Edmunds First-Drive - 2007 Holden HSV Grange

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Americans Will Know It as the 2010 Chevy Impala SS

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    A lardy land yacht it ain't. The Grange showcases the unexpected lightness and precision of this chassis' steering and suspension control.

    By Michael Stahl, Contributor
    Date posted: 06-25-2007

    412-horsepower V8 - Rear-wheel drive - Six-speed auto - Magnetic Ride Control suspension - 19-inch wheels and tires

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    The HSV Grange comes standard with 19-inch wheels and tires, so expect the same on the 2010 Chevy Impala SS.

    The rumor mill has been running at redline concerning GM's Holden-engineered Zeta platform and its future. We all know it'll be underpinning models like the Camaro — already well into its development in Australia — and we all know the Holden Commodore will become the Pontiac G8. But what else is GM thinking about?

    The smart money says the Holden Statesman/Caprice will become the 2010 Chevrolet Impala. Despite GM's Bob Lutz saying rear-wheel-drive models may not be the automaker's future, we're also willing to bet (hope) that this hotted-up version, the HSV Grange, built by Holden Special Vehicles, will be the 2010 Impala SS.

    What makes us so sure? Well, the Holden Statesman/Caprice/Grange is built on a 3.7-inch-stretched version of the Commodore's Zeta platform. Plus, Holden Special Vehicles Managing Director John Crennan told the Australian press last month of his Middle East export aspirations for the Grange. That means, effectively, that a left-hand-drive version of the V8-powered sedan is a done deal.

    And so with a wink and a crystal ball we decided to drive the thing. Fire up the jet, Millie. We're headed Down Under.

    Home on the Grange

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    At 118.5 inches, the Holden's wheelbase is long enough to deliver limolike rear legroom.

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    Instrumentation is clear and concise, with simple analog gauges.

    Holden Special Vehicles, the hot-shop joint venture founded in 1987 between Holden and Tom Walkinshaw, likes to get jiggy with the long-wheelbase cars, too. Its Grange is the most expensive Holden-based product on the market; at AU$82,990, it's some AU$13,000 more than its donor Caprice.

    HSV prefers to think of it as AU$137,000-$190,000 less than "comparable" long-wheelbase performance limos like the Audi A8L, BMW 750Li and Mercedes-Benz S500L. Where the standard Caprice V8 does very well (like, 13.9-second quarters well) with GM's 360-horsepower/391-pound-feet, 6.0-liter L98 mill, the HSV package gains an LS2 6.0-liter instead. Grunt grows to 412 hp/406 lb-ft, driving through the same GM 6L80E six-speed auto.

    HSV doesn't quote performance figures on the Grange, but its short-wheelbase sister, the Senator Signature, manages a 13.6-second quarter-mile — and is 198 pounds lighter.

    At 202.8 inches long, the Grange is only 2 inches longer than the present Impala and the Mopar, so it's the perfect size for the U.S. market. At 118.5 inches, the Holden's wheelbase is 8 inches longer than an Impala's, but 1.5 inches shorter than the Dodge Charger's. Still, it's enough to deliver limolike rear legroom in a bench sculpted for two. It appears to be more space than grace, too, as the Grange doesn't add a great deal besides unique napa leather and suede upholstery to the Caprice's admittedly lengthy luxo-list.

    Outside, where HSV's short-wheelbase models go to the extent of modified sheet metal panels and new taillamp clusters, the Grange gets only a new front clip and subtly stuck-on rear spoiler and diffuser to distinguish it from the Caprice. The 19-inch wheel/tire package and AP brakes with four-piston calipers, though, hint at where the money really has been spent.

    It's stashed underneath in the Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) suspension, an HSV USP (unique selling proposition) that's not available in any standard Holden product.

    Worthy of the SS Name

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    The LS2 6.0-liter V8 is right out of the Corvette. It puts 412 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque through a GM 6L80E six-speed auto.

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    A console switch alters damping settings between Luxury and Performance, the former delightfully absorbent in its ride quality.

    HSV's reputation rides on this being a driver's car as much as a passenger's, and MRC is one of its two magic wands. A console switch alters damping settings between Luxury and Performance settings, the former delightfully absorbent in its ride quality (yep, even on 19-inch wheels) while still showcasing the unexpected lightness and precision of this chassis' steering and suspension control. A lardy land yacht it ain't.

    In Performance mode, the ride becomes more pattery, the rear end busier when cornering or accelerating over corrugations. Cabin isolation falls short of its European aspirations as, ultimately, does body control, but not $100,000 short. Despite the Grange's 4,266-pound curb weight, braking power is mighty, albeit without a lot of pedal communication.

    The other magic wand is the engine — a juicy, smooth, 72-ounce top sirloin of surge, with a dual personality of cruising sophistication and muscle-car mumbo.
    The six-speed GM transmission can get momentarily flustered by sudden stomps on the electronically operated loud pedal, and is more decisive with the console button left in Sport mode. The Australian average city/highway fuel consumption of 16.6 mpg (on recommended 98-octane) is roughly on par with any of Holden's standard V8 range.

    The engine and suspension are the defining points of the Grange: apparent blacksmith tech like a pushrod V8 and competent, though not cutting-edge, front strut and rear multilink suspensions, artfully engineered or accessorized to a truly international standard. But the Grange also serves to highlight the strengths of Holden's standard Caprice.

    Go Ahead, Stretch Your Legs

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    From the driver seat, the Grange is a good luxury-performance car.

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    One of three movie LCD monitors.

    From the driver seat, the Grange is a good luxury-performance car. Comparisons with top-line Teutons just don't hold with its haunting of hard-feel plastics, dog-nose-textured vinyl and subtly mismatched colors between different materials. Admittedly, the hard-feel plastics are in less frequently fondled areas, and aside from some flashing around the front seats' plastic bases, the quality of finish and assembly is utterly admirable.

    The seating is superb, front or rear, with abundant headroom up front and lots of adjustability: electric for the seat, manual for the steering column. Instrumentation, again, is almost too clear and concise for this kind of money, with simple analog gauges complemented by a center console LCD monitor. Front, side and curtain airbags are all included, the latter adding vision-obscuring thickness to the remarkably shallow-raked A-pillars.

    Rear passengers will note the low H-point, placing them virtually at eye level with the scuttle ahead. A DVD entertainment system, with an individual monitor in each front headrest, is standard. Its overhead control unit also houses the rear cabin's A/C functions.

    Just What Chevy Needs

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    At 202.8 inches, the Grange is only 2 inches longer than the present Impala and the Mopar, so it's the perfect size for the U.S. market.

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    As much as we like the understated yet sporty look of the Grange, GM's stylists are sure to spend the next couple of years messing with it.

    With an all-new front-wheel-drive Chevy Malibu hitting this fall, and rumors flying that Ford is finally doing a rear-wheel-drive sedan for the U.S. based on the Australian Falcon, a rear-wheel-drive Impala is just what Chevy needs. The rear-wheel-drive Dodge Charger has proven there's a market out there and now Ford and GM want their share.

    Just don't expect the 2010 Impala to look much like this Holden. As much as we like the understated yet sporty look of the Grange (dig those fender vents and dual exhaust), GM's stylists are sure to spend the next couple of years messing with it, giving it a horizontally split grille and other signature Chevy cues.

    But the hardware beneath that sheet metal is expected to stick around. Now that we've driven it, we know it's something to look forward to.

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    First Impressions: Look at this, then look at your '07 Impala, then look at this, then at your '07 Impala....

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  2. H Dog 14

    H Dog 14 New Member

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    looks :cool:

    Doubt the US version will be as pimp :hs:
     
  3. Vivid

    Vivid OT Supporter

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    Will never see american soil.
     
  4. ERock

    ERock My Face Is Kittah OT Supporter

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    Looks pretty hot
     
  5. Scout

    Scout OT Supporter

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    Fucking nice cars these are :coold:

    Holden have picked up a shitton of awards down here for their new range
     
  6. Pvt. Joker

    Pvt. Joker RIP Nigger Jim OT Supporter

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    nice, but i'm not a big fan of these giant wheels on everything now
     
  7. Coco Monkey

    Coco Monkey OT Supporter

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    they made the steering wheel on the wrong side... :ugh2:
     
  8. Scout

    Scout OT Supporter

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    :hsugh:
     
  9. Zeromancer

    Zeromancer Pampita's Love Slave

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    .
     
  10. Rich

    Rich New Member

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    That thing actually looks pretty sweet. Fuck it, I'd drive one.
     
  11. SBandit4

    SBandit4 If shit hits the fan, just make sure you have a go

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    I'd rock it. However, they should not call in an Impala.
     
  12. Sangster

    Sangster OT Supporter

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    I'd drive it :eek5:
     
  13. Sangster

    Sangster OT Supporter

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    I like the performance button :rofl:
     
  14. pixel804

    pixel804 yabba dabba do

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    wow that looks hot
    pretty nice interior too

    now why cant the corvette have n interior like that?
     
  15. Mjolnir

    Mjolnir WHM6D > *

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    Why not?

    I'm not arguing, just interested in your reasoning.
     
  16. flytojungho

    flytojungho ...

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    because it's too cool for americans
     
  17. pixel804

    pixel804 yabba dabba do

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    because the general american public are idiots with bad taste and would prefer to buy this shit

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  18. Yodelayhehoo

    Yodelayhehoo OT Supporter

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    Wheel is on the wrong side :o
     
  19. Tiberium

    Tiberium Active Member

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    Where da white women be
    2010 :hsugh: too far away
     
  20. salamandersushi

    salamandersushi New Member

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    We be stealin' yo money. You be destroyin' our style.. :naughty:
     
  21. jelloslug

    jelloslug OT Supporter

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    you are TriShield
     
  22. Supernaut

    Supernaut New Member

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    :coold: I would drive that.
     
  23. Tvan

    Tvan New Member

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    :eek3:
     
  24. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    www.pontiac.com/g8

    We are getting the smaller version of this car straight from the same plant.
     
  25. avoid

    avoid New Member

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    I like
     

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