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.
To 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.
And 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.
However, 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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