What is it?

It's likely that only obsessive fans of Aussie muscle saloons will have noticed when the Vauxhall VXR8 was quietly dropped from the pricelists several months ago. Stocks of the existing model, which was based on the 2008 HSV Clubsport, have sold out, and the next version isn't going to arrive until next year.

In the meantime Vauxhall has opted to top up interest levels by bringing over one of the 'E2' versions of the current GTS. The 'E2' has received both a fairly substantial facelift and a package of mechanical tweaks and gives us an early look at what's likely to become Vauxhall's next 'Pommodore.'

See the test pics of the HSV Commodore GTS E2 2011

What’s it like?

Visually the makeover includes a handsome new front end, 20-inch HSV alloys and daytime running lights. Under the bonnet the bigger 6.2-litre V8 boosts power to 436bhp, a 11bhp increase on the old '8. Working together with the introduction of a new 'launch control' system - only available with the manual gearbox - that means the HSV now manages a 4.9-second 0-62mph time.

Suspension settings have also been revised and adaptive dampers added to the spec list. On first impressions the GTS feels a fair bit firmer than the previous VXR8, but the instinctively adjustable chassis balance of the old car is still in place. It's never going to feel nimble, but once turned in there's plenty of adhesion and - unlike the VXR8 which suffered from unexpected power oversteer in the wet, the E2's stability control system now seems up to the task of reigning in the engine's meaty torque output.

Should I buy one?

Vauxhall's laid-back attitude to imports means that it's possible we'll entirely skip this E2 generation, with our next VXR8 being the forthcoming 'E3', which is likely to also boast an improved interior. On this experience, we're looking forward to it.

Mike Duff

HSV Commodore GTS E2

Price: TBC; Top speed: 155mph; 0-62: 4.9 sec; mpg: 19.1mpg; CO2: 352g/km; Kerbweight: 1718kg; Engine: 6.2-litre 16-valve V8 petrol; Power: 436bhp at 6000rpm; Torque: 405 lb/ft at 4600rpm; Gearbox: Six-speed manual

See all the latest Holden reviews, news and video

Join the debate

Comments
23

Re: Holden Commodore GTS E2 2011

4 years 9 weeks ago

One of the worst facelifts in recent memory.

Re: Holden Commodore GTS E2 2011

4 years 9 weeks ago

Not even 69bhp per litre, that is truly horrific.

Re: Holden Commodore GTS E2 2011

4 years 9 weeks ago

Not the most sophisticated or hi-tech of super saloons, but I find these brutes appealing. A lot of car for the money.

Re: Holden Commodore GTS E2 2011

4 years 8 weeks ago

Is there something wrong with the technical specifications boxes that used to be at the bottom of these articles?

Re: Holden Commodore GTS E2 2011

4 years 8 weeks ago

Commenting from down under ... I don't know why Vauxhall focuses on these lairy yobbo-ish Clubsports rather than bringing in the Calais V-series (http://www.holden.com.au/vehicles/Calais/V-Series). That'd be a well-equipped V6 or V8-engined competitor to the 525i/530i at GBP30k-35k. And it's a spec that doesn't over-egg a decent base car.

Re: Holden Commodore GTS E2 2011

4 years 8 weeks ago

But why does it have to look like a 90's Mondeo?

First person (other than me) to mention the phrase 'Q-car' loses 10 points.....

.

.

I am not a robot

Re: Holden Commodore GTS E2 2011

4 years 8 weeks ago

FriendlyFisherman wrote:

Not even 69bhp per litre, that is truly horrific.

It's not great, but compared to other 'standard' engines of similar capacity it's not a million miles off. Merc's 6.2 litre in the C63 puts out 451bhp, Audi's 6.0 W12 has 444bhp and the Aston DB9 has 470bhp.

Re: Holden Commodore GTS E2 2011

4 years 8 weeks ago

This is my sort of car, but i wish they would also import a less extreme version. The standard V8 manual, preferably in estate form would be ideal. It ought to be a fair bit less too. Not very PC, but fun, and thats what matters.

As for those complaining about the power output, i think you have missed the point. These things are so laid back its untrue, yet more power (lots more) is easy if you want.

Re: Holden Commodore GTS E2 2011

4 years 8 weeks ago

I really want this thing to come to the UK soon, I own a current Vauxhall VXR8 and it is just fabulous !! Roll on next year when this thing can come in !!!! :)

Anonymous

Re: Holden Commodore GTS E2 2011

4 years 8 weeks ago

theonlydt wrote:
Is there something wrong with the technical specifications boxes that used to be at the bottom of these articles?
Yes. Without wishing to bore you with a long-winded technical answer. Most of our data comes from a central database, shared with other mags and websites in our group. We've been having a few well documented problems with accuracy recently. And until that's sorted we are going to be providing the data ourselves - which is why it's not in the yellow boxes.

Please register or login to post a comment.

Driven this week

  • Volkswagen e-Golf

    Volkswagen e-Golf

    Car review
    16 September 2014 3:39pm

    The Golf turns pure electric in characteristically understated style

  • BMW 520d Touring first drive review

    BMW 520d Touring first drive review

    First drive
    16 September 2014 11:15am

    Punchy, refined and ever so frugal, BMW’s latest diesel engine provides the 520d with a new lease of life

  • Seat Leon ST FR 1.4 TSI ACT first drive review

    Seat Leon ST FR 1.4 TSI ACT first drive review

    First drive
    15 September 2014

    The Leon ST beats all competitors on style, and thanks to this new petrol engine is also remarkably efficient

  • Mini five-door first drive review

    Mini five-door first drive review

    First drive
    13 September 2014

    New five-door Mini widens the car's appeal, but this particular variant is thwarted by the presence of more practical, cheaper rivals

  • 2014 Porsche Cayenne Turbo first drive review

    2014 Porsche Cayenne Turbo first drive review

    First drive
    12 September 2014

    Steroidal SUV packs more power, more torque and the kind of dynamic ability that would leave many sports cars trailing