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HSV GTSR starts production as W1 sells out

The GTSR starts production this month, ahead of the swansong W1 which will finish its run in September.

Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) will mark the end of local Commodore production with its most powerful, most expensive and most exclusive W1 model that starts its build program this month.

Only 300 units of the flagship GTSR W1 - the cream of the GTSR model range that started production this week - will be built and all have been pre-sold to Australian and New Zealand enthusiasts with a $169,990 before on-road costs price tag.

HSV will build the last of the all-Australian GTSR models with expectations that 1600 will be made - 1000 sedans and 600 Maloo utes - with 435kW/740Nm LSA supercharged V8 engines. The output is 5kW above the current GTS donor car.

But the GTSR W1 will pack an even more potent mill as HSV fits the 300 cars with the uprated 474kW LS9 engine that was originally developed for the sixth-generation Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. It will even get the Corvette's six-speed manual transmission, re-engineered to fit behind the new V8. 

HSV has committed $9 million to the GTSR range including changes from its conventional process of fitting its high-performance engines on Holden's Elizabeth production line.

But the introduction of the W1 means the 300 limited-edition versions will be built with the LSA engine before being taken to HSV's specialist Clayton facility to be swapped for the LS9.

HSV will this month start building a small batch of W1s and then begin focusing on the standard GTSR line-up, while gradually incorporating the remaining W1s into production up to September. For early adopters, it will mean quick delivery but others may have a five-month wait.

Externally, the GTSR and GTSR W1 are identified with special fenders made from composite material shared with the bumpers.

The W1 adds carbon-fibre side vents and rear spoiler and while it shares the 20-inch forged alloy wheels with the GTSR, it has a matte-black paint finish and track-ready Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo R tyres. The GTSR has a dark-stainless finish to the wheels and has ContiSport tyres.

Both versions have 410mm front disc brakes and AP Racing six-pot calipers. Suspensions are different, with the GTSR receiving the HSV-trademark Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) system while the W1 has SupaShock coil-over suspension.

HSV will fit the W1 only with the Corvette close-ratio six-speed manual, but the GTSR will be available with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.

Performance is king and the W1 is claimed by HSV to complete the 0-100km/h sprint in 4.2 seconds and have an electronically-controlled top speed of 250km/h.

The GTSR will be priced from $96,990 plus on-road costs for the Maloo manual, rising to $111,990 for the automatic sedan.

HSV also started building its 30th anniversary commemorative range in January. It celebrates the founding of HSV in 1987 by former British racing driver Tom Walkinshaw.

Will the GTSR and GTSR W1 become sought-after HSV models in the future? Tell us what you think in the comments below.