TG goes in search of Aussie muscle
In honour of the weekend's Bathurst 1000, we go in search of proper Australian firepower...
Posted: 14 Oct 2013
Said ferry departs just past a little seaside town called Sorrento, on the spit of land that sticks out into Port Phillip Bay. On the way is a little wiggle of road that looks too tempting to miss, so we decide to give the VXR8 a little workout up a mountain called Arthurs Seat. A good call, because despite my Mad Max prejudices, it turns out Australia is not just dusty, arrow-straight outback roads. At all. And the VXR8 really is much, much faster and nimbler than you would give it credit for. In fact, the run up Arthurs Seat is the first time I've really had a chance to let the 6.2 loose on a road - Australian police evincing a famous zero-tolerance attitude to speeding - and it feels glorious. There's torque-vectoring now, as well as latest-generation traction control and magnetic ride, but that's all just tinsel to a car that thumps away in any gear. It is both familiar, and yet not so, meting out a tried and tested recipe with a modern twist - the chilli chocolate of modern muscle. But the basics are still there underneath. A manual gearbox. Rear-wheel drive. A stentorian bellow of V8 thunder. The sun is shining, the sea off to the right is a luminous, shimmering blue. Perfect. We cut back down Cape Schanck and hook back up and around through Tootgarook and Blairgowrie to hop on the ferry, causing a minor crowd-control incident when the other passengers see what we're stowing in the bowels of the boat. Honestly? It's a bit odd.