OK, so there was the limited-edition (50 units), blacked-out SV, but we feel like HSV’s long-wheelbase, sports-luxury Grange never quite got the send-off it deserved before it ceased production on November 4, 2016.
Sure, it was a very niche model, but it was a little bit forgotten once HSV started concentrating on LSA variants, and with cashed-up Holden fans clamouring to buy the last-of-the-line HSVs, we reckon it would’ve been worthwhile creating something special for those who like their performance mixed with a bit of luxury.
Behold, the Grange W1 and Grange R. The idea isn’t rocket science, simply take a very limited number of long-wheelbase Caprices and pack them full of every conceivable luxury and go-fast goodie to create a fitting farewell for a car that once carried Australia’s heads of state, before they switched to BMWs, the unpatriotic scoundrels.
Chances of it happening? What’s a number less than zero? Still, it doesn’t hurt to dream, because as of October, 2017, dreams are all we’ll have left when it comes to locally-made muscle cars.
Here's how we'd do it:
Power Part I
If it’s going to wear the ‘W1’ badge, then there needs to be an LS9 under the bonnet. Producing 474kW/815Nm, the sole catch is that the engine is only compatible with the strengthened TR6060 six-speed manual gearbox, an odd choice for a luxury car...
Power Part II
...which is why there will also be a Grange R, packing the 435kW/740Nm LSA V8 tied to the venerable 6L90E six-speed automatic gearbox. The result is 0-100km/h in 4.5sec versus 4.3sec for the Grange W1. HSV’s latest bi-modal exhaust is also a must-have, for plenty of V8 growl.
Unlike the race-inspired, Supercar-for-the-road GTSR W1, the Grange will spend the majority of its life on the highway, which is why HSV’s Magnetic Ride Control dampers are retained, though the wider plastic front guards and larger two-piece floating rotors make an appearance. The Pirelli Trofeo R tyres are not appropriate here, so we’re sticking with the standard ContiSportContacts.
Lap of Luxury
Inside, the Grange is basically everything HSV knows about interiors. The heated and ventilated seats from the Chevrolet SS are installed, trimmed in diamond-quilted Alcantara, while lashings of carbon fibre trim add a racy vibe. And don’t forget the DVD player in the back to keep the kids happy.
If you thought the W1 was rare, think again. We’d be making just 25 LS9-powered Grange W1s at $185,000 a pop, with a further 75 Grange Rs at $125,000. And of course, like all Granges, each car would come with a bottle of Penfold’s finest.