TEN EXTRA kilowatts, 24 more Newtons and the addition of rearaxle brake Torque Vectoring is how HSV justifies raising the Senator Signature’s price by $3000 for its new, last-of-the-line 30 Years range. At $96K this is now a pricey ‘Commodore’ and it must be said, it’s starting to creep into Audi S4, Mercedes-AMG C43 and BMW 340i territory – all the next rung down on the sizing ladder, but all hardly cramped, each serving up a lot of grunt and, crucially, tempting customers shopping for luxury with vastly nicer interiors than the Senator’s Commodore-based cabin.
But Senator Signature owners buy their cars for a reason and most, if not all will be rapt with their purchase – a 410kW, hard-charging blown V8 luxury sedan that’s comfortable around town thanks to the Magnetic Ride Control, letting you slacken off the dampers, but then firming back up when you want to have a crack. You’ve got to be concentrating to notice where your extra $3K has gone, the power bump manifesting as a slightly healthier-feeling engine, and the Torque Vectoring barely noticeable even when you’re really attacking slower corners. But the fact remains, this is a seriously rapid car with ballistic on-ramp ability and competent, enthusiastic handling. Traction remains strong from the rear 275 Contis yet a big, satisfying wag of the tail in first or second gear is still only a flex of the right foot away – and no German this side of a C63 can do that. The Senator Signature remains more of a muscle car in a tuxedo, than an accomplished luxury performance car, but it’s better off for it.
And like all Commodore-based HSVs, it’s going out at its very best. – DC