Sunday, December 13, 2015

Forza Motorsport 6: Smells like Calais

Continuing on Forza Motorsport 6's tribute to Australian motoring, there is another classic Australian muscle car added to the roster courtesy of the Mobil 1 Car Pack. It's another Holden and this time, it's a VL Commodore Group A SV, the car that signalled the birth of Holden Special Vehicles division.

vl

Ever since the collaboration between Holden and racing driver Peter Brock ended, Holden needed someone to create a new performance division and that's what Tom Walkinshaw Racing turned in and with that, Holden Special Vehicles was established, succeeding where the Holden Dealer Team left off.

Based on the VL Commodore saloon, the SV is a special model featuring a special bodykit courtesy of TWR, which reduces drag by over 25% over the previous HDT SS Group A. The 5.0L V8 engine, producing 241HP of power, has been improved to withstand racing conditions.

It was limited to 500 units, due to homologation regulations, and it's only available in Panorama Silver exterior color, but due to demand, an additional 250 units were made.

After many failed attempts in racing since its 1988 motorsport debut, a race-spec VL scored a win in the 1990 Tooheys 1000 by Win Percy and Allan Grice, as well as the 1990 Nissan Sydney 500 by Perkins and Tomas Mezera in a privately entered car.

vl (2)

Although I am not familiar with the VL Commodore, I had an unquestionable feeling that I'm starting to enjoy the VL Commodore when I spent so much time driving one. Although this is a road-going touring car heavily inspired from its motorsports involvement, driving one smells and feels like I'm in Calais. Yes, and some might say there was such thing as a VL Calais in the real world, this hardcore VL Commodore feels like I'm as close as I can get to Calais but this isn't Calais though because I'm in Bathurst and while in Bathurst, its dynamic character makes it very tricky to handle but at the hands of skilled drivers, driving one of these is as enjoyable as reminiscing its motorsports past and its remarkable feats that the legendary Tom Walkinshaw invested in spawning these machines and give birth to the HSV as we knew it.

Speaking of which, I need to compare it to a modern equivalent to the car I'm driving and find out just how close are these two Aussie saloons.

ss

To some people who may have noticed that this is just an American saloon known as the Chevrolet SS, you haven't seen the rest of it because the fact is, the Chevrolet SS is basically a Holden VF Commodore rebadged and sold in the USA in the same way the deceased Pontiac G8 did to the Holden VE Commodore. Let's remember though, this is built in Australia so that matches the qualifications of a comparo I set up with. Without further ado, let's compare the classic Aussie muscle versus its modern-day equivalent.


Look at those Australian-born cars, feeling at home at their home ground and since they're having the best time of their lives, these Aussie cars think that the Land Down Under never felt so alive for them. Anyway, no time for being sentimental because it's onto the results. The SS did it in 02:46.983 while the VL Commodore Group A SV did it in 02:57.726. So there's an eleven second gap between them but never mind though because even though the VL Commodore did it eleven seconds slower than the modern-day VF Commodore....errr....Chevy SS, I am glad that I have driven another Aussie greats in FM6 and I'd expect more like these because with Australian car production is nearing its end, there's nothing like a better time than paying tribute to Australian motoring.

Mmmm....This VL Commodore smells like Calais...

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