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Holden’s Final Commodore Packs the Corvette ZR1’s 635-HP V8

Meanwhile in Australia, Holden winds down its long muscle-car heritage with the most potent Commodore of all.

When aging German metal band Scorpions wanted to go out with a bang, they wrote the song, “Going Out With A Bang.” When the downsizing Australian General Motors brand Holden wanted its rear-drive platform to go out with a bang, they built this: The GTSR W1, a mess of performance-grade letters and numbers that denotes a Commodore sedan that’s the freaking bizzo.

The Holden Commodore, now with Corvette ZR1 power

You know the drill; this is Australia’s Chevrolet SS, but with extra dinkum courtesy of Holden’s in-house tuner HSV. Underhood is GM’s 6.2-liter supercharged LS9 V8 from the Corvette ZR1, producing 635 horsepower and 601 lb-ft. At hand is a six-speed manual. Along with short gears to maximize liftoff, plus biggo brakes from AP Racing, the GTSR W1 has motorsport-spec adjustable dampers from Australia’s SupaShock instead of typical magnetic-ride suspension.

Add to that a wider stance and a set of Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires, and you’ve got a sort of Camaro Z28 with room for the in-laws.

Holden says the GTSR W1 will get from 0-60 in 4.2 seconds, and span the quarter-mile in 12.1 seconds. But with all that track gear, this potent alphabet souper will shine on a racing circuit. HSV will also offer a lesser GTSR model minus the W, which stands for HSV’s operator Walkinshaw Performance, producing a mere 583hp.

Inside, there’s plenty for the Save The Alcantaras crowd to balk at: Steering wheel and diamond-quilted trimming for the seats and shock-shift grip. Outside is an aggro spoiler and intake treatment, natch.

Better order your super sedan ASAP, Aussies and Kiwis

Holden and HSV are only building 300 GTSR W1s, starting this April, all for Australia and New Zealand. The price starts at $130K in local currency. The non-W1 model will enjoy unlimited production.

Recall that General Motors’ latest rear-wheel-drive performance cars all trace their lineage to Australia, which held the rear-drive torch far longer than GM’s US divisions. It’s to Australia we owe a round or two for delivering the underpinnings of the fifth-gen Camaro and Pontiac GTO, a captive import of the the Holden Monaro. With the new Commodore likely going front-wheel-drive, the GTSR W1 will no doubt be the last hurrah for a brand that we’ve long coveted from the opposite side of the world. Godspeed.