The AUIII XR8 was a great car but I guess I got a little tired of it. I decided to look at the new BA models. They looked great and weren't too badly priced if you knew where to shop, bargain and negotiate a better than cheap price. Before long the AUIII was traded in for an 03 BA MKI XR8. After around 6-8 weeks of ownership the car was sold. It is possibly the worst V8 I have ever driven (sorry BA owners, no offence).
It had a terrible dead spot or lag at anything under 3,300rpm. This put me off the car straight away. I did notice it at the time of purchase and overlooked it the first few weeks thinking a new exhaust would clear it's throat (at first I thought bad back pressure/cats), but, unfortunately, not to be. It was exactly the same after the new performance exhaust install.
I did think about spending some money on a supercharger or some decent internal engine modifications but it just wasn't worth it, to me. At the time Dad owned an 04 MKII XR8 with a shaker kit (see photos below) and that had around 315kws and still had the same problem. The only way to describe it was gutless until higher speeds, 80kph+. I kicked myself at the time that I traded in such a nice low km AUIII example for the BA as it turned out to be such a huge disappointment. The AUIII without a doubt had the edge over the BA in all performance categories, no question. This is my opinion from personal experience having driven both cars.
After selling the BA I found out the 5.4L Boss 260 engines are known to be a very lazy engine down low. Great highway cars, good overtaking power & they look great but just don't have enough performance for me. Far from it. The BAs actually feel and drive like a big car. The AU felt and looked like a much lighter, faster car. The BA felt a little sloppy to me. My BA had the standard options which included: silhouette black, leather interior, 5.4L 260 Boss V8, 4-speed tiptronic, all electrics, air bags, ABS and 18" rims. Again, the car looked nice and did well on the open road but lacked the grunt to match it's aggressive looks in my personal opinion.