Frankly, we weren’t shocked when Holden recently pulled the wraps off the new GTSR W1. It has long been rumored that they were looking to suit up a final edition Commodore with the General’s zenith LS engine, the LS9. No, we weren’t surprised, but we were green with jealous rage. HSV, Holden’s high performance division, is sending its LS-powered range off right with four special editions that are powered by no less than an LSA, and in the W1’s case an LS9. Meanwhile, here in America, the Chevrolet SS (the Commodore’s American cousin) is being quietly put out to pasture without so much as a smokey tribute burnout.
Needless to say, we would love to get our hands on one of any of the special edition models, but most of all the W1. While the W1 might not be able to keep pace with the might ZR1 in anyway, its heart is still in the right place and it will still pulverize virtually any sedan on the road–Hellcat included. That’s why we were thrilled to run across this video of the W1 being put through its paces.
The video comes to us via Australian outlet, caradvise.com. What they’ve got their hands on here is actually a pre-production model that has been fitted with the veritable LS9. And despite the fact that it is a pre-production test mule, it still has all of the refinement that the W1 will have when it hits dealer show floors–or doesn’t since they’ve all been sold in advance.
In case you were unaware, the W1 will only be offered with the six-speed TR6060 manual transmission. That’s right, you have to row your own–or rather get to. This is most likely due to the fact that GM never developed an automatic transmission to back the LS9; plus manuals are way more fun. In the video, automotive journalist David Zalstein gets behind the wheel of the W1 along with one of Holden’s professional drivers and opens this beast up.
Initially, he is stunned by the car and eventually quips about what an amazing sounds the car makes. We’ll leave that to your judgement, but we sure wouldn’t get tired of hearing that burble every time we rip on the loud pedal.
Underpinning the Holden is a set of SupaShock dampers. We expected the W1 to retain the standard GTSR’s Magnetic Ride Control suspension but Holden has taken it one step further with the addition of the race-proven shocks. Though it is still a four door sedan, Holden says that it is basically a racecar for the street.
That’s probably why they have decided to fit the car with massive 410 mm rotors and six-piston Brembo calipers. While they aren’t carbon ceramics, they are just about as close as you could ever get and bring the car to a halt in a hurry.
Unfortunately for us, and everyone here in the U.S., this is probably as close as we’ll ever get to actually driving a W1. Especially since all 300 models have already been claimed. We guess that just means we’ll have to build our own…that’s actually not a bad idea. Stay tuned.