What is it?
You know the Vauxhall VXR8? In its domestic Australian market it’s called the HSV Clubsport R8, and this is the estate version: the HSV Clubsport R8 Tourer.
HSV is Holden Special Vehicles, and is to Holden (GM’s Australian arm) what Alpina is to BMW.
HSV is an independent operation that tunes ordinary Holdens, but gets access to cars during development. It gets cars fresh from the production line prior to giving them the HSV treatment.
This includes some unique bodywork, new wheels, brakes, exhausts and suspension tuning.
The mechanical make-up of the HSV Clubsport R8 Tourer is similar to the VXR8 we get in the UK; a rear-drive chassis powered by a 6.2-litre V8 with 425bhp.
Usually, Holden’s estate is based on a long-wheelbase version of the saloon (the Commodore). This time, however, Holden wanted a European feel to the wagon, so the Tourer is more or less the same size as the VXR8 saloon.
What’s it like?
It’s better than the VXR8. Because the development work was done after the saloon, the chassis tweaks are a tad more sophisticated; think of it as VXR8 version 1.1.