Muscle done right
Joe Viscosi is a Holden man through and through, and we don’t just mean it lightly. In fact, the marque has been part of his life – in a very literal sense – for a very long time. When he got behind the driver’s seat of his first ever car, it was in the 1978 Holden Sunbird, and every car he had after that followed suit. Perhaps it was that pivotal moment that planted the seed, eventually leading him to an employment with GM-Holden in Port Melbourne for the next 20 years. Today, that commitment to the marque still runs strong through his 2016 HSV Clubsport R8 LSA.
When the LSA powered Clubsport made its debut, it attracted the title as the “second most powerful car produced in Australia”, following its older sibling the HSV GTS. However, you won’t spot any second-child syndrome in the LSA as it’s in a league of its own. Compliant yet vicious, the Clubsport R8 donned the 6.2 litre Supercharged LSA engine that boasts a whopping 410kW of power and 691Nm of torque.
Taking you from 0 to 100 in 4.6 seconds, it shows off the thrills of a powerful ride that’s enough to quench any driver’s thirst for adrenaline. The R8 comes with a Driver Preference Dial that controls ESC, traction control, torque vectoring, launch control, electric power steering calibration and bi-modal exhaust, giving the driver control of the performance at every turn. The impressive 4-piston brake package was developed using NASCAR and Supercar technologies, with a large rear brake disc that’s able to withstand the power from the LSA engine, giving it that superior brake feel and performance.
However, the R8 isn’t satisfied with just trophy car status – it surprises you with the adaptability of an everyday vehicle, with generous cabin room and a range of technologies including a heads-up display, blind spot alert, automatic park assist, and satellite navigation.
The exterior has lots to brag about too. Bold looks and an aggressive stance are some of the obvious signs that the R8 shouldn’t be taken lightly. Its body was designed for performance, and that includes a front fascia splitter and quad exhaust outlets that magnifies the roar of the engine. Plant your foot down and hear the V8 come to life from 400rpm onwards, when the bi-modal air intake and bi-modal exhaust meet, administering a chest-pounding roar from the V8.
Safe to say for many out there, the HSV is one of Australia’s most loved car brands. It’s without a doubt that Holden was once a manufacturing giant in the local market, surfing the patriotic wave of the ‘all Australian-ness’ the brand advertised. When that final siren echoed the GM-Holden Elizabeth plant on 20th October 2017, it was a sad day for many, and almost immediately the name became especially nostalgic. Loyal followers suddenly viewed the brand with an even deeper appreciation and sentimental value. For Joe, a former employee of GM-Holden, this car became a relic of the country’s once flourishing automotive history; and that’s precisely why it’s a must-have.
Purchased in January 2017, Joe’s R8 was the 555th unit to roll off the line. It was aptly decided to commemorate its uniqueness with the rego ‘LSA 555’. These days, you can find Joe in his Sting Red companion hitting the road together, sometimes alongside other HSV and FPV members. It won’t be any surprise to us if the R8 becomes one of the most legendary Aussie muscles to have ever been driven.