The HSV GTS-R made its debut appearance
at the 2004 Australian International Motor Show

26th October, 2004

Show cars or concept cars tend to come from two different schools of thought – mild and production oriented, designed to gauge public opinion or outright wild with little basis in production reality but which allows engineers and stylists to exercise their creative talents to the full.

HSV’s latest show car manages to straddle a mid point between the two. It stretches the boundaries of design and performance to the absolute limit but it also showcases stunning new technology and styling concepts that are squarely aimed at future HSV production models.

In a move that further emphasises the serious intentions behind this car, HSV has revived a truly legendary nameplate for its latest showstopper – GTS/R. Motor sport connectivity is deeply entrenched in the HSV philosophy and GTS/R is unquestionably a badge that blurs the line between road and racetrack.

Far from being a show pony designed only for special motor show appearances, the GTS/R is being envisaged as a very important strategic business tool for HSV. It’s a car that not only provides dreams and aspirations; it backs them up with a fully driveable race track package that opens an enormous array of exciting possibilities.

Incredible specifications

Styling for the GTS/R show car is based on the sleek body of HSV’s recently released AWD sensation, the Coupé 4 and like that model was also ‘penned’ by HSV Head of Design, Julian Quincey. Using the base car’s extra track width Quincey was able to create bold new pumped out guards, ground hugging sills and a deep rear apron that work together to form a very low, wide racetrack stance. The aggressive front-end is characterised by a gapping air dam and brake cooling ducts that give an unmistakable connection to the racetrack.

Penetrating new headlights are High Intensity Discharge (HID) but parking lamps and indicators use cutting edge LED technology, as do the rear lamps which feature distinctive, twin 3D-effect ‘hotplate’ LED rings. “What we’re trying to do”, Quincey explains, “is preview some processes that we’d like to use on future HSV models. In terms of front and rear lamps, we’re trying to get a more high-tech, jewellery-like effect on HSV’s. With LED technology we don’t have to invest heavily in the reflectors because all that is in the LED itself, you only have to worry about the exterior shape and the layout of the LEDs.”

The reworked rear end includes a diffuser to improve aerodynamics and an active rear wing. Mesh grilled vents at the rear of the front guards aren’t just there for show, says Quincey. “You get a high pressure build up at the back of wheel arches so the vents are there to reduce that – it’s something you’d see on GT racecars.”

Underneath, the drivetrain and chassis more than match the promises of the race-bred exterior styling. Up front there’s an awesome new 6.0 litre LS2 engine, in this case with some very special enhancements – forged pistons with billet conrods, double row timing chains, high lift camshaft, roller rockers and recalibrated ECU. In addition, the radiator has been lowered and angled backwards to allow a carbon-fibre cold air intake to direct air straight from the twin nostril grille to the engine’s throttle body. As you’d expect the output is prodigious – 335kW @ 6200rpm and 605Nm @ 4800rpm.

Transmission is a close ratio six-speed manual unit, with high clamp force clutch, driving to a 3.73:1 differential complete with spool diff locking mechanism. For the front chassis and suspension the HSV engineering team have really gone to town in creating a totally customised set up. Virtually all is unique to GTS/R and everything is beautifully crafted, including a light-weight chrome moly tubular front crossmember, light-weight cast aluminium lower control arm and knuckle, relocated top strut mount and Öhlins struts incorporating rebound and low and high speed compression adjustment.

The boundary pushing specifications of GTS/R are epitomised by the front brake package in the form of AP Racing 374mm Carbon Ceramic cross-drilled rotors clamped by six piston callipers. This system represents the very pinnacle of current braking technology.

Inside, the GTS/R combines craftsmanship with racecar functionality with a full-width carbon fibre instrument panel, a Race Tech (suppliers to HRT) competition seat, a full chrome moly roll cage (constructed from 52 metres of tubing) to FIA regulations including finite element calculations to minimise weight. The pièce de résistance is an AP Racing pedal box assembly – this cutting edge racing technology delivers a ‘pull’ style master cylinder for precise pedal feel, electronically adjustable brake balance bar and an electronic throttle.

Filling the wheel arches and providing tremendous grip are gorgeous, Quincey-designed 19 x 9-inch and 19 x 9.5-inch three piece ROH wheels with Bridgestone 245 x 35ZR19 and 275 x 30ZR19 performance/race tyres. Above the left rear wheel arch is race style dry brake fuel filler.

More than just a show pony

Given that this is just a selection of the amazing specifications that have gone into GTS/R, it’s clear that this show car is a technological tour de force but it also has a potential future far beyond just a show special.

HSV is currently assessing interest in creating a one make GTS/R series to help provide a pathway for young drivers who aspire to one day compete in the V8 Supercar Series.

Interestingly, talk of a one make series has sparked export opportunities to Asia and the Middle East where there are several excellent racing facilities but a scarcity of racing cars and events. Indeed, two confirmed orders have already been received for GTS/R models from the Malaysian Grand Prix Commission.

HSV Goes Racing has been a consistent theme for 2004 and the emergence of the GTS/R has sparked the development of an exciting new HSV Executive Leadership and Development Programme. Designed to give business people from all walks of life an unforgettable experience as they run a GTS/R-equipped race team against 3 other competitors, Reality Racing, as the programme has already been affectionately nicknamed by the HSV marketing team, will develop communication, leadership and teamwork skills in lessons that can be carried forward to working life.

The teams will pitch for sponsorship, brand their car and garage, prepare, engineer, test, qualify and race the car (including an adrenalin-fuelled pit stop), all the time looking after their sponsors and the Media! The only thing the teams will not do is to drive the car, as HSV will provide 4 experienced race drivers to lend even more authenticity to the day. But just as in real life the winning team does not only have to win on track! HSV staff with years of experience in the disciplines of V8 Supercars, Formula 1, World Sports Car etc will be on hand at all times to coach and supervise the teams to ensure they enjoy the most genuine experience in complete safety. Whilst Reality Racing is still in its development stages, HSV has already planned a number of dramatic promotional activities that will launch the programme in 2005.

HSV also has plans for it’s customers in 2005 to participate in a hot laps experience with the GTS/R. Details of this element are expected to be announced shortly, but will also include the opportunity for HSV customers to purchase a once in a lifetime day – and experience a ride with a HSV sponsored Supercar driver in the GTS/R and on the same day, a car control course with the latest Z Series models.

HSV’s Managing Director John Crennan stated, “this is an inspired project for HSV and consistent with the company’s constant efforts to look outside the Australian automotive square. I can certainly envisage a limited number of these cars being ordered and individually built for enthusiasts of the HSV brand for them to use privately at race tracks or on closed circuits, with the GTS/R’s becoming highly valued investments.”


GTS/R Specifications



·        6.0L LS2 Engine

o        Forged pistons with billet rods

o        double row timing chains

o        high lift camshaft

o        recalibrated ECU

o        roller rockers

·        335kW @ 6200rpm

·        605 Nm @ 4800rpm

·        Close ratio 6 speed manual transmission with high clamp load clutch

·        3.73:1 Differential with spool

·        Stainless 1¾” tubular extractors

·        Stainless steel dual 2½” exhaust with side pipes

·        Race fuel cell with dry brake fuel fill system

·        Aluminium swirl tank

·        Engine oil cooler

·        Carbon fibre cold air intake over radiator

·        Lowered and angled 2-row high efficiency aluminium radiator incorporating heat exchanger for power steering

·        Rear differential cooler

·        High volume baffled sump



·        Front Suspension & Brakes

o        Öhlins struts with 46mm piston with remote canisters incorporating rebound, low and high speed compression adjustment

o        AP racing 374mm Carbon Ceramic cross drilled rotors mounted on full floating aluminium hats with  6 piston calipers

o        Light weight chrome moly tubular front crossmember with CNC machined aluminium (6061) lower control arm mounting brackets

o        Adjustable blade style sway bar

o        Light weight cast aluminium knuckle and lower control arm

o        Relocated top strut mount with CNC machined aluminium (6061) top plates with spherical bearings

o        AP Pedal Box assembly with “pull” style masters cylinders and electronically adjusted balance bar, incorporating electronic throttle

o        Fast ratio linear steering rack (58.0mm/revolution)

o        Goodrich Kevlar braided brake lines and fuel lines

·        Rear Suspension & Brake

o        Öhlins dampers with 46mm pistons with “piggy back” canisters incorporating rebound, low and high speed compression damping.

o        AP 343mm cast iron rotor mounted on a full floating aluminium hat with a 4 piston caliper

o        Rear suspension semi trailing arm with toe link and a rear differential locator between chassis rails.


Wheels & Tyres

·        Front

o        19”x9”ROH 3 piece spun aluminium rim with HSV designed machined aluminium centers

o        Bridgestone 245 x 35ZR19 Performance tyres

·        Rear

o        19” x 9.5” ROH 3 piece spun aluminium rim with HSV designed machined aluminium center

o        Bridgestone 275 x 30ZR19 performance tyres



·        Race tech competition seat with helmet support

·        Full chrome moly roll cage to FIA regulation including finite element calculation (52 metres of tubing)

·        Willans 3”, 6 point harness

·        Carbon fibre instrument panel

·        Carbon fibre door panels

·        Suede 3 spoke steering wheel incorporating quick release and switch mounting

·        Carbon fibre floor panels

·        Fully integrated fire extinguisher system with nozzles in engine bay, cabin and rear compartment



·        Vehicle

o        Unique front fascia incorporating twin nostril with wide lower intake, brake cooling ducts and quick release mounting

o        Unique front fender to incorporate wider track

o        Unique side skirts

o        Unique rear fenders incorporating flared section for wider track

o        Unique rear fascia incorporating rear air diffuser and quick release mounting

o        Unique carbon fibre rear decklid with active rear spoiler

o        Lightweight front bonnet



·        HID headlamps (high & low beam) with LED park lights and indicators

·        LED rear tail lamps

·        Lightweight switch console incorporating start button, circuit breakers and relays

·        Lightweight wiring harness

·        Motec ADL data logger and instrument

·        Heated element front windscreen

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