Can the HSV SportsCat+ survive 1200km through the Vic High Country?
Words and Images by Harry Temple
We reviewed the SportsCat in Issue 053 and were pleased to find that it wasn’t another sticker-pack 4WD; that it had some actual substance behind it. Naturally, it was only a matter of time before we got to put the SportsCat+ through its paces. Smack bang in the middle of summer we thought we would test it in Australia’s highest 4WD playground – the Victorian High Country. What could go wrong?
WHAT DO YOU GET?
Considering the price is getting up around the $70k mark ($68,990), what do you get for your hard-earned? The SportsCat+ is running the same 147kW 2.8-litre DOHC Duramax featured in the lower models and this one was equipped with the six-speed auto, which upped the torque from 440Nm to 500Nm. Aggressive front styling comprises of pumped out guards and flares, which add about 30mm and cover the factory fitted 285/60R18 Copper Zeon LTZ Sports A/T tyres on the wide 18 x 10 inch forged alloy rims. AP Racing 4 pot calipers clamp down on significantly larger performance rotors in the front end, while the rear is still making do with the traditional drum set-up.
You get a raised front end (25mm) that corrects some of the forward rake and provides a marked improvement in frontal approach angle thanks to the stiffened spring rate (110Nm) on the optional SupaShock suspension. An automatic de-coupling anti-roll bar disconnects when you shift into low range and garners a touch more articulation. Two rated front recovery points that seem to have been designed with soft shackles in mind should make their way onto all 4WDs from the factory. The 3D front grille, bumper inserts and bonnet plastics work in with the aggressive styling, but in my opinion leaves the front end looking a little too plastic-like, but personal tastes are subjective and I can respect that.