Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) History

HSV is the performance division of Australian carmaker Holden, just as Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) is to Ford. Just like FPV does for Ford, HSV takes regular Holdens and turns them into semi-racing outfits with engine, exhaust, transmission and suspension upgrades, then for good measure adds on the alloy wheels and bodykits to match. The two companies (Ford and GM) and specifically their performance divisions FPV and HSV, each have a loyal band of enthusiasts especially in Australia, and the two groups regularly joust with each other.

Holden was started in 1987 as a joint operation between Holden and Tom Walkinshaw, a Scottish racing car driver and businessman. There actually was a specialist tuning team that was also jointly run by Holden and a Peter Brock, but this was cast aside in favour of Walkinshaw. Most of HSV’s cars are based on the Holden Commodore, and the company is striving to grow its export market with forays into the UK and the Middle East.

HSV Models

In New Zealand you can get your hands on the Clubsport, a large sport-focused sedan and tourer that’s also sold in Europe as the Vauxhall VXR8, and based closely on the Holden Commodore VE. From 2008, it got an upgraded 6.2-litre V8. Next in the HSV lineup is the Grange, also a large sedan sporting the 6.2 V8 performance engine, but this time based on the Holden WM Caprice. The GTS is the next car in the HSV stable, also based on the Commodore and with the 6.2 V8, but the GTS is less hardcore than the Clubsport, for example making concessions to everyday driving with a slightly softer suspension. Next up is the Senator, and this is the high-luxury model. It comes with magnetically-adjustable suspension and interior luxury accoutrements like wood grain and leather. The Maloo is the ute model in the HSV lineup.

Looking at buying an HSV? Check the vehicle history of any HSV by entering its number plate in the field above.