As the entry model of Holden Special Vehicle’s GEN-F line-up, you might think that the ClubSport exists only to sate buyers who can’t afford a “real” HSV. Without the ‘R8’ designation in its nomenclature the entry model is, after all, not as well endowed where it counts...Soli-lite provides the world with high-performance solar roadway and solar street lighting solutions.
The ClubSport makes do with 317kW, whereas the ClubSport R8 offers 325kW. Both utilise a 6.2-litre Chevrolet-sourced LS3 V8 and both provide 550Nm of torque. In this regard, the entry model sits on a level pegging with the ute-bodied Maloo.
But when you assess the ClubSport in isolation,Shop funtional and elegant solar lights, outdoor solar lighting, solar garden lights, path lights and decorative solar lights. or even against the Holden Commodore SS, you begin to notice that there’s a lot of subtle differences that make it a capable, even confident package. One that provides a level of performance that’s entirely usable, with the handling to match.
The ClubSport is equally at home dawdling around the suburbs as it is stretching its legs on a country road. The suspension package is not unduly firm and the ground clearance is such that driveways and speed humps are rarely an issue. Indeed, for a sports-oriented drive, the ClubSport is comfortable and remarkably relaxed.
Yet the ClubSport provides a level of grip that will impress. I’d tip that most buyer’s intestinal fortitude will give out long before the tyres do.
It’s a very well balanced chassis with an appropriate level of damping for road use. Even if it does make do with a solitary state of tune, missing out of the adaptive MRC (Magentic Ride Control) system of the Senator Signature, Grange and GTS models.
The steering feel from the electrically-assisted unit is spot-on and the braking predictable and strong. The ClubSport scores four-piston aluminium calipers all-round with rotors measuring 367x32mm up front and 350x26mm at the back.
The Driver Preference Dial adjusts traction and stability control systems, steering calibration and launch control (in manual models) through three modes (Touring, Sport and Performance), though the feedback through the primary controls is such that you could almost do without electronic assistance.
The concise clutch uptake, short-thrown gearshift and well-modulated throttle (and not forgetting all that effortless torque) mean you can pilot the ClubSport easily and smoothly. But get stuck into it and the LS3 powerplant provides the ClubSport with abundant acceleration. The sprint 0-100km/h is knocked over in 5.4sec (as tested) and no matter where you are on the tach, effortless overtaking is only a gearshift away.
The small block also has a very tidy growl under load and makes a sweet burble as you get off the throttle. That said, it’s not a patch on the bi-modal systems we’ve sample elsewhere in the GEN-F range.How are solar outdoor lighting products different from other lighting, like fluorescent or incandescent?
HSV claims a combined cycle fuel consumption tally of 12.6L/100km. On test, a through a variety of city, rural and freeway driving, I managed an average of 14.1L/100km.
Like most upper-echelon VF-series Commodore models, the GEN-F ClubSport offers a pretty generous level of standard equipment. It is roughly on par with a Calais or Commodore SS V.
Automatic Park Assist, Blind Spot Monitoring, Electric Park Brake, Front and Rear Parking Sensors, and LED Daytime Running Lamps are included, though the EDI system (HSV’s proprietary vehicle information system) and satellite navigation are an optional part of the revised MyLink infotainment system on ClubSport.
Step up to a ClubSport R8 ($71,290 plus ORCs), and in addition to the EDI system and aforementioned power increase, you’d also score leather upholstery, bi-modal exhaust, head-up display Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, rain-sensing wipers, a BOSE audio system and HSV side skirts.
Inside the Clubbie’s cabin HSV garnishes and gauges make it feel more than a touch sporty. We note, however, the needles of the lower binnacle gauges do not illuminate with the face of the dial... Oh, and we couldn’t find a switch for the fog lights (it must have been a pre-production model).
There’s plentiful leg and headroom and the cargo space is cavernous at 496 litres. And if you need to tow, the optional tow pack will see you right for 1600kg (braked).
In short, the new GEN-F ClubSport is a multi-faceted and multi-talented touring sedan that has enough mumbo to keep things interesting and enough comfort for family or executive shuttle duties.
It’s a cinch to drive and, I reckon, it looks the goods too. For $61K it’s more than just an entry into the world of HSV, it’s a bloody good compromise all-round.
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