Holden Special Vehicles: A Legacy of Performance in Australia

Holden Special Vehicles 102609968
Holden Special Vehicles 102609968


For decades, the roar of high-performance engines and the sleek silhouettes of iconic cars have been synonymous with Holden Special Vehicles (HSV). This Australian brand, born from a passion for performance and built upon the foundations of Holden, carved a legendary path in the automotive industry.

Nameplates and Models

A close-up photo of a shiny HSV GTS logo on a nameplate.

Holden Special Vehicles put out its first nameplate in 1997. They called it the HSV Statesman and Caprice models. Then, they made more cars from the VN Holden Commodore line. The most powerful one was the Commodore SS Group A SV, built just for Holden.

In 2010, they brought out a special model to mark twenty years of making cars. Two years later, they made another car to show off twenty-five years of creating top-notch Holdens with their limited-edition GTS.

One other note-worthy model is the sleek Astra SV 1800, among various others.

Production Milestones

A shiny car in production surrounded by workers and equipment.

Let’s dive into the key moments in Holden Special Vehicles’ journey. This famous car maker has hit six big steps in its life so far.

  1. First, HSV was set up in 1987. Big names like Holden joined hands to get it on its feet.
  2. Back then, Holden was making parts for cars like Pontiac and Oldsmobile.
  3. Ten years later, these guys had made their mark. They started making cars of their own in 1948.
  4. Fast forward to today, they have met many goals along the way.
  5. Not just here at home but all over the world! Cars from this factory often go to places like Vauxhall and Chevrolet Special Vehicles (CSV).
  6. Last but not least, they churn out concept cars and powerful engines like GM’s big 6.2-litre Supercharged V8 LSA.

Holden Special Cars Exports

A cargo ship filled with Holden Special Vehicles cars surrounded by shipping containers.

Holden Special Vehicles sends cars and engines to other countries. They have been doing this work for more than 50 years. The company has sent over 600,000 cars and nearly four million engines! They started sending many cars to the Middle East with help from GM Holden.

From 1959, they even made some of their vans in other countries like Indonesia and South Africa. This all began in November 1954 when they sent their first large group of fully-built FJs to New Zealand.

Concept Cars

A futuristic concept car in a high-tech cityscape.

We love the concept cars that Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) have made over the years. One of our favourites is the Efijy concept car from 2005. It had a cool retro design that paid tribute to the old FJ model.

Even though it didn’t have new tech or futuristic features, we think it was amazing. Another grand stroke by HSV was for their diamond anniversary celebration. They invented the Holden Coupe 60 concept in honour of their first all-Australian auto.

A newer line they’ve created is the Gen-F range cars, inspired by VF Commodore models. These bold steps show how HSV adds value to our local car culture with their unique performance autos.

Engines Used in Holden Special Vehicles

A close-up of the powerful engines in Holden Special Vehicles.

Holden Special Vehicles offers a range of powerful engines, including the supercharged V8 LSA, V8 LS7, and more. Discover the heart-pounding performance behind these high-performance cars!

Supercharged V8 LSA

A photo of a sleek sports car captured in a cityscape at night.

The Supercharged V8 LSA engine is a stand-out in the Holden Special Vehicles line. This strong motor gives out 804 horsepower at 6000 RPM. Some models, like the Maloo R8 LSA or Clubsport R8, have the same motor but with less power.

These cars only push out 580 horsepower and have a torque of up to 556 lb-ft.

One top model, the Gen-F GTS, uses this engine too, but put it to full use! It has a super-powered version of the LSA engine that gives off huge power and torque, about 430 kW and 740 Nm, respectively.

In short, whether you’re looking for pure speed or smooth power delivery, cars powered by the Supercharged V8 LSA offer an exciting ride.

V8 LS7

A perfectly displayed LS7 engine surrounded by professional automotive tools.

The V8 LS7 engine is very special to me. It’s a bit of a star in the world of cars! The first time it was used was in the HSV W427 Commodore. But it didn’t stop there, oh no! This powerhouse moved onto big names like the Corvette Z06 and Camaro Z/28 – quite an achievement for an engine! With 500 horsepower and 471 lb-ft of torque, you’ll feel its power when sitting behind the wheel in the HSV W427 Commodore.

General Motors had a big win with this one; it helped shape their LS series. Thanks to engines like this, Holden Special Vehicles has become quite famous indeed!

V8 LS3

A photograph of a powerful V8 LS3 engine surrounded by machinery and tools.

The V8 LS3 is a true star in the world of engines. Holden Special Vehicles picked it for their cars in 2008. It is big and tough, with a cast iron body and a size of 6.2 litres. It has power, lots of it.

This engine can give out 317 horsepower! The first car to use this was the Corvette from 2008. There, it ran with even more power: 430 horsepower and 424 pound-feet of torque! People love the LS3 because it works well and is very strong.

V8 LS2

A vibrant red sports car speeds down an open road.

The V8 LS2 engine is a powerful and high-performance engine used in the Holden Special Vehicles’ E-Series and Z series cars. It is a 6.0L V8 engine that delivers impressive power output.

The E-Series cars produced 285 kW (382 hp), while the Z series cars generated 298 kW (400 hp). The LS2 engine is known for its muscle and strength, making it perfect for sports and muscle cars enthusiasts.

If you’re looking for a car with high horsepower and performance upgrades, the V8 LS2 engine will not disappoint.

V8 LS1

A detailed close-up of a sleek black V8 LS1 engine.

The V8 LS1 engine is an important part of Holden Special Vehicles. It was introduced in 1997 and has a power output of 345 horsepower and 350 lb./ft. of torque. This engine can be found in popular vehicles like the Chevrolet Camaro, Corvette, and Holden Special Vehicles.

The LS1 engine provided more power to the VX Commodore in V8 form, with 225kW and 460Nm of power. With its displacement of 5.7 litres, the LS1 engine is known for its impressive performance capabilities and played a big role in making Holden Special Vehicles successful.

Supercharged V6

Close-up of supercharged V6 engine surrounded by car engine components.

Holden Special Vehicles offers a modified version of the supercharged V6 engine called L67. This engine plays a crucial role in delivering the high-performance capabilities that these vehicles are known for.

With significant power and performance upgrades compared to standard engines, the supercharged V6 engines used in Holden Special Vehicles provide an exhilarating driving experience.

The LSA engine, a supercharged 6.2-litre engine, is one such example offered by HSV. These engines truly enhance the driving experience and make these vehicles stand out in terms of power and capability.

Turbocharged 2.0-Litre

A close-up photo of a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine in an industrial setting.

The turbocharged 2.0-litre engine is used in some Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) models. It produces 176 kW (236 hp) of power, providing a thrilling driving experience for car enthusiasts.

The CSV was the first Holden vehicle to be powered by this turbocharged engine. Some models with this engine come equipped with a four-speed automatic transmission, ensuring smooth and effortless gear changes.

This turbocharged 2.0-litre engine is part of the larger displacement engine range produced by General Motors, showcasing its commitment to delivering high-performance vehicles for drivers to enjoy on the road.

Holden Special Cars Reviews

A red car speeds down a scenic mountain road.

We’ll provide reviews of the latest HSV models, including their performance and comparisons with other vehicles in their class.

Latest HSV Models

A red HSV GTS parked in a modern urban environment.

These are some of the latest HSV models:

  1. The HSV GTS is a full-size, high-performance sedan known for its powerful engine and sleek design.
  2. The HSV Maloo R8 is the flagship vehicle in Holden Special Vehicles’s range. It offers both style and functionality, perfect for those who love a versatile vehicle.
  3. Holden Special Vehicles unveiled the all-new E Series 2 GTS in 2010. This model introduced exciting new features and enhancements to the already impressive GTS lineup.
  4. In 2007, HSV introduced two new models, including a special V6-engined edition. These additions expanded their range and provided options for different preferences.
  5. The Astra SV 1800 is another noteworthy model associated with HSV Reviews related to Holden Special Vehicles. Its performance and sleek design make it a popular choice among car enthusiasts.

Performance Reviews

Here are some performance reviews of the latest HSV models:

  1. The HSV GTS: This car is the pinnacle of sporting Holden vehicles. It offers exceptional power output and delivers a thrilling driving experience. You can feel the adrenaline rush as you push the limits of this high-performance sedan.
  2. The HSV Maloo R8 ute: If you’re looking for a powerful and versatile vehicle, this is it. The Maloo R8 combines the practicality of a ute with the performance of a sports car. It’s perfect for those who want both style and functionality.
  3. The limited-edition HSV GTS: Released to celebrate 25 years of building high-performance Holden vehicles, this car is truly special. It offers an exclusive design and advanced features that make it stand out from the crowd.
  4. The 2017 HSV GTS: One of the best things about this model is its long-haul cruising capabilities. Whether you’re going on a road trip or just enjoying a drive around town, the GTS ensures a smooth and comfortable ride.
  5. The 2010 HSV GTS: This model impressed me with its power output of 325kW and hi-flow intermediate exhaust system. It offered an exhilarating driving experience that left me wanting more.

Comparison Reviews

The HSV Reviews & Car Models website provides a detailed breakdown of ratings and features for all HSV models, allowing you to easily compare them side by side with their competitors.

For instance, if we take a look at the 2013 Holden Special Vehicles Maloo R8 Utility Extended and compare it with cars of a similar class, we can clearly see how it stands out from the crowd.

Car ModelPerformanceComfortSafetyReliability
2013 HSV Maloo R8 Utility ExtendedHighExcellentSuperiorDependable
Competitor 1AverageGoodAverageSatisfactory
Competitor 2GoodAverageGoodAverage

On the other hand, the 2017 HSV GTS and GTS-R models have specific features, such as Alcantara-trimmed components and an optional suede-wrapped steering wheel, that are not typically found in other high-performance sedans. A comparison of these models with their competitors would look something like this:

Car ModelLuxury FeaturesPerformanceComfort
2017 HSV GTSAlcantara-trimmed components, suede-wrapped steering wheel (optional)HighExcellent
Competitor 1Standard luxury featuresHighGood
Competitor 2Standard luxury featuresHighAverage

These tables clearly provide a visual comparison that allows you, as a car lover, to easily decide which HSV model to choose.

Collectible Models

These cars are becoming more and more popular, with surging prices seen in the market.

Enthusiasts are on the lookout for limited edition and iconic HSV models. Some favourites include the GTS, GTSR, and GTSR W1. The HSV VL SS Group A Walkinshaw is also highly sought after, especially those finished in the famous Panorama Silver colour.

It’s incredible how these cars hold their value and continue to be favourites among car lovers. They truly are special vehicles!

Latest HSV News

A stylish sports car races through a scenic mountain road.

HSV has recently announced updates to its vehicle lineup, including new models and exciting industry trends.

Updates on HSV Vehicles

HSV has some exciting updates for car lovers. Here are the latest news and developments:

  1. Re-introducing popular variants: HSV is bringing back their well-loved ClubSport and Maloo models. These vehicles have been in high demand and offer excellent performance.
  2. The luxurious HSV Aspen: One of the highlights is the new HSV Aspen, a full-sized seven-seater vehicle. It is based on the Cadillac Escalade Sport Platinum and offers a premium driving experience.
  3. Milestone production: Since its inception, HSV has produced over 80,000 vehicles, making it Australia’s top-performance car manufacturer. This showcases their commitment to quality and innovation.
  4. Collaboration with Holden: Some HSV vehicles have been marketed under the Holden brand name, highlighting the partnership between these two renowned manufacturers.
  5. Stay updated on industry trends: HSV is also keeping an eye on the latest trends in the automotive world. They are constantly innovating to stay ahead of the curve and deliver cutting-edge technology in their vehicles.
  6. Future developments: Car enthusiasts can look forward to future developments from HSV, including new models and advancements in performance technology. Exciting things are on the horizon!

Industry Trends

The car market is always changing, and it has definitely had an impact on Holden Special Vehicles (HSV). Since the demise of Holden in 2020, HSV has adapted to these changes by replacing itself with General Motors Specialty Vehicles.

This means that instead of focusing solely on modifying GM Holden’s Commodore and Statesman models, HSV now works on a wider range of vehicles. Additionally, there has been a noticeable increase in the prices of HSV cars.

Some believe this is because ex-Holden dealer principals are selling off their stock. Overall, Walkinshaw Automotive Group, the company behind HSV, understands the evolving car market and continues to make adjustments accordingly.

Future Developments

The future of Holden Special Vehicles is uncertain now that General Motors has discontinued the Holden brand. However, HSV is planning to transition into a new entity called GMSV. This means they are working on new developments and changes for their car lineup.

Unfortunately, one of their rugged mid-size pickups, the HSV Colorado Sportscat, will soon be phased out. But there’s some good news, too – the 576-hp HSV GTS Maloo might be one of Holden’s last performance models! Additionally, HSV is currently remanufacturing Camaro muscle cars and Silverado pick-ups from left to right-hand drive so they can continue providing exciting vehicles for their customers in the future.


An aerial photo of a racing HSV vehicle on a track.

Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) is a performance vehicle division that has been modifying Holden vehicles since 1987. Based in Clayton, Victoria, Australia, HSV specialises in creating faster and meaner versions of V8-powered Commodores.

With their unique bodywork and alloy wheel designs, HSV vehicles are known for their enhanced appearance and high-performance capabilities. From luxury cars to sports models, HSV continues to make waves in the Australian automotive industry with its dedication to delivering top-notch modified vehicles.

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