Revheads across Australia have breathed new life into the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon.
There is now a rush on Aussie V8 sedans before they become extinct. More than one-in-three new Commodores sold is now a V8 — the highest proportion in the nameplate's history — and Ford has recently doubled production of its supercharged XR8 sedan.
But with more power and limited editions around the corner, some buyers are preparing for a bargain.
Although unconfirmed, it has been widely reported Holden will upgrade the Commodore SS later this year with the same Corvette-sourced V8 that has been exclusive to HSV cars. The move, as reported by CarsGuide last week, will push the HSV brand to introduce the supercharged LSA V8 from the GTS across the Clubsport and Maloo range.
"V8 demand is still strong"
In the meantime, HSV has introduced a limited edition of the Clubsport R8 to commemorate the badge's 25th anniversary, including the 340kW power upgrade, charcoal 10-spoke wheels, black highlights and anniversary badging. There will be 100 made for Australia (RRP $73,290) and eight for New Zealand.
Dealers say they do not fear a buyer strike in the lead-up to the introduction of the Series II Commodore models.
"V8 demand is still strong," said one leading Holden dealer speaking on condition of anonymity. "Even though there are rumours about the power upgrades, we still sell cars because there are always bargain hunters out there who know they can pick up a deal on the V8 that is about to be superseded."
The Commodore Series II is due in showrooms in October. Holden is yet to confirm the rumoured changes. But well-placed sources insist Holden plans to send off the Commodore "on a high". Meanwhile, Ford is still filling a backlog of orders on the Falcon XR8.
Ford initially planned to build just 1400 cars in the lead-up to the end of production in October 2016, but undercalled the demand massively and has since doubled output.
Ford will also introduce late this year or early next year a special edition of the highly regarded Falcon XR6 Turbo, using much of the hardware and technology from the Ford Performance Vehicles F6 sedan that increased power to 310kW.
The demise of the Falcon and Commodore in the coming years will also spell the end of affordable V8 sedans in Australia, which is why many buyers are keen to act.
Ford will fill the void with the V8 Mustang, which starts from $50,000, about the same price as a Falcon XR8.
Holden says it has a "true sports car" coming to appease performance fans after 2017, but it's understood this will be a Corvette priced in excess of $100,000 rather than the more affordable option, the Mustang's arch rival the Chevrolet Camaro, the new generation of which has not been developed for right-hand-drive.