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Captiva tempts HSV

There has been a rash of locally developed high-performance off-roaders such as the Ford Territory FPV F6 and Toyota's HiLux TRD. Now Holden Special Vehicles is looking to get in on the act.

It is considering the idea of an HSV-inspired Captiva but HSV boss Scott Grant is wary of building an HSV Hummer, saying HSV had no plans to do so. However, the HSV Captiva could be a goer, he says.

“We don't have any specific programs on that model,” he says. “But since I arrived at HSV, one of my big focuses is trying to expand the relevance and choice within the HSV brand. And the SUV 4WD, all-wheel drive category is too big to ignore.

Grant says HSV has been looking at Captiva but “we're not close to doing anything just yet.”

He also believes the new Holden Sportswagon could form a solid base for a HSV-inspired wagon.

“That's another opportunity for us,” he says. “But at the moment we've no plans there either.”

Despite Ford and Toyota going in hard with their performance off-roaders, Grant says there is no urgency for HSV to get into the segment.

“We'd only enter it if it made sense for our core credentials and brand,” he says. “It's obvious the other local players have strategies to expand into performance off-roaders.”

However, he says HSV has to consider whether the brand is elastic enough to work with AWDs.

The last HSV AWD was the $73,900 Avalanche launched in late 2003.

The Avalanche was based on the Holden Adventra AWD, which failed to reach sales targets locally despite a price cut and hard-sell by the company.

HSV also built a performance XUV ute based on the Crewman.

The company spent $4.5 million developing the 270kW 5.7-litre V8 Avalanche, which used Holden's Cross-Trac 4WD system.