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HSV W427 video test drive

Paul Gover
Herald Sun

23 Jul 2008 • 2 min read

Nothing as flat-out menacing as the W427 from Holden Special Vehicles has ever been seen before in Australian motoring and 90 punters with $155,500 for their new pet have signed for deliveries before the end of July.

You have to get the W427 on a track to understand how good, and how bad, it truly is. It feels as fast as a recently-superseded V8 Supercar in a straight line, with a thunderous exhaust note like a warbird at take-off power.

Just as good as the engine, the W-car has the first serious braking package on any HSV car and there is no sign of fade in repeated hot-lap stops. And the new six-speed manual gearbox is lighter and smoother than the usual truckie-style shift in a high-performance V8.

The E-Series flagship is not as racey as the first 7-litre HSV car, the two-cars-only Monaro 427 which never cleared the bar for full-scale production, but this time around all the work has been done to create a car which is more than just a racer for the road.

The W427 gets the LS7 engine from the Chevrolet Corvette, with 375 kiloWatts - that is 505 horsepower - and 640 Newton-metres. They are shipped from the USA and installed on a special mini production line at HSV in Clayton which makes the 165 individual changes from a 'standard' HSV GTS. Work includes a big-bore active exhaust, a special limited-slip differential, giant brakes and the latest TR6060 gearbox with local tweaks to the clutch.

Every owner will be invited to travel to Clayton to watch their car being built.

But no-one is sure exactly how many W427s will be built, with HSV chief Scott Grant now talking up to 427 - "but no more than 427" - after an initial build program for 200 cars.

What is certain is numbers which will make the car the quickest quarter-mile and 0-100km/h sprinter in serious production, even if a potential top speed in the 290 range has been held back to 250km/h by a self-inflicted speed limiter.

Grant is simple and direct as he sums up the reason for the W427, which takes its name from company boss Tom Walkinshaw - who is having car one shipped to his home in England - and its 427-cubic inch capacity.

"This is the car that HSV always wanted to build," Grant says.