HSV Commodore VN

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HSV Commodore VN

1988 - 1991
V8 5.0 ltr.
up to 215kW (Group A)
5/6 spd. man; 3 spd. auto
Top Speed:
246 km/h (SS Group A)
Number Built:
2809 (all models, including 302 Group A)
4 star
HDT VC Commodore
By the time of the VN Commodores release, the HSV staff numbers had swelled from 5 to over 40, an obvious sign that the vehicles they were producing were indeed very popular.

The first of the HSV’s for the VN series Commodore was, however, not particularly special. The SV3800 was released in October 1988, the name indicating the size of the new V6 carried over from the donor car.

The HSV body kit certainly gave the car a more sporting appearance, and suspension mods firmed up the handling and steering.

The first iterations were fitted with a black four-spoke Calais steering wheel, but by February 1989 the Momo SV wheel had passed the Australian Design Rules certification (ADR’s) and was promptly used instead.

The interior featured better front pews, featuring leather bolsters and velour inserts, and the dash gained a special clock perched atop the console.

But the HSV model everyone wanted was the SS Group A SV.

The Group A featured a German developed six-speed gearbox (also used on the ZR1 Corvette), and rode upon purpose built 17 inch wheels with 45 series tires and cut-outs in the side skirts for the racing exhaust system.

Extensive wind tunnel testing was performed at MIRA in the UK, which resulted in a drag co-efficient of less than 0.30. The brakes were upgraded to include vented discs to all four wheels, using special twin-piston callipers designed for the SV5000. Unfortunately, the VN would be the last of the Group A’s to be produced by Holden. CAMS had dropped the requirement for manufactures to meet homologation requirements, and there was simply no longer a need to manufacture them.

Before the rule change came into effect, Holden needed to manufacture 500 examples, but with the rule change production was cut short and in the end only 302 would be made. In the meantime, HSV looked toward manufacturing other performance vehicles, such as the Maloo Ute – a car born from the 5.0 liter VN Utility. Maloo is an Aboriginal word for thunder, perhaps an appropriate choice given the magnification of the exhaust note provided by the hollow ute tray.

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