Holden Special Vehicles has to be one of the most underrated stories of Australian car manufacturing. The Melbourne based company has a history stretching back three decades and has produced more than 90,000 vehicles.
Like Holden, HSV has much of its history tied to the Commodore. With the conclusion of local Commodore production, there weren’t really many options for HSV to consider. It was the quintessential change or die scenario.
HSV has modified its last Australian made Commodore. The car that was HSV’s backbone is now off the table, yet in what should be a time of great concern, new ideas have been unearthed.
In recent years, HSV has been thinking big which resulted in the GTSR W1, an already highly desirable collectable. This big thinking is set to continue.
The enthusiasts who put their cash on the table speak about HSV with an enormous amount of pride and passion. Then there’s another group, a group that respect what HSV has done, and can do, but are not overly attached to the Commodore.
Necessity now dictates HSV needs to diversify its range, the upside is the brand’s appeal will widen. Take the recently announced Colorado SportsCat. The market has spoken and now is the time to have an upmarket ute. The SportsCat will bring new customers to HSV and I would wager the majority of initial SportsCat buyers will not have owned an HSV before.
The success of the Ford Mustang in right-hand drive markets shows once again GM product planners have got it wrong.
HSV has stepped up to do what GM is either too inept or lazy to do and bring the Chevrolet Camaro to Australia. HSV will import the Camaro 2SS coupe and convert it to right-hand-drive in a new modern facility in Melbourne's Clayton South.
The Camaro will pack some serious heat under the hood with a 6.2-litre V8 engine producing 340kW of power and 615Nm of torque.
Yes, it will be more expensive than the Mustang, however, HSV doesn’t seem to have any issues selling expensive cars.
The Chevrolet Silverado full-sized pick-up truck (that’s a big ute in Aussie language) will also be part of HSV’s new portfolio. A five-model 4x4 Crew Cab line-up will be available with a whopping Duramax 6.6-litre turbo-diesel 322kW/1,234Nm V8 engine.
What will be of interest to locals is the Silverado’s towing capacity which varies between models from 3.5 to 6.1 tonnes.
Brave is the best way to describe these plans, but fortune favours and all that.
Tim Jackson, HSV Managing Director, said, “This marks a new era for HSV and Holden and I hope our customers are as excited as we are. HSV is moving beyond simply ‘hotting up’ existing models, and customers will see two product streams from HSV over the next few years.”
There are sure to be more models available over time along the same lines as the SportsCat. With Holden currently in the process of improving their line-up, more opportunities will go the way of HSV.
Fans of HSV’s work can rest easy, the big thinking, styling and performance will remain, it just won’t take the form of a big four-door sedan for the time being.
HSV Key Model Production Volumes
VL Group A SS - 750
VL SV88 - 150
VN SV3800 - 491
VN SV89 - 200
VN SV5000 - 359
VN ClubSport - 410
VG Maloo - 132
VP GTS - 130
VS GTSR - 85
GTS Coupe - 423
Coupe 4 - 132
W427 - 137
25th Anniversary GTS - 140
GTS Maloo - 255
GTSR (MY17 sedan) - 1270
GTSR Maloo - 606
GTSR W1 - 298 (Aust. & NZ)
Key Production Milestones
5,000th vehicle built (June 1991)
20,000th vehicle built (April 1997)
50,000th vehicle built (July 2006)
75,000th vehicle built (February 2013)
90,000th vehicle built (December 2017)
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