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'The last real HSV' sold at auction! Walkinshaw's secret Holden Colorado V8 super ute falls short of expectation as enthusiast buys hottest HSV SportsCat ever

The HSV SportsCat V8 was agonisingly close to production, with GM pulling the plug on Holden just months prior to its release.

“The last real HSV” has its first owner, with Walkinshaw Group selling the secret HSV SportsCat V8 super pick-up to a lucky enthusiast via Llloyds Auctions.

As reported, in February 2020 when General Motors (GM) pulled the plug on the Holden brand and its factory in Thailand, the Thai-sourced Holden Colorado-based 4x4 dual-cab was a matter of months away from entering Australian showrooms.

HSV had planned to sell 1000-2500 units of the SportsCat V8 at a recommended retail price between $79,000 and $83,000, which would’ve represented a premium of at least $10,000 over the ‘regular’ SportsCat’s SV flagship.

Of course, the SportsCat V8 swapped out the regular SportsCat’s 147kW/500Nm 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine for a 340kW/617Nm 6.2-litre ‘LT1’ naturally aspirated petrol V8 from the sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro 2SS sports car.

The SportsCat V8 also substituted the regular SportsCat’s six-speed 6L50 torque-converter automatic transmission for a 10-speed 10L90 unit from the Camaro 2SS, while its front and rear prop shafts, and low-range transfer case were new.

A handful of SportsCat V8 were built, but only the one sold made it to the final stage of development, with HSV commemorating its significance as the brand’s last vehicle program by painting in the same Panorama Silver as the iconic VL Walkinshaw of the late 1980s.

This particular SportsCat V8 was just sold for $205,000, excluding the 7.5 per cent buyer’s premium. While an impressive sum, it pales in comparison to the seven figures recently commanded by what many enthusiasts consider to be ‘the last real real HSV’, the Maloo GTSR W1 ute.

For reference, the plan for the SportsCat V8 was for it to be imported as a Holden Colorado from its factory in Thailand and then upgraded at Walkinshaw Group’s facility in Clayton South, Victoria, alongside the regular SportsCat.

Last month, Walkinshaw Performance general manager Rick Perchold told CarsGuide: “Typically, we’d been in a V8 business (in the days of the Holden Commodore-based models), so the desire there from the end user was, ‘Can we have something that’s got a V8 in it?

“I think it would’ve been a great market. It’s just very unfortunate and, I guess, very bad timing for us, because we spent a lot of time in the R&D phase on this vehicle, to get it right, to get the tune right, to unfortunately have Holden shut down here in Australia.”