Not content with add-ons designed to make your HSV faster, louder, or tougher-looking, Walkinshaw Performance is getting into the infotainment game.

    The company, which was also behind the HSV brand, is selling a dongle that adds wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to VF1-generation Holden Commodore and HSV models.

    The dongle can be hidden beneath the glovebox, and lets owners access smartphone mirroring through the existing touchscreen in their cars. It’s priced at $1199 including installation at a Walkinshaw retailer.

    “The passion of our customers and our race supporters is probably getting strong, not the opposite,” said Chris Polites, Walkinshaw commercial director.

    “We had a production run of over 88,000 vehicles, and I think since local manufacturing has exited, both on the Holden side and the Ford side, these products tend to mean more to people. There might be a bit of nostalgia there, and there’s some emotion attached to it.

    “People are telling us: ‘I love my Commodore, I love my HSV, and I don’t want to give it up – but I do want to listen to music, and I do want maps functionality’. CarPlay was more customer-led than anything else,” Mr Polites said.

    Although it’s now pivoting to focus on performance enhancements for Chevrolet and RAM trucks, Walkinshaw is arguably best known for its time creating hotted-up Commodores under the Holden Special Vehicles umbrella.

    HSV was founded in 1987, and worked with Holden until its demise. Along with its long catalogue of hot Commodores, it’s worked on vehicles as varied as the Holden Adventra SUV and (more recently) the diesel Colorado ute.

    In 2021, the Walkinshaw Group remanufactures American trucks to right-hand drive for GMSV and RAM Australia, and is making a renewed push into the aftermarket tuning and accessories market with the Walkinshaw Performance brand.

    Walkinshaw isn’t alone in offering classic car owners a chance to drag their in-car technology into 2021.

    Along with third-party or aftermarket products, some carmakers have started offering plug-and-play head unit replacements for their classic car owners.

    Porsche offers CarPlay head units for its historic fleet, in the form of a single-DIN system with a 3.5-inch screen or double-DIN units with a 7.0-inch display.

    Apple CarPlay is joined by DAB digital radio and factory navigation in the classic Porsche systems.

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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