When too much power is barely enough, there is this alternative. Harrop Engineering, which specialises in race-car engineering and supercharger technology, has an upgrade kit for the HSV GTS that for about $6600 transforms Australia's fastest sedan into a road-going supercar.
The whitecoats at Harrop, which include two highly regarded former HSV employees, have extracted 530kW of power and a mind-boggling 1000Nm of torque from the supercharged 6.2-litre V8. The go-fast bits include a larger air intake, two resized drive pulleys to make the supercharger spin faster, larger fuel injectors and some engine management finesse to make things run smoothly.
Harrop puts a driveline warranty on this package. Any further modifications (and the engine is capable of it) and you're on your own. A brief drive of the 530kW Harrop package reveals just how much potential there is in the standard GTS engine. Unlike other modified cars, this upgrade felt as smooth as the original HSV and didn't cough and splutter in traffic -- as most cars with this much power and torque tend to do.
It was breathtaking. The power upgrade was fitted to a manual, and it felt substantially quicker than the standard auto. Beyond the cost of the Harrop conversion, there might also be the additional and frequent expense of feeding it fresh rear tyres.
Watch the desktop version of the HSV GTS video here.