We spent the day with a pair of Australian V8 muscle cars and even got a ride in a 600bhp T2 race car! Welcome to the world of Holden Special Vehicles (HSV).
Harvest Automobiles, distributor of HSV cars, invited the media and customers to an exclusive driving event where participants had a chance to drive the HSV Maloo and HSV GTS round the Changi Exhibition Centre grounds.
Guided by Australian V8 Supercar drivers Garth Tander and Greg Murphy, the event allowed drivers to test the acceleration and braking prowess of the cars. A customised slalom course was also designed to let drivers experience the handling of the cars in both normal and track damper settings. When in track setting, the Competition Mode Electronic Stability Control (ESC) was also activated to give drivers more freedom to push the car harder into the corners, getting the car into a slide before the system intervenes.
Flooring it in the HSV Maloo, there was a slight inertia to overcome before the massive car got up to speed, but right after the 3,000 rpm mark, a tidal wave of torque (all 550 Nm of it) slammed the car rapidly into the horizon, with an earful of V8 noise to boot. HSV claims an estimated five seconds 0-100 km/h timing for the 6.2 litre HSV Maloo.
Braking was a cinch from 100 km/h with the more than adequate four-piston calipers on the Maloo, the calipers clamp onto 365mm ventilated discs in front, and 350mm sized ones in the rear. The GTS sports a six-piston setup.
Tackling the corners in the GTS, the hefty size of the car was felt round the corners as it leaned hard into each turn, but at no point did it show signs of traction loss, in fact, the car gripped hard and felt planted all the way through the quick change in directions. Especially so, with the dampers set to Track mode and ESC set to Competition mode, the car felt sure-footed and steering was sharp - though the steering wheel did seem a tad bit oversized.
The highlight of the day was a taxi-ride in a 600 bhp T2 V8 Supercar. Two laps in the specially designed course gave everyone a taste of what it's like to be in a race car. To be side by side with Garth Tander himself as he sped the car up the long straights and high G-force inducing corners, was simply amazing. All in all, it was an experience to remember, and now you can too, with the full range of HSV cars now made available in Singapore.