The thing to bear in mind here is what you get for your money.

With $60,000 to 62,000 in your pocket, you can get the base model Prado V6 petrol, an entry level compact European prestige sedan with a 2.0-litre petrol four cylinder engine or…a monumentally entertaining, locally made, boisterous V8-powered sedan that screams "here I am".

The entry level HSV Clubsport  has bucketsful of feel with impressive performance and handling and is a genuine, hairy chested sports sedan. 

Add $2500 for a paddle shift six speed auto.

It’s a hell-of-a lot of car for the money and has evolved into something really engaging to drive as well as being crammed with technology and luxury kit.

They’ve refined the beast over the years with some clever and silly technology

Special

The arrival of the high-tech VF Commodore a couple of years ago opened the floodgates for HSV to do their thing and make something really special.

And in the base model Clubsport, they have created just that, a car with incredible pulling power on the street and almost god-like adulation from a certain group of fans. It’s a real hoot to drive but you’d better get in now if you want one of the best HSV’s ever made.

The F Generation HSVs stack up against anything from anywhere on most counts, it feels and looks better made than ever.

They’ve refined the beast over the years by dabbling with some clever and some silly technology, but in the F Range, recently upgraded, HSV has really laid it on.

The 2015 Clubsport is $61,990 for the six speed manual, but we had the optional paddle shift six speed auto.

Our drive car was in the striking new Jungle Green colour which really makes it stand out, but not as much as the HSV-WOW number plates.

Engine

The (base model) car has plenty of the sought-after stuff including a burbling, punchy 325kW/550Nm, 6.2-litre, LS3 V8 engine. It’s been recently upgraded with an electric bimodal hi-flow exhaust with a crossover intermediate to achieve the stated output. Though an overhead valve unit, it is such a big lump that copious amounts of grunt are produced.

Having said that, the LS3 doesn’t mind to rev either and infact, hits harder higher up in the rev range - coinciding with the electric opening exhaust flaps and a louder bark from the exhaust. It’s capable of 12.6L/100km on premium ULP and around 5.0-seconds for a 0-100kmh split.

Changes

The latest round of upgrades ushered in a GTS Maloo and power upgrades across the range along with exterior styling tweaks to the wheels and other body hardware.

Though it’s the entry level HSV, the Clubsport scores multi piston AP Racing brakes, 20-inch alloys, LED daytime driving lights, drive selection (three modes), sports cloth seats, multi function steering wheel, HSV gauges dual zone climate control, 8-inch touch screen, alloy pedals, remote start and passive entry among a generous equipment list.

Some driver assist features are included such as blind spot alert, auto park assist, hill start assist and a reversing camera.

Driving

The most important thing is how this car actually drives and that, reader, can be summed up in one word - impressive.

The moment you turn the wheel, you can feel the Clubsport’s sporty responses through the electric steering - quick, accurate, plenty of feel.

The LS3 doesn’t mind to rev either 

The huge brakes make light work of slowing the 1705kg Clubsport and the Continental tyres provide high levels of grip.

We selected `Perf’ mode for some of the drive but settled on `Sport’ rather than the dull `Tour’ mode.

Each has its own specific calibration.

The ride is firm but not too firm, the transmission fired gears in quickly and smoothly and the exhaust (at times) has a sweet sounding burble - but not nearly enough.