It is the devil dressed in white. Holden's new Commodore 'Superwagon' is a first family wagon to get the Walkinshaw treatment.
With a Walkinshaw V8 engine, the Holden Commodore Sportwagon is now Australia's most powerful family wagon.
The Walkinshaw Performance 6.0-litre V8 gains a WP190 supercharger that lifts power from 270kW to 450kW with torque from 530Nm to 770Nm. The power pack supercharger uses Eton internals and the rest of the V8 is massaged with water-to-air intercooling, WP cold air intake, high-flow injectors and a bi-modal exhaust. Walkinshaw's sales and marketing manager, Tony Harris says the Superwagon is a first for them.
"We've never done a wagon before," he says. "We really wanted to showcase the family element. It's a really user friendly every day car."
Harris says the car is aimed at some of the hot German performance wagons. To complete the upgrade there are special colour-coded bonnet scoops, lowered suspension, special 20-inch wheels and tyres and WP engine covers, mats and headrests. Walkinshaw Performance also adds on a high-end Rockford Fosgate stereo system, available on VE product for the first time. The audio upgrade does not compromise any of the car's existing electronic functions, like Bluetooth connectivity.
The Walkinshaw tweaks are not limited to the Sportwagon. They are available on the VE Commodore SS, SS-V, Calais, the Statesmen and Caprice, sedans and utes. Packages start from $3590 but enthusiasts can spend as much as $50,000 upgrading their cars.
Harris says the company "has never been busier" because of the peace of mind available with the no-cost warranty on performance upgrades.
"The warranty offer has been a catalyst for more business," he says. Harris says the company expects to modify about 1000 Holdens this year. The warranty deal applies equally to customers with a new Holden or Holden Special Vehicle car.
"More than 50 per cent of our inquiry is from Holden customers and the fact we are now offering a warranty on supercharged engines gives owners peace of mind," he says.
The warranty extends for the balance of the manufacturers' new car warranty. If a customer brings in a three-month old car in for a performance upgrade, Walkinshaw will cover the driveline for the remaining 33 months. Walkinshaw has not yet released performance figures for the wagon but it's tipped to hit 100km/h in under 5 seconds.
The full upgrade on the Sportwagon does not come cheap. The SS-V Sportwagon costs $57,290 but the full-blown WP treatment adds another $43,990.
"We had one customer who owned a 2008 HSV GTS who ended up spending $25,000 upgrading the car's performance," Harris says.