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HSV Coupe 2006 Review

This car just oozes machismo.

That's before you even fire up the 6.0-litre V8.

Bearing in mind that it's one of 100 limited edition HSV GTOs and one of just 25 red ones (the ones that go faster), we can't say that we're surprised.

The GTO LE (ours was number 81) could be the last hurrah for the coupe which is not part of the new VE Commodore lineup due for launch later this year.

Holden is still exporting the GTO to the States which guarantees supply for a while, but for how long is anyone's guess.

According to HSV, production will continue in a "limited fashion" in 2006.

"This is possible because the HSV Coupe shares certain powertrain components with the export Pontiac GTO for the US Market," it says.

After the run of special editions is finished, HSV's Paul McDonnell said production will return to normal, but stumps have been called for August.

There's already talk of a new Monaro and of course that means a coupe from HSV to go with it, but even if there is – it's not likely to be a ridgey-didge Commodore based one.

"That's the end of the model," McDonnell said. "The HSV GTO is effectively the last Aussie coupe."

We spent the weekend in the HSV GTO LE only to find ourselves the centre of attention wherever we went.

It's an accolade that soon wears thin, especially when every man and his dog wants to race.

As an owner you'd also grow paranoid pretty quickly about parking the thing anywhere – but it's all part of the fun.

As well as the you-beaut red paint job with white accents, our GTO LE came with matching red Indiana leather trim, enough to put any self-respecting Alfa to shame.

There's also a discreet roof spoiler over the rear window instead of the usual boot mounted job, stainless steel dual exhaust system with quad tail pipes and the car sits on spectacular 19-inch 10- spoke alloys with ultra low profile 35 series rubber.

This car just oozes machismo.

Inside, you get Bluetooth and premium dash highlights as part of the package.

Brakes, meanwhile, have been upgraded to an AP Racing 4 Piston Premium System, with adjustable APS suspension system optional – front discs are 343mm are rear are 315mm.

Just to cap things off our car came with the Victorian number plates "LSTWO".

Power comes from HSV's 297kW LS2 V8.

The 6.0 litre LS2 is a lift from the American Corvette and produces 297kW of power at 6000rpm and maximum torque of 530Nm at 4400rpm.

Fitted with a Tremec six-speed manual transmission, it accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in 5.2 seconds.

That said, it didn't feel anywhere near as quick as the Senator we drove recently which in auto form is good for 5.1 seconds.

A four-speed auto is also available.

Like the Senator, it will spin the wheels going from first to second gear, regardless of whether traction control is turned on or off.

For such a large engine fuel consumption during testing came in at a respectable 13.8L/100km, with plenty of freeway cruising thrown in – but it will chew through the juice as quickly as you want to go.

Our passengers were surprised to find the coupe seats four, not five, people – so it's worth reiterating.

For night driving we found the standard lights even with the fogs turned on lack lustre and would have liked to have seen xenon lamps part of the package.

The optional sunroof fitted to our test car restricts headroom and the 260 watt Blaupunkt 10-speaker sound system is a bit ordinary when it comes to handling the low notes.

The HSV GTO LE is priced from $83,990.


Pricing guides

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Range and Specs

4 5.7L, PULP, 4 SP AUTO $26,070 – 32,120 2006 HSV Coupe 2006 4 Pricing and Specs
GTO 6.0L, PULP, 4 SP AUTO $22,880 – 28,270 2006 HSV Coupe 2006 GTO Pricing and Specs
GTO Limited Edition 6.0L, PULP, 4 SP AUTO $24,310 – 30,030 2006 HSV Coupe 2006 GTO Limited Edition Pricing and Specs
Signature 6.0L, PULP, 4 SP AUTO $24,310 – 30,030 2006 HSV Coupe 2006 Signature Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide


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