Holden Commodore (VS)

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Holden Commodore (VS)
1996 Holden Commodore (VS) Equipe sedan (2015-07-15) 01.jpg
Holden Commodore Equipe sedan
Overview
Manufacturer Holden (General Motors)
Also calledHolden Berlina (VS)
Holden Calais (VS)
Opel Calais
Toyota Lexcen (T4)
ProductionApril 1995–August 1997 (sedan, wagon)
April 1995–December 2000 (utility)
AssemblyAustralia: Elizabeth, South Australia
Body and chassis
Class Executive
Body style 2-door coupé utility
4-door sedan
5-door station wagon
Platform FR GM V platform
Related Holden Statesman/Caprice (VS)
HSV VS series
CSV VS series
Opel Omega A
Powertrain
Engine 2.5 L C25XE V6 (export only)
3.8 L ECOTEC 3800 V6
3.8 L Supercharged ECOTEC V6
5.0 L 5000i V8
Transmission 4-speed 4L60-E automatic
5-speed Borg-Warner T-5 manual
5-speed Getrag 260 transmission manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase Sedan: 2,731 mm (107.5 in)
Wagon: 2,822 mm (111.1 in)
LengthSedan: 4,861 mm (191.4 in)
Wagon: 4,903 mm (193.0 in)
Width1,794 mm (70.6 in)
Height1,476 mm (58.1 in)
Curb weight 1,385–1,477 kg (3,053–3,256 lb)
Chronology
Predecessor Holden Commodore (VR)
Successor Holden Commodore (VT) (sedan, wagon)
Holden Ute (VU) (utility)

The Holden Commodore (VS) is an executive car which was produced by the Australian manufacturer Holden from 1995 to 1997 and 2000 for utility versions. It was the fourth and final iteration of the second generation of this Australian made model. The range included the luxury variants, Holden Berlina (VS) and Holden Calais (VS). [1]

Contents

Overview

Launched in April 1995, the VS Commodore served as a mechanical update of the second generation architecture, destined to assist sales before the all-new VT model in August 1997. The extent of exterior changes veered not much further than a redesigned Holden logo and wheel trims. [2] An updated Ecotec (Emissions and Consumption Optimisation through TEChnology) version of the Buick V6 engine coincided with the changes to the engine in the United States. The Ecotec engine packed 13 percent more power, an increase of 17 kilowatts (23 hp) over the VR, cut fuel consumption by 5 percent, and increased the compression ratio from 9.0:1 to 9.4:1. Holden mated the new engine with a modified version of the GM 4L60-E automatic transmission, bringing improved throttle response and smoother changes between gears. [2] Safety features were also improved, with a passenger airbag becoming available.

The utility version of the VS was released in April 1995. The limited edition VS wagon with manual gearbox had a production run of just 300 vehicles.

The VS Commodore was the last of which to be sold as Toyota Lexcens, as Holden and Toyota ended their model-sharing scheme. [3] The last Lexcens were built during 1997. [4]

Series II

In June 1996 the Series II of the VS was launched, featuring the new ECOTEC (Emissions and Consumption Optimisation TEChnology) 3800 V6, which compared to the previous 3800 V6, more powerful, more economic, produces less emissions, quieter and smoother. It was also fitted with a passenger-side airbag, the first Australian built car to offer this feature. Other changes included elliptical side turn signals, interior tweaks and the introduction of a L67 Supercharged V6 engine for selected trim levels. [2] The new supercharged engine slotted in between the existing engines in the lineup and was officially rated at 165 kW (221 hp), just 3 kW (4.0 hp) below the V8. [5]

From 1 January 1997 Holden's new car warranty for the VS Series II and subsequent models increased to 3 years / 100,000 km. Production of the Series II continued until August 1997, when the sedan and wagon were replaced by the new Commodore VT.

Series III

As the new VT did not feature a utility variant among its model range, the VS Series II Ute remained in production after the VS sedan and wagon were replaced by the new models. In June 1998 an upgraded version of the Utility, the Series II, was released, which was unique in the Commodore's history as it was limited to just a single variant. The new model Ute was identified by Series III badges and clear side blinker repeater lights, and featured a number of interior upgrades.

The biggest change came in the way of the engine, as the Series II's 165kW V8 was replaced by the new 179kW version from the VT, which featured sequential fuel injection. Along with these changes saw the introduction of the SS V8, the first time this model option was available in a Commodore utility. Externally, the SS was identified by an integrated body kit comprising a new front bumper and side skirts, polished alloy rear sports bar, 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps and SS decals. The interior featured a leather wrapped sports steering wheel, hand brake and gearshift knob, and the seats had SS identification. Power windows and air-conditioning was standard, as were the Getrag 5-speed manual transmission, limited-slip differential, sports suspension and ABS brakes. [6]

The Series III Ute remained in production until the December 2000 release of the new Holden Ute (VU).

Exports

Between 1995 and 1997 the VS was also sold in small numbers to Malaysia and Singapore as the Opel Calais. [7] [8] Prior to the VS, the Opel-badged models were sold in VR specification from 1994. As of December 1994, Holden were selling approximately 40 per month of the VR series Opel Calais. [9] Both the VR and VS versions were fitted with the Opel-sourced 2.6-litre C26NE inline-six engine and four-speed 4L30-E automatic. These vehicles initially featured the front-end of the VR Statesman [9] until a circa 1997 facelift progressed to the front-end design of the VS Caprice. The final batch of Singapore-bound Opel Calais models were produced in August 1997 and featured the newer 2.5-litre X25XE V6 engine with the 4L30-E automatic transmission. However, this order was cancelled, likely due to the imminent Asian financial crisis. As the vehicles were not compliant for sale in Australia, they were instead exported to New Zealand and retailed through Ebbett Waikato dealerships, complied as 1998 models, and rebranded as the Holden Commodore Royale. [10]

HSV range

Holden's performance vehicle partner Holden Special Vehicles produced the following range of Holden VS based models, which were each marketed under the HSV brand.

Clubsport

The VS Clubsport was very similar to the VR Clubsport and still used the 5.0-litre V8 from the VR Clubsport.

Manta

The Manta was introduced in April 1995 in sedan and wagon models. [11]

GTS and GTS-R

The GTS sedan was the flagship model until the limited edition GTS-R was launched. The latter was exclusively painted in XU-2 Yellah with matching seat colour inserts, and it featured a big race-style rear carbon-fibre wing. In total, only 75 were built for Australia and 10 for New Zealand, all using the 215i 5.7-litre HSV V8 engine, with a more powerful "blueprint" option also available.

Maloo

The facelifted VS series Maloo utility was released in April 1995. 173 examples were produced. It featured a 5.0-litre V8 engine still producing 185 kW (248 hp). [12]

The Series II version was introduced in June 1996 and carried through in its original form to August 1997, during which time 280 examples were produced. With HSV's introduction of the VT sedan range in September 1997, continued production of the VS Maloo thereafter was curiously referred to as VS II at VT Maloo, whereby a further 388 examples were produced through to December 1998. These later models included a special run of ten HSV 10th Anniversary Edition Maloo utes featuring an exclusive Anniversary Bronze paint colour. [12]

The next HSV update of the VS Maloo followed Holden's release of a VS Series III ute that, for the first time, included a V8 SS version. In 1999, HSV introduced an improved VS III Maloo with a wiring upgrade to support the revised 195 kW (261 hp) V8 that had been introduced two years earlier with the original VT series HSV sedans. The VS III Maloo's legacy is to be the last HSV vehicle to be fitted with the 'original' Holden V8 engine. [12]

Senator

In 1995 the VS Senator was introduced based on the VS Commodore. This model saw slight revisions to the body styling, trim and new alloy wheels. The VS Series II saw the fitment of HSV's ISS (Integrated Security System) as standard as well as new steering-wheel mounted stereo controls. There remained a choice of two models: the 185i and the 215i. The 185i had the 5.0-litre (4987 cc) V8 engine which pushed out 185 kW (248 hp) at 4800 rpm. The 215i had the 5.7-litre (5737 cc) V8 engine which delivered 215 kW (288 hp) at 4800 rpm. The total number that were built by December 1995 was 416, down 439 units over the VR.

Toyota Lexcen (T4 and T5)

The United Australian Automobile Industries (UAAI) joint venture agreement with Toyota Australia first starting with the VN Commodore continued up to the VS. The VS Lexcen equivalent was known as the T4 series, updated in 1996 to T5 following Commodore’s Series II update. The Lexcen featured subtle styling differences, particularly, the front panels. The Lexcen was discontinued in August 1997 with no direct replacement.

Related Research Articles

Holden Commodore Car model

The Holden Commodore is a medium to large car that was sold by Holden from 1978 to 2020. It was manufactured from 1978 to 2017 in Australia and from 1979 to 1990 in New Zealand, with production of the locally manufactured versions in Australia ending on 20 October 2017. Sales of the Commodore ended in 2020, coinciding with the discontinuation of the Holden brand and nameplate entirely.

Holden Astra Motor vehicle

The Holden Astra is a small car formerly marketed by Holden. The first couple of generations of Astra were made only for Australia, and was a derivative of the locally produced Nissan Pulsar. With the Button car plan coming into effect, it was replaced by the Holden Nova, a rebadged Toyota Corolla.

Holden Special Vehicles

Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) was the officially designated performance vehicle division of Holden. Established in 1987 and based in Clayton, Victoria, the company modified Holden models such as the standard wheelbase Commodore, long wheelbase Caprice & Statesman and commercial Ute for domestic and export sale. HSV also modified other non-Holden cars within the General Motors portfolio in low volumes.

Holden Caprice Motor vehicle

The Holden Caprice is a full-sized car which was produced by Holden in Australia from 1990 to October 2017. The similar Holden Statesman, which was also introduced in 1990 as a model below the Caprice, was discontinued in September 2010. Between 1971 and 1984, Holden marketed their long-wheelbase sedans under the Statesman marque.

Holden Ute Australian car model

The Holden Ute is a coupe utility built by Holden, the Australian subsidiary of General Motors, since 2000. Before then, Holden had marketed their Commodore-based utility models under the Holden Utility (VG) and Holden Commodore utility names, although the term “Holden Ute” was also used in their official marketing literature. The Holden Ute name is often used for earlier Holden Utility models as the word "ute" is a colloquial term used commonly in Australia for a utility vehicle or pickup truck. Holden's performance division, an independent company called HSV assembles a high-performance version called the Maloo. Between 2003 and 2007, Holden built a stretched, crew cab version of the Ute with four doors and seating for five, called the Holden Crewman and between 2003 and 2005 a cab-chassis version known as the Holden One Tonner.

Holden Commodore (VZ) Motor vehicle

The Holden Commodore (VZ) is a full size car that was produced by the Australian manufacturer Holden from 2004 to 2006 as a sedan, and to 2007 as a wagon and Ute sold alongside the new VE series. It was the fourth and final iteration of the third generation of this Australian made model and the last to spawn a coupé variant. Its range continued to include the luxury variants, Holden Berlina (VZ) and Holden Calais (VZ).

Holden Commodore (VE) Motor vehicle

The Holden Commodore (VE) is an executive car that was produced by the Australian manufacturer Holden from 2006 to 2013. It was the first iteration of the fourth generation of this Australian-made model. Its range included the luxury variants, Holden Berlina (VE) and Holden Calais (VE); utility models were included as the Holden Ute (VE).

Holden Commodore (VY) Motor vehicle

The Holden Commodore (VY) is an executive car that was produced by the Australian manufacturer Holden from 2002 to 2004. It was the third iteration of the third generation of this Australian made model. Its range included the luxury variants, Holden Berlina (VY) and Holden Calais (VY); commercial versions were called the Holden One Tonner (VY), Holden Ute (VY), and Holden Crewman (VY). In 2003, the range also saw the introduction of the first Commodore-based all-wheel drive variants, including the Holden Adventra (VY) wagon.

Holden Commodore (VN) Motor vehicle

The Holden Commodore (VN) is a full-size car that was produced by the Australian manufacturer Holden from 1988 to 1991. It was the first iteration of the second generation of this Australian made model, which was previously a mid-size car, as well as the first Commodore available as a coupé utility. The new range included the luxury variants, Holden Berlina (VN) and Holden Calais (VN) and, from 1990, introduced the commercial Holden Utility (VG).

Holden Commodore (VP) Motor vehicle

The Holden Commodore (VP) is a full-size car that was produced by the Australian manufacturer Holden from 1991 to 1993. It was the second iteration of the second generation of this Australian made model. Its range included the luxury variants, Holden Berlina (VP) and Holden Calais (VP).

Holden Commodore (VT) Motor vehicle

The Holden Commodore (VT) is an executive car that was produced by the Australian manufacturer Holden from 1997 to 2000. It was the first iteration of the third generation of this Australian made model and the last one to be powered by a locally made V8 engine (1999). Its range included the luxury variants, Holden Berlina (VT) and Holden Calais (VT) but not a new generation utility version.

Holden Commodore (VR) Motor vehicle

The Holden Commodore (VR) is an executive car which was produced by the Australian manufacturer Holden from 1993 to 1995. It was the third iteration of the second generation of the Australian built Holden Commodore. The VR range included the luxury variants, Holden Commodore Berlina (VR) and Holden Calais (VR) and a commercial model, the Holden Ute (VR).

Holden Commodore (VX) Motor vehicle

The Holden Commodore (VX) is an executive car that was produced by the Australian manufacturer Holden from 2000 to 2002. It was the second iteration of the third generation of this Australian made model. Its range included the luxury variants, Holden Berlina (VX) and Holden Calais (VX), and it formed the basis for a new generation Holden Ute (VU) coupé utility and Holden Monaro (V2) coupé.

United Australian Automobile Industries (UAAI) was an automobile model sharing firm that operated in Australia between 1987 and 1996 as the result of an agreement between Holden and Toyota Australia. The joint venture resulted in the two companies sharing production of locally produced automobiles by selling their models under both brands.

Holden Royale Index of articles associated with the same name

The Holden Royale and Holden Commodore Royale are a series of automobiles that were produced by the Australian manufacturer Holden:

Holden V8 engine Motor vehicle engine

The Holden V8 engine is an overhead valve (OHV) V8 engine that was produced by the Australian General Motors subsidiary, Holden (GMH), between 1969 and 2000.

Holden Commodore (VF) Car

The Holden Commodore (VF) is an executive car that was produced by Holden between June 2013 and October 2017. It was the second and last significantly restyled iteration of the fourth generation of the Holden Commodore to be manufactured in Australia. Its range included the sedan and station wagon variants that sold under the luxury Holden Calais (VF) nameplate. Also available was the commercial utility variant that sold under the Holden Ute (VF) nameplate.

Corsa Specialised Vehicles (CSV) is a small-scale automaker established in 1994 that is based in Mildura, Victoria, Australia. Its range consists of V8-engined high performance cars based on those produced by Holden.

Holden Utility (VG) Motor vehicle

The Holden Utility (VG) is a full-size utility that was produced by the Australian manufacturer Holden from 1990 to 1991. It was based upon the Holden Commodore VN) released in 1988, and was the first utility in Holden's Commodore range. It was not badged as part of the Commodore range.

References

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  4. "Toyota Lexcen". Red Book. Automotive Data Services. Retrieved 23 August 2007.
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  7. An Investment In Luxury. The Opel Calais, New Straits Times , 5 June 1995, page 3
  8. "Opel Calais". Red Book (Malaysia). Automotive Data Services. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 25 March 2007.
  9. 1 2 MacKenzie, Angus, ed. (January 1995). "Calais' Singapore Sting". Wheels . Sydney, New South Wales: ACP Syme Magazines: 13. Holden has followed the lead set by Ford with its new Fairmonts and given Calais the same nose treatment as its upscale long wheelbase models. But you won't be seeing it in your local Holden dealerships – yet. This car is the new 2.6-litre Opel engined Calais destined for Singapore and Malaysia, where Holden currently sells about 40 per month. This is despite a price tag in Singapore of a mere $200,000 thanks to tariffs, taxes and a mandatory 'certificate of entitlement' which costs $100,000 per car. In Malaysia the Calais is a steal at $76,000. The simple but effective make-over involved fitting a Statesman bonnet with integral grille, and a Statesman front bumper.
  10. "1998 Holden Commodore Royale". Red Book (New Zealand). Automotive Data Services. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
  11. "Review: HSV VS Manta (1995–97)". AustralianCar.Reviews. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
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