Forget record high petrol prices: Aussie revheads are rushing to buy V8-powered Holden Commodores and Ford Falcons in record numbers as the iconic sedans near the end of the production line.
One in three Commodores sold is now a V8 and private buyers represent more than half of all sales, the highest ratio ever for the former fleet favourite.
Ford has also bowed to public pressure to revive the Falcon XR8 once the Falcon GT goes out of production in September.
Indeed, the Falcon XR8 will adopt the supercharged V8 from the superseded version of the Falcon GT.
“Australian buyers have told us they want a V8 and that’s one of the reasons we’ve revived the Falcon XR8,” said Ford Australia spokesman Wes Sherwood.
“We are absolutely committed to performance vehicles as part of our brand.”
Ford expects V8 sales will increase with the return of the XR8 later this year because it will be sold through all 200 dealers, whereas the Falcon GT was only available through 60 specialist showrooms.
Once the Falcon goes out of production and the Broadmeadows factory closes in October 2016, Ford will import the V8 Mustang from the US to fill the void.
But, as reported earlier, Holden is still facing a future without a V8 in its showrooms once the Elizabeth car factory closes in late 2017.
The Camaro and Corvette from the US — built by sister company Chevrolet — are yet to be confirmed for production in right-hand-drive, even though Holden helped develop the current generation Camaro coupe.
In the meantime, Holden fans aren’t taking any chances and are buying Commodore V8s in record numbers.
Holden says 37 per cent of all Commodore sales so far this year are of the V8 versions.
The supercharged Holden Special Vehicles GTS, the fastest and most powerful car ever made in Australia, is also selling in record numbers despite costing close to $100,000.
More than 1300 HSV GTS sedans have been sold since it went on sale in September 2013, and sales are up by a staggering 370 per cent in the first five months of this year.
“We expected the sales boom early for the GTS but we’re pleasantly surprised with the ongoing demand,” said HSV boss Tim Jackson.
There is reportedly a three-month wait on some HSV GTS models, depending on colour and options.