World's fastest Vauxhall: HSV's big bruiser GTS-R heads to the UK
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By now the fact that Australia's supply of glorious rear-wheel drive V8s is on the steep decline is something you'll be tired of hearing about.
Alas, the question will always linger; would the Commodore and Falcon have stood a better chance if they were adopted on a grander scale by their international cousins? The Aussie Falcon never made it out of Australasia, but the Commodore had a crack. It went as far as Europe, America, and the Middle East — wearing a variety of badges including Chevrolet, Pontiac, Buick, and Vauxhall.
It's poetic then that 15 of the last HSVs ever made, in GTS-R sedan trim (no Maloos or utes sadly), will be shipped over to the UK wearing the Vauxhall badge. This was announced over the weekend, with the first of the GTS-Rs to be showcased at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
What makes it all the more poetic is HSV's strong historic links to the United Kingdom, via Tom Walkinshaw. The late great Scot founded HSV back in 1987, and helped nurture the brand through its infancy on and off the race track. One of HSV's most hallowed (and fittingly controversial) vehicles wears the Walkinshaw name.
While it's not quite the fire-breathing W1 that the UK are getting, the LSA-powered GTS-R will still represent the fastest ever Vauxhall ever made, as well as most likely the last ever V8 Vauxhall ever made in their 144-year history — as the marque prepare to roll out the next-gen Insignia as their large-sedan offering.
Pricing on the meager 15 GTS-Rs starts at £74,500, or NZ$134,000 — more or less identical pricing to New Zealand and Australia.
With Germany's AMG, RS, and M-badged offerings all priced quite close in the UK to the GTS-R's price, it's likely to face some stiff competition. But with numbers as limited as they are, and with demand in Australasia on a high, Vauxhall shouldn't have any issue selling each and every one of them.