Holden Commodore SS poised to get more power by this time next year.
Holden plans to send-off the Commodore SS on a V8-powered high by fitting the Corvette-sourced 6.2-litre LS3 V8 that until now has been reserved for the HSV Clubsport.
The power upgrade is still about a year away and is also likely to include race-bred Brembo brakes for all four wheels; currently the top-line Commodore SS only has Brembo brakes on the front and standard calipers on the rear.
The change means that the Holden Commodore SS will finally be on an equal footing with the Chevrolet version exported to North America – but it won’t have as much power as locally-tuned HSV cars.
CarsGuide understands there will still be a performance gap between the Commodore SS and HSV range, which now has the Clubsport R8 pumping out 340kW following the recent model update.
The Holden Commodore SS with the 6.2-litre LS3 V8 is expected to have its power capped at 310kW, or 415 horsepower, the same as the US version.
To protect HSV, the high-powered Commodore SS will miss out on other HSV enhancements such as the adjustable air intake and exhaust, even larger brakes, 20-inch wheels and tyres, and the built-in data-logging system pioneered by HSV.
The upgraded Commodore SS will also lack the HSV’s more daring body kit and exhaust treatment, and sports seats.
Holden spokesman George Svigos declined to comment on the planned power upgrade.
“We don’t discuss future model plans,” he told CarsGuide.
Holden insiders insist the power upgrade is not a response to the supercharged Ford Falcon XR8.
CarsGuide understands the plan to fit the 6.2-litre LS3 V8 to the Commodore SS was signed off long before the current VF range arrived in showrooms 18 months ago, and that Holden has deliberately held back the final ace up its sleeve to boost sales in the final two years of local production.
Since Holden announced it would close its Australian car manufacturing operations in 2017, fans have rushed to buy V8 models, accounting for 37 per cent of Commodore sales.
Meanwhile Ford massively undercalled the enthusiasm for V8 power and is now trying to double production of the recently released XR8 sedan.