How Holden plans to take on Ferrari
Holden will take on the world's most famous marques with a mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette supercar.
Tipped to cost around $150,000 to $200,000 when it reaches Australia, the model will be the most expensive Holden on sale while undercutting the likes of Ferrari's 488 by a significant margin.
Like Formula 1 cars and exotic road-going models sold by McLaren, Lamborghini and Lotus, the new Corvette features an engine and transmission positioned behind the driver for optimum weight distribution.
Unlike V8-powered Chevrolet Camaro models offered by HSV which must undergo a comprehensive left to right-hand-drive conversion in Melbourne, the Corvette will be built in Kentucky ready to go on sale in Australia.
Holden managing director Dave Buttner says confirmation the Corvette is on the way "is hugely exciting for our team at Holden and any Australian who loves high performance cars".
"With our long history in motor racing, performance vehicles are an indelible part of the Holden brand," he says.
"Our team is totally revved up to build on Holden's performance legacy with the most technologically advanced Corvette ever built.
"We look forward to taking on the European and Japanese performance vehicles with some highly sophisticated American muscle."
Powered by a naturally aspirated (as opposed to turbocharged) 6.2-litre V8, the Corvette sends 469kW and 637Nm to the rear wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission similar to that found in the latest Porsche 911.
Chevrolet says the Corvette's shape was inspired by modern fighter jets such as the F-35 operated by the Royal Australian Air Force.
A driver-focused cabin includes digital instruments and an oblong-shaped steering wheel with shift paddles. Far from being a stripped-out track day special, the 'Vette is available with heated and cooled seats, a heated steering wheel, folding targa-style roof and dual-zone climate control.
More focused versions will follow in the future.
While full details will be confirmed closer to the model's official debut, expect a 0-100km/h time in the low three second bracket, a top speed in excess of 300km/h and to get little change from $200,000 by the time it reaches driveways.