There are, in our most privileged of positions, cars that come about every once in a while that you instantly strike a connection with. You fall in love with the look of the car and like a school boy with a crush on a class mate, you excitedly peek a glance at said car at every chance you get. The car genuinely excites you, and lucky for me the HSV Tourer wagon was far easier to get a drive of than my teenage love interest!
I believe that in some distant universe the Tourer and I were destined to be. We’re both stylish and suave but undeniably masculine, and despite our portly dimensions we’re both proven performers. Like the Tourer too, I’m irresistible to women and while that last statement might be pure fallacy, there isn’t an easier car on the HSV range to woo the missus with – it’s practical for the family, it can tow, it’s got plenty of luggage space and it’s a cinch to drive; it’s quite literally the perfect Tourer.
I had the chance to drive one for close to three weeks over the Christmas break and ended up racking up thousands of hard kilometres on the wagon. This extra time behind the wheel gave me time to thoroughly review the car though and really put it through it’s paces – highway driving, general cruising, moving house, heading to the beach, doing the shopping and even the annual pilgrimage to the Nats!
Not once did the wagon skip a beat which leads me to believe it might actually be the most well-rounded of the latest iteration of HSVs (I say that not having driven them mind you, watch out for their reviews coming up). It’s got the answer for every question and there’s nary an area it falls down in.
The monster 6.2L LS3 is raw and untamed. Mash your foot and you can do little but respect what is a pure animal, dressed smartly in a fitted suit trying it’s darnedest to be a gentleman. It doesn’t hide it very well though with it’s aggressive styling, exhaust note, huge wheels and even bigger brakes. And then there’s the rate at which this animal drinks fuel! I explained it to my friend thusly; “on the highway it’s great, slipping into the single digits. The second you think about turning off though, before you’ve even reached for the indicator it’s back to drinking the juice!” Granted this fuel economy might have stemmed from my driving style – it’s the kind of car that you want to drive and enjoy and with well over 400hp just a blip of the throttle away it’s too tempting not to give it a stab. Routinely.
I thought I had truly experienced all this car had to give. I had pitched it through the twisty bits and exploited it’s marvellous suspension. I had exhausted every last inch of those massive brakes and slipped into a state of bliss upon hearing the bi-modal exhaust open up. I loved immersing myself in it’s enveloping leather buckets and planting my foot, watching the nose of the wagon pick up as the speedo raced to the right side of the dash... I was head over heels for the wagon, and then I found the HSV EDI interface which cemented the Tourer and indeed the E3 range as some of my favourite cars of all time.
The MoTeC data logging and Enhanced Driver Interface is an amazing bit of technology – that’s it summed up in a sentence. It’s not a marketing ploy or a gimmick used to sell cars based on HSV’s racing history – it is a genuinely amazing feature that legitimately improves your interaction with and enjoyment of the car. Anyone that tells you otherwise obviously hasn’t experienced it themselves.
People have heard me rant and rave about how awesome the on-board entertainment system is in the latest iteration of VEs and HSV EDI is just that system on steroids. It will tell you everything from when the bi-model exhaust is open to the lateral G-forces you’re experiencing as you drive, tyre pressures and temperatures, what the traction control is doing at each corner of the vehicle, your running fuel economy, how much torque and power (expressed in kilowatts) you’re using and more. The lap timer system is one thing I didn’t get the chance to try out but will be in the future, and the MoTeC heads-up-display (digital dash) is nothing short of the perfect driver’s tool. Put shortly, a HSV without this option ticked might as well be a body kitted SSV – this system takes HSV to sky-high levels; ones that I challenge any other local manufacturer to try and match.
So do I love it? You bet I do! I was sad to give it back, and if you hear of one making it’s way into my garage in the near future don’t be surprised. Hell, the girlfriend loved it so much it might not even be me buying one!
If you haven’t driven an E3 HSV yet you’re kidding yourself. Tick ‘driving a super car’ off your bucket list by getting along to your local HSV dealer today. To find your nearest HSV dealer, or to learn more about the E3 range visit www.hsv.com.au