HSV will kill off the long-wheelbase Grange this year as it gears up to send off the rest of the locally-produced Holden Commodore-based models late in 2017.
The last HSV to wear the Grange badge – the limited edition Grange SV - will be released in September 2016 and sold by October, 2016 to beat stricter emissions regulations that come into force in November.
Those hoping for more power – and the possibility of the 6.2-litre supercharged V8 (codenamed LSA) used in other HSVs – may be disappointed to hear the last Granges off the line will instead continue with the naturally-aspirated LS3 6.2-litre V8.
Instead, the Grange SV is more about the look.
Much of the chrome and detailing outside has been replaced with a black finish; something HSV says gives it “attitude”.
There’s black upper and lower grille surrounds, black Rapier alloy wheels (previously an option, but without the black finish) and four-piston brake calipers painted black. Even the twin oval exhaust tips are finished in shadow chrome.
“We wanted to introduce styling elements that accentuated the vehicle’s street presence and gave it a little more attitude,” said HSV design boss Julian Quincey. “The 20-inch SV Rapier alloys, the aggressive black calipers and the black accenting really help nail the distinctiveness we were after.”
The Grange uses the same 340kW/570Nm 6.2-litre LS3 V8 used in recent years, but now picks up the mechanical sound enhancer developed by Holden to beef up the aural performance of the same basic engine used in V8-powered Commodores. Combined with the bi-modal exhaust it promises to create the most enticing V8 sound from an HSV for years.
Nothing has changed on the handling front for the Grange SV, which continues with 20-inch alloys and Continental tyres as well as the Magnetic Ride Control adjustable dampers. Braking, too, is the same with four-piston AP Racing calipers.
Just 50 Grange SVs will be produced, each with various trim and colour tweaks designed as a “tribute to celebrate the 20th anniversary” of the Grange nameplate.
The Grange badge first appeared in 1996 and for years the car came with a bottle of Australia’s most famous wine, Penfold’s Grange.
HSV managing director Tim Jackson says the end of the Grange line after two decades will represent the end of an era for a company that only began in 1987.
“For almost 20 years, Grange has stood proudly as the long-wheelbase flagship of the HSV range; built to order for a very exclusive customer base,” says Jackson. “It is a fitting tribute that the last 50 Granges ever to be built will carry the exclusive ‘SV’ moniker.”