HSV IS set to revive its hallowed GTS-R nameplate with a lightweight, track-focused limited edition expected later this year.
Likely to be limited to 100 units, the GTS-R will be rarer and significantly cheaper than 2008’s 7.0-litre W427. According to Wheels insiders, a 100kg weight loss program is a key component of the GTS-R project. Ditching the electrically-adjustable front seats for a pair of lightweight buckets could save as much as 40kg.
Swapping to a set of forged 19-inch alloys, wrapped in sticky R-compound rubber, will also shave another few kilos per corner and reduce unsprung weight. While HSV is tipped to dust off the iconic GTS-R sticker, the car itself is likely to be a crossbreed of GTS and Clubsport R8. We’re told the power target is around 335kW/550Nm (just 10kW up on the GTS), but will be achieved without HSV’s bi-modal exhaust system.
The GTS-R will also eschew the Magnetic Ride Control of the GTS and Senator, instead using a track-focused spring and hydraulic damper set-up. HSV has previously offered special edition cars (2004 VZ GTS, for example) with adjustable Ohlins dampers, and a similar set-up remains possible for GTS-R.
Even with a modest power hike, ripping approximately 100kg from the 1829kg GTS will endow the new car with a power-to-weight ratio of 194kW/tonne (up from 178kW/tonne).
That’s still short of the 375kW W427’s 200kW/tonne, but by using HSV’s launch control system expect straight-line performance to be similar to the now-discontinued flagship model. A 0-100km/h sprint in 4.8 seconds with a 0-400m time in the high-12-second bracket is achievable – a mere tenth or two behind the W427.
Unlike the W427 program, the GTS-R will use parts that have already been developed, helping keep costs in check. Less than 140 people were willing to pay $155K for the W427, so expect the GTS-R to come in under the $100,000 mark.
Officially, HSV denies the project, as it did when Wheels broke the story of the W427 nine months before its launch. However, it’s understood that the project may have been initiated by a third party and is now being discussed at the highest levels within HSV.
All bets are on for the GTS-R to surface at the Sydney motor show in October this year.
Sign up here to receive the latest round-up of Wheels news, reviews and video highlights straight to your inbox each week.
Want free access to 5 years of Wheels archive content? Sign up now!