Proof that you don’t need a V8 to make bulk horsepower


WHEN it comes to late-model Commodores, most people choose an LS-series engine. And why not? They certainly make easy horsepower.

But then there are those, like the owner of this turbocharged XU6, who think outside the box. It might only have six cylinders up front, but it’s making almost 700hp at the tyres. That kind of power would be impressive for any V8, but this beast is only packing 4.2 litres of Ecotec V6, making this feat all the more impressive.

Apart from the slightly unusual exhaust note, and a fibreglass cowl induction bonnet, there’s nothing to indicate what’s up front. The HSV XU6 started off with a supercharged 3.8-litre L67, but the owner has switched all that for a 4.2-litre COME stroker with a Garrett GTX-35 turbo, and the whole lot is running on E85. They’ve also swapped the original five-speed out and replaced it with a T56 six-speed, at which point the owner got the guys at Autotechnique to tune it using their VCM Suite and a factory LS1 computer (using a custom loom).

So if you see the XU6 badges and you’re expecting a quick and easy kill at the traffic lights, you might want to look elsewhere.