HSV could give the GTS a ‘Vette ZR1-sourced V8 … will Chevy do the same with the SS?


Australian media outlets are reporting the Holden Commodore-based HSV GTS, a full-size sedan that shares a vast majority of its components with the Chevrolet SS, will get a 638-horsepower V8 engine in the not-too-distant future. It’s not quite a Hellcat, but it’s getting pretty darn close.

The mill in question is a supercharged 6.2-liter eight-cylinder — a unit called LS9 internally — that powered the last-generation Corvette ZR1. It is tuned to deliver precisely 638 hp at 6,500 rpm and 604 pound-feet of torque at 3,800 rpm, figures that represent a generous bump in power over the stock GTS’ 415-hp V8. An automatic transmission will send power to the rear wheels, and carbon-ceramic brakes built by Brembo will keep the power in check.

Holden has not commented on the report, and Chevrolet is keeping its lips tightly sealed as well. If the rumor turns out to be true, the Corvette-powered GTS will earn the honor of being the most powerful muscle car ever built in Australia. Sadly, it will also be the Commodore’s swan song because local production is set to end before the decade draws to a close.

Of course, what happens Down Under doesn’t necessarily stay Down Under. If the Commodore gets the ‘Vette’s V8, it’s not too far-fetched to speculate the same engine will be offered under the hood of the Chevrolet SS shortly after. A hotter version of the SS would help Chevrolet counter Dodge’s Hellcat offensive, and it would pack enough of a punch to give BMW- and Mercedes-badged four-door hot rods a run for their money.

The catch, according to Australian magazine Drive, is that Chevrolet only has a limited supply of LS9 engines in stock. If built, the ‘Vette-powered Commodore will arrive as a limited-edition model, which means its Chevrolet-badged counterpart is all but certain to be equally elusive.