Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Neutral Blog & Car Reviews

A collection of stories, reviews and rants

Review - HSV’s ClubSport R8 Enhanced - Page 3


clubsport06The ride is superb; the ClubSport comes with HSV’s MRC (Magnetic Ride Control, with three settings: Touring, Sport and Performance. Touring turns off the bi-modal exhaust and gives a smooth, firm and flat ride. Sport and Performance up the ante, sharpening the response of the steering, firming the ride yet without crashing through potholes or speedbumps and opens up the exhaust. One would expect the hardest setting to provide the hardest ride yet it simply ignores road imperfections.

Steering is three fingers light, with the electrically assisted steering wonderfully weighted; it’s full of feedback, telling the driver exactly where they’re going whilst the grip levels from the European Continental tyres pair up with the traction control to allow a measure of spin before the fun police step in. All of this can be monitored via the EDI, it is not recommended doing so in traffic even with the front collision alarm engaged…Thankfully, at Bathurst, although a full lap wasn’t permissible due to track work, the ClubSport could be given some room to stretch its considerable legs and was not found wanting.

The Wrap

Just a few days before I picked up the V8 powered HSV ClubSport R8 Enhanced, it was announced that the new Commodore model, in a couple of years (think 2016), would more than likely not have a V8 engine in the range. It’s also been rumoured that the V8 Supercars will have a name change of sorts as they investigate other engine alternatives. Could it be that future generations will only know of and hear the thunderous soundtrack that is a bare chested, muscle flexing V8 via whatever audio and video means will be available in ten, twenty, fifty or more years?

clubsport02George Lucas was quoted as saying, about watching a movie, that sound was half of the experience. A well balanced surround sound system has clear highs, a defined middle range and bass that kicks you in the guts while subsonically curling hairs. The ClubSport with the bi-modal exhaust, that source of so much aural pleasure, is what we stand to lose alongside its brethren such as the GTS. That spine tingling sensation of sound along with the neck bending acceleration that a ball tearing V8 offers is in true and real danger of being a museum piece.

Priced at $76285 + on roads, the R8 Enhanced delivers an almost surreal, brain altering experience; it’ll pull Superman’s cape off while being almost gentle enough for Nan to wander off to Bingo at a price that leaves Euro rivals gasping. But at well over twenty grand more than the Holden SS V Redline edition, with 517Nm and 260kW I have to ask, is it worth it? If only for that sound, then the answer is yes.

[This blog \ review was published with aproval by Dave Conole of a wheel thing, you can read more of Dave's reviews at a wheel thing]

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