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Holden Commodore VN Technical Specifications

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Holden Commodore VN Calais
Holden Colour Codes A - L
Holden Colour Codes A - L
Holden Colour Codes M -Z
Holden Colour Codes M -Z


A small but dedicated team of GM engineers would dedicate six years to the development of the VN, travelling over one and a half million kilometers during testing at GM's Lang Lang faciltiy.

Initially the plan was to carry over the Nissan 6 cylinder unit that had proved (somewhat against the odds) to be a very flexible and smooth power plant. But this unit lacked one key ingredient Aussie drivers were rather fond of, plenty of low down torque (the rising value of the ¥en didn't help much either).

The US sourced V6 had been designed to fit transversly into a front-wheel-drive configuration in Buicks, Pontiacs and Oldsmobiles, so the Holden engineers were forced to heavily modify the unit to suit a rear wheel drive configuration. Amazingly, despite having just on 25% more capacity than the Nissan 6, the new V6 was 5 kilo's lighter. It would be the first V6 ever to be manufactured in Australia.

The V6 was certainly not technically innovative from a design point, particularly with its overhead valve layout, but it was endowed with the latest in electronic gadgetry such as direct fire injection and electronic engine management. Unfortunatlely these, combined with a balance shaft and hydraulic engine mounts, were not enough to prevent the engine being considered "harsher" than many of the competitors.

The trusty 5.0 litre V8 was carried over to the VN, the most significant improvement being the addition of port fuel injection for the first time. The VN was a significant change from the previous (more compact) Commodore's, and now the General could go head-to-head with the Blue Oval in the real large car market.

Size, it seemed, was everything, with the station wagons, Statesman and Caprice models all now using an extended wheelbase. However there was still no panel van, nor a two-door coupe option.
  • Years of Manufacture: 1988 - 1991
  • Number Built: 215,180
  • Price at Introduction:
    • Commodore Esecutive L6 Manual Sedan: $20,014
    • Commodore S L6 Manual Sedan: $21,665
    • Commodore SS V8 Manual Sedan: $25,375
    • Holden Calais L6: $31,265
    • Statesman: $39,950
    • Statesman Caprice: $41,861
  • Models:
    • Commodore Executive Sedan
    • Commodore Executive Station Wagon
    • Commodore Berlina Sedan
    • Commodore Berlina Station Wagon
    • Commodore S Sedan
    • Commodore SS Sedan
    • Holden Calais Sedan
    • VG Utility
    • VG S Utility
    • VQ Statesman
    • VQ Statesman Caprice
  • Date(s) of Introduction:
    • August, 1988
    • Series II with EV6 motor: September, 1989
    • VQ Statesman & Caprice: 7th March, 1990
    • VG Utility: 22nd August, 1990
  • To Identify:
    • All new longer and more rounded body shape
    • Slimline rectangular headlights
    • Holden badge in centre of grille, except on Calais which had a seperate badge incorporated into the bonnet
    • Introduction of V6, with V6 decals
    • Utility incorporates raised roofline to accomodate the "Akubra" hat (a marketing gimmick)
    • Station wagon, Statesmand and Caprice built on extended wheel base floor-pan, incorporate wrap around 3rd window.
    • Statesman and Caprice have individual grille and tail-light treatment totally independant of Commodore models
  • Body:
    • Unitary construction (Monocoque)
  • Exterior Dimensions Commodore:
    • Total Length: 4850mm
    • Total Width: 1794mm
    • Total Height at kerb weight: 1403mm
    • Wheelbase: 2731mm
    • Front Track: 1451mm (Calais: 1453)
    • Rear Track: 1478mm (Calais: 1480)
  • Exterior Dimensions VG Utility:
    • Total Length: 4866mm
    • Total Width: 1780mm
    • Total Height at kerb weight: 1512mm
    • Wheelbase: 2821mm
    • Front Track: 1451mm
    • Rear Track: 1478mm
  • Exterior Dimensions VQ Statesman & Caprice:
    • Total Length: 4960mm
    • Total Width: 1812mm
    • Total Height at kerb weight: 1421mm (Caprice: 1416mm)
    • Wheelbase: 2826mm
    • Front Track: 1485mm
    • Rear Track: 1487mm
  • Kerb Weight:
    • Commodore Executive: 1310kg
    • Commodore Berlina: 1367kg
    • Holden Calais: 1391kg
    • Commodore SS Manual: 1403kg
    • Commodore SS Automatic: 1403kg
    • VG Utility: 1336kg
    • VG Utility S: 1327kg
    • Statesman: 1536kg
    • Caprice: 1589kg
  • Turning Circle:
    • Commodore: 10.4 metres
    • VG Utility: 10.4 metres
    • Statesman & Caprice: 11.5 metres
  • Fuel Tank Capacity:
    • Commodore: 63 litres
    • VG Utility: 68 litres
    • Statesman & Caprice: 80 litres
  • Instruments:
    • All Models have instruments located around the steering column in four groups:
      • Instrument panel
      • Central switch bank
      • Control panel
      • Steering column control stalk
    • Commodore Executive, Berlina, S, SS:
      • Semi-circular speedo calibrated to 220 km/h
      • Integrated odometer and tripmeter
      • Quadrant temperature gauge and fuel gauge
      • Central warning system in horizontal cluster for:
        • High beam
        • Brake failure
        • Park brake
        • Battery
        • Oil pressure
        • Optional trailer light
      • Illuminated:
        • Heated rear window switch
        • Ashtray
      • Windscreen wiper dwell control
      • Steering column control stalk for:
        • Indicators
        • Flasher
        • Headlamp dip
      • Digital clock integrated into radio
    • Commodore S and SS:
      • As above, with addition of tachometer
    • Calais, Statesman and Caprice:
      • As above, with addition of tachometer
      • Illuminated power antenna switch
      • Electronic AM/FM radio cassette player with PIN secutity
      • Cruise control and trip computer switches on instrument binnacles
      • Power window controls on centre console
      • Power exterior mirror switch on drivers armrest
  • 3.8 litre V6:
    • Capacity: 3.791 litre
    • Type: Conventional, watercooled four stroke, reciprocating piston type with 6 cylinders
    • Configuration: Front mounted, longitudinal, arranged in a Vee
    • Head: Pushrod and rocker actuated ohv, with 2 valves per cylinder
    • Fuel System: Electronic Fuel Injection, speed density fuel control, Bosch director place style fuel injectors and Delco electronic control module
    • Bore and Stroke: 96.5 x 86.3mm
    • Power: 125kw at 4800rpm
    • Torque: 292Nm at 3200rpm
    • Compression Ratio: 8.5:1
  • 3.8 litre V6 "EV6" (fitted to VN models from September, 1989):
    • Capacity: 3.791 litre
    • Type: Conventional, watercooled four stroke, reciprocating piston type with 6 cylinders
    • Configuration: Front mounted, longitudinal, arranged in a Vee
    • Head: Pushrod and rocker actuated ohv, with 2 valves per cylinder
    • Fuel System: Electronic Fuel Injection, speed density fuel control, Bosch director place style fuel injectors and Delco electronic control module
    • Bore and Stroke: 96.5 x 86.3mm
    • Power: 127kw at 4800rpm
    • Torque: 288Nm at 3200rpm
    • Compression Ratio: 8.5:1
  • 5.0 Litre V8 Engine:
    • Capacity: 4.987 litre
    • Type: Conventional, watercooled four stroke, reciprocating piston type with 8 cylinders
    • Configuration: Front mounted, longitudinal, Vee configuration
    • Head: Pushrod and rocker actuated ohv with two valves per cylinder
    • Fuel System: Electronic control port fuel injection, speed density fuel control, Bosch director plate style fuel injectors and Delco electronic control module
    • Bore and Stroke: 101.6 x 77.8mm
    • Power: 165kw at 4400rpm
    • Torque: 385Nm at 3600rpm
    • Compression Ratio: 8.4:1
  • Ignition and Electrical:
    • 12 volt negative ground
    • Battery:
      • V6 75 min/350 amp nine plate
      • V8 80 min/400 amp eleven plate
  • Exhaust:
    • V6: fabricated dual exhaust manifolds
    • V8: Cast iron dual exhaust manifolds with single crossover pipe. Single seam welded steel exhaust and tail pipe with two reverse flow mufflers
  • 5 speed Manual M78 V6 Transmission:
    • 1st: 3.25:1
    • 2nd: 1.99:1
    • 3rd: 1.29:1
    • 4th: 1.000:1
    • 5th: 0.72:1
    • Reverse: 3.15:1
  • 5 speed Manual M78 V8 Transmission:
    • 1st: 2.95:1
    • 2nd: 1.94:1
    • 3rd: 1.34:1
    • 4th: 1.00:1
    • 5th: 0.73:1
    • Reverse: 2.76:1
  • MD8 4 speed Turbohydramatic 700 Automatic Transmission:
    • 1st: 3.06:1
    • 2nd: 1.62:1
    • 3rd: 1.00:1
    • 4th: 0.70:1
    • Reverse: 2.30:1
  • Clutch:
    • GMH Single dry plate. Beleville diaphram spring. Mechanical cable operation, connected directly to pull fork throw-out lever
  • Rear Axle Ratio:
    • V6: 3.08:1
    • V8: 3.08:1
    • Commodore SS: 3.45:1
    • Statesman and Caprice: 3.08:1
  • Top Speed in Gears:
    • Commodore Executive V6 (125kw) automatic transmission:
      • 1st: 65 km/h
      • 2nd: 122 km/h
      • 3rd: 198 km/h
      • 4th: 195 km/h
      • 0-100 km/h: 8.2 seconds
      • Standing Quarter Mile (400 metres): 15.8 seconds
    • Calais V6 (125kw) automatic transmission:
      • 1st: 68 km/h
      • 2nd: 128 km/h
      • 3rd: 208 km/h
      • 4th: 208 km/h
      • 0-100 km/h: 8.5 seconds
      • Standing Quarter Mile (400 metres): 16.2 seconds
    • Commodore S V6 (125kw) five speed manual transmission:
      • 1st: 64 km/h
      • 2nd: 105 km/h
      • 3rd: 162 km/h
      • 4th: 208 km/h
      • 5th: 212 km/h
      • 0-100 km/h: 7.7 seconds
      • Standing Quarter Mile (400 metres): 15.7 seconds
    • Commodore 5.0 litre SS five speed manual transmission:
      • 1st: 72 km/h
      • 2nd: 108 km/h
      • 3rd: 157 km/h
      • 4th: 208 km/h
      • 5th: 228 km/h
      • 0-100 km/h: 7.3 seconds
      • Standing Quarter Mile (400 metres): 15.2 seconds
    • Statesman 5.0 litre V8 automatic transmission:
      • 1st: 103 km/h
      • 2nd: 130 km/h
      • 3rd: 212 km/h
      • 4th: 225 km/h
      • 0-100 km/h: 8.8 seconds
      • Standing Quarter Mile (400 metres): 16.3 seconds
  • Suspension:
    • Commodore:
      • Front: Independent MacPherson wet strut, linear rate coil springs, wet sleeve shocks, 26mm stabiliser bar.
        • Sports Suspension (FE2): Firmer spring rate, reduced stabiliser bar diameter, reduced ride height
      • Rear: Rigid axle, Salisbury type. 5 link location with parallel short upper and long lower trailing arms and a Panhard rod between axle and under body. 16mm decoupled stabiliser bar, 30.2mm diameter dampers
        • Sports Suspension (FE2): Firmer spring rate, increased stabiliser bar diameter, fuel tank guards
    • Statesman and Caprice:
      • Front: Independent MacPherson wet strut design, progressive rate springs, stabiliser bar. Caprice fitted with Bilstein gas pressure dampers
      • Rear: Hypoid differential, independant semi trailing. Progressive rate minibloc coil springs. Double acting dampers. Stabiliser bar. Caprice fitted with Bilstein gas pressure dampers
  • Steering:
    • Power hydraulically assisted Rack and Pinion, variable ratio (17.2:1 on centre to 11.8:1 on lock). Direct linkage (rear to front wheels) from rack to steering arms. Turns lock to lock 2.7
    • Optional manual rack and pinion, variable ratio (19.7:1 on centre to 23.3:1 on lock. Turns lock to lock 4.5
  • Brakes:
    • Front:
      • V6: 271mm vented disc with single piston, sliding head and lightweight caliper
      • V8: 289mm heavy duty ventilated discs
    • Rear: Solid discs across all models
  • Wheels:
    • Commodore Executive, Berlina and VG Utility: Steel 6.00JJ x 14 ventilated pressed steel wheels and plastic wheel trims
    • Commodore SS: 6.00JJ x 15 Alloy
    • Statesman, Commodore S Sedan/Utility: Steel 6.00JJ x 14 ventilated pressed steel wheels
    • Holden Calais, Statesman Caprice: Styled cast alloy 6.00JJ x 15
  • Tyres:
    • Commodore Executive and Berlina: P185/75 HR14 steel belted radials
    • VG Utility: P195/75 R-14 95H steel belted radials
    • Calais, Commodore S and SS: P205/65 R-15 92H steel belted radials
    • Statesman and Caprice: P205/65 R-15 92H steel belted radial



    Holden VQ Statesman
    The Best Luxury Car We've Ever Built

    (circa 1991)

    "The best prestige car... has to go to the Holden Statesman which combines an excellent Independent Rear Suspension for a great level of ride and handling, with that Australian 5 litre fuel injected V8."

    Bill Tuckey, Melbourne Sunday Sun

    The Holden Statesman V8 with independent rear suspension, the best luxury car we've ever built.

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