Holden Special Vehicles over the ditch has recently confirmed that it will be adding a 4-cylinder turbocharged model to join the beefy V8s in its range.
After discontinuing the Astra-based VXR, HSV has no models smaller than the Commodore and has decided to develop the Holden Cruze platform for much greater performance.
HSV’s big cheese Phil Harding confirmed that the company was investigating adding a performance-tuned Cruze to its line-up, but he wouldn’t offer any solid technical details on the forthcoming model.
Rumours are that HSV’s Cruze will be based on the locally-built model that’s set to enter production at Holden’s South Australian plant in 2010.
What isn’t known is if HSV’s small car offering will be based on the sedan or hatchback version of the Cruze (both of which will be built in Australia), but the sedan’s greater structural rigidity may see it go ahead. The hatchback (pictured in Chevrolet form), however, may look sharper and be more direct replacement for the now-discontinued Astra VXR.
In terms of engine and power there’s no official word yet but HSV is likely to draw from one of GM’s new breed of small-displacement direct-injection turbocharged engines, ranging from a 104kW 1.4-litre to a 200kW 2.0-litre. The Delta-platformed Astra VXR utilises a turbocharged 2.0 litre inline four developing 177kW, so there’s plenty of potential for decent power.
Suspension will be modified to improve handling, but HSV could stay with the Cruze’s rear beam axle set-up or shift to the Euro-market Astra’s independent rear suspension.
Styling will naturally be injected with more excitement for HSV’s Cruze, with new bumpers, larger wheels and body kits making it stand out.
A launch date hasn’t been announced, but with Australian production of the Holden Cruze scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2010, HSV’s small car may make an appearance mid to late next year.
Click here to read a Car and SUV review of the HSV VXR.
Click here to read a Car and SUV review of the Holden Cruze Sedan.