Holden Releases Caprice (Grange) with 436-hp V8

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Holden Caprice Grange 2010 Paris Auto Show
Holden just announced that its high-performance Special Vehicles division, otherwise known as HSV, is about to release an updated version of its Grange flagship. The car is based on the Commodore's long-wheelbase platform, which can be found under the Statesman/Caprice and upcoming Chevrolet Caprice police car. Being an HSV vehicle, the Grange is tasked with being something like Holden's version of the S-Class AMG (in theory); it's a large, fast tanker on four wheels.

When it goes on sale later this month, the new Holden Caprice-based WM3 Grange will do its part to meet the standards set back when the nameplate first debuted in 1997: be big, luxurious, fast, and Australian.

HSV's managing director Phil Harding says, "The Grange buyer traditionally wants the most luxurious, and technologically advanced Australian-made performance car there is. Grange has always fitted that description well, but the new styling, increased power and extra technology makes WM3 a compelling proposition for a luxury car buyer that is passionate about driving."

Power is sourced from HSV's 325 kW / 436 hp 6.2-liter LS3 V8, which also does motivational duties in the HSV GTS. Like some push? The Grange pounds ground with 550 Nm / 406 lb-ft of torque. Other than that, we might as well mention that a "'hi-flow' intermediate exhaust with bi-modal rear mufflers" is plugged into the engine, too. Guess that's just fancy Holden-speak for an active exhaust system.

Outside, unlike Ford's new Falcon GT, the new model will get refreshed front and rear fascias, bumper-mounted daytime running lights, and "shockwave" exhaust outlets all in the name of showing that it means business.

Inside, we (we being my Australian brethren) get the option of premium leather in Onyx Black or Light Urban. Unfortunately, the bland dash is still there; within that bland dash, though, is some neat new technology.

For the crazy touchscreen tech talk, I'll let Tim Jackson (HSV marketing general manager) take it away: "EDI [Enhanced Driver Interface] is for the driving enthusiast. For the first time our customers will have real-time information including G force, power, torque, accelerator and brake position, and stability control data – all at the driver's fingertips. For the real enthusiast they can even download their data to a USB memory stick and analyse it on their laptop."

Other news is that the engine will be able to run on liquid propane or gasoline, giving future Holden consumers even more fuel options (after the new Commodore's growing FlexFuel capability). HSV has yet to release fuel economy stats for the bigger car, but you can expect them to be similar to the GTS if running on good ol' gasoline.