSV Clubsport LSA vs Ford Falcon XR8 Sprint drag race

We're going to assume if you've got this far you've already watched the video. If you haven't, do so, then read on.

Obviously, the Sprint is soundly thumped by the Clubsport and you're all going to want to know why. Well, this match-up is a prime example of why numbers can be very deceptive.

Despite what the figures say, in the real world the HSV and the Ford are more or less exactly as fast as each other. That much is obvious from their trap speeds, the HSV recording 184.84km/h and the Ford 182.35km/h, even with a poor launch.

HSV-Clubsport -R8-LSATo further illustrate the point, we performed a 50km/h side-by-side roll-on test which you can see at the end of the video. Yes, the HSV is faster, but by less than a car length all the way to 170km/h. After all, both cars recorded identical 2.5sec 80-120km/h times.

So the next question is: why did the Sprint launch so poorly? It's a good question, and one we don't have a concrete answer for. 

The conditions aren't to blame. The temperature was 17C and the track was warm, in fact they were so good the Clubsport ran its best-ever numbers just prior to the Sprint's runs.

Driver error? This can never be discounted but as the tester responsible I can hand-on-heart say every single technique I know was tried.

Ford -Falcon -XR8-SprintAnd in case there were some I didn't know, I rang the guys in charge of the Sprint program and spent 30mins running through their entire bag of tricks in real time, but the end result was the same.

Even running with DSC on and letting the electronics manage the wheelspin resulted in 5.2sec 0-100km/h and a 13.3sec quarter mile. 

It appears the blame lies with the tyres. The rear Pirelli P Zeros still had plenty of tread and worked well on the road, but the suspicion is they were past their best in terms of ultimate performance and with this level of torque, they need to be at their best!

This isn't the end of the story, as we have plans to give the Sprints their best chance of running the numbers they're capable of.  

Hsv -Clubsport -LSA-vs -Ford -Falcon -XR8-SprintHowever, the main thing is that the Sprints don't become defined by a set of numbers. These are much-improved cars, and you can read how the XR8 Sprint fared against the Clubsport LSA in our latest issue.

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  • Hey guys good to to see stern reactions to such flawed results but one thing comes to mind which reminds me of a story these bone heads wrote only a couple of years ago when they reviewed Fords final FPV GTF 351 cast your minds back when Motor had to eat large amounts of humble pie when found fudging power outputs & then carried out the definitive power tests wow think they would learn hey, my guess is Motor is looking to up their mag sales for their major sponsor Holden by inciting strong reaction from the public smart marketing Motor but goes a long way to why our home grow car manufactures are all but gone with irresponsible reporting like this should be proud of yourselves Motor NOT
  • Very, very poor form Motor. Very disappointed in what you have done here. That report was simply not ready for publication. How could it be when the drive review was incomplete? Yes, incomplete. Are you going to say that you didn't know it was common knowledge that the Sprints had been pulling 4.6 sec (0-100kph) easily and repeat-ably at Baskerville media day? Let's give you the benefit of the doubt and say you do keep your finger on the pulse and you were aware of that. Then why on earth would you go to press with a pathetic set of number on the Sprint like you have. Why would you not hold back until you either worked out what was wrong and went some way to mitigating it OR stopped and obtained a replacement vehicle from Ford to repeat the test. Boggles the mind Motor. You've truly hit a low point here - with such an important car in the history of Ford and Australia you rush your Holden-favoured results to print for reasons best known to yourselves (we can guess what they may be - not rocket science) and display, as another poster here aptly put it, your "totally unprofessional" behaviour in this matter. I agree. Further, I reject outright any excuse that you could not run the numbers AFTER you obtained a replacement vehicle. A thinking person is left with only one explanation as to why you rushed to press with a clearly Holden shine on the number. Do I really need to say the words? You should be ashamed of yourselves Motor. Prove I'm wrong and run the numbers with an ideal car and independent observer/driver. I challenge you. Ford and Holden fans alike deserve a much higher grade of reporting on these two very special collectible cars for future generations. Please don't embarrass your company further by repeating this atrocious clandestine behaviour with the XRTS.
  • That page of performance stats should NEVER have been released by you Motor. It is clearly incorrect and a false representation of the performance of the Sprint. I AM BIAS, of course I am - Will Motor admit their bias toward one of their paying advertisers? I am willing to concede it was lack of skill on their part - are they? But this is above and beyond any bias what they have done. Think about it. Numerous mags have endorsed the 4.6sec time and lesser Falcons V8's (FG's FG-X's) than Sprint have run 0-100 at less than 5 secs ALL DAY! I To say that Motor ruins its own professional credibility here with reporting like that is understatement. They and the cars should not have left the track that day until they got a true and representative time from that Sprint. Over 5secs is clearly not representative of the car - they should have rescheduled with another car as there was something wrong with that one OR their driving. By being 'satisfied' with the result they got is unforgivable from a professional journalism viewpoint. I, for one, will never hold their word high on anything again. I wouldn't bother calling them 'Holden bias'. I would more accurately call them totally unprofessional. That term takes in many considerations. Shame on you Motor, shame as your chance to be seen for generations accurately reporting on a historically significant car has gone up in wheelspins of smoke. Motor's obvious bias and unprofessional reporting, driving ability and inability to accept resonsibility for their actions will be the things which will be obvious to future generations reading their 'review'. Nearly as sad as losing manufacturing from this great country.
  • Well my fg gt supercharged with the 335kw coyote which is the same as the sprint and i ran a 12.6 in full factory trim running on 19s and in auto trim
  • Wow another revelation! Motor yet again puts out poor numbers against a Holden who would of guessed one last chance to bag the Ford product, any chance you have come up with anything new in your latest mag let me guess poor driving position, cant get the seat low enough, dated interior not upmarket & modern like Holden, slower not as dynamic, handling is poorer, steering not as direct as Holden yawn, yawn, yawn one good thing to come from our fav manufactures closures is you wont be able to bore us with any more ******** comparisons thank the lord for that.