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The Ford What? HSV, Huh?

Often times we’re exposed to cars via Top Gear, Fifth Gear or any number of YouTube videos that no one has ever heard of. As a consumer in the United States market, we get less than those exposed to European markets and we certainly don’t see cars native to countries like Australia. Such was the case with two cars in the second episode of Top Gear Australia. The show’s second segment displayed two cars I certainly never heard of: the FSV (Ford) F6 and the HSV (Holden) GTS. In Australia, Holden v. Ford is a bit like Chevy v. Ford. Even the US market cars, the Pontiac GTO and the Pontiac G8, are both based on Holden cars and use the Corvette  LS based engines. One would expect these cars to be based off of high production models like the Ford Taurus or Chevrolet Impala. However, both of these cars are completely Australian build chassis with looks that match their heritage.

The whole episode I thought to myself, in a particularly limited market like Australia, it’s amazing that cars like this are made at all. In 2007 the Australian car market hit 1,000,000 new cars sold. 7,500,000 new cars were sold in the United States in 2006. With less restrictions that limit high performance vehicles in the US (emissions) and a higher propensity of buyers in Australia to purchase high performance vehicles, cars like the HSV or the FPV make up more than 5% of the Australian market. I don’t think Ford and Chevy sold enough Mustang GT500s or Corvette Z06s to make up 5% of the market. Too bad.

Nevertheless, they are still great cars that seem to have the performance of an M3 with the price of a 1-Series and the size of a 5-series. No doubt the interiors aren’t the most plush in the world, but with the smiles on a HSV or FPV driver’s face, I think the most important thing on their mind is keeping the car under the speed limit.

As you know, car can be demaged while shooting the episodes of Top Gear. Do you also have a car that is just taking up space? Check out the contact info at ScrapMyCarOttawa.com and schedule the pick up of your unwanted car.

  • Don’t forget that the HSV will be available Stateside as the Pontiac G8 GXP…We’re finally getting some good cars, right as gas prices are up and the stock market is down.

    M!

  • Great point Michael. I mentioned the base models, but seeing some of these cars in a GM guise will fool people into thinking these are actually GM cars and not just re-badged foreign cars. In terms of actual value for money, these Holden cars have gone though incredible development life-cycles and though they are coming the US for the “first time”, they are robust chassis that should be perfect to buy right off the bat.

    As for the gas mileage comment, as the market drops, we’ll see fuel prices drop as well due to oil’s unnatural market speculation. Also, the G8 should see relatively good economy due to the low revving LS engine. Expect Corvette mileage or better. It’s decent compression rate means we’ll probably be able to use 87 octane as well.

  • I have to say, I could not agree with you in 100%, but it’s just my IMHO, which indeed could be wrong.
    p.s. You have a very good template . Where have you got it from?