There’s no company better at playing up its racetrack roots than Holden Special Vehicles.
HSV’s growing stable of performance products inspire such reverence that owners have to get used to ‘rubber-neckers’.
Despite the showy, spacious and comfortable new E body, the V8 is still the star. It doesn’t disappoint, with serious pace, a snarling note and a ferocious, yet flexible, nature.
Throttle response is extraordinary, manual changes are smoother and the clutch doesn’t numb your leg. Sixth gear is still tall for highway hustling though.
The R8 rides, grips, steers and brakes like few other big sporting sedans. It really can match power with grace.
Other attributes include safety, build, features, cabin and boot space and cosseting, wrap-around seats.
And the downsides? Visibility, fuel economy, a temporary use spare tyre for the rears and a pesky handbrake.