HSV Commodore VR

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HSV Commodore VR

1993 - 1995
V8 5.0 to 5.7 ltr.
up to 215kW (Senator, GTS, Statesman, Caprice)
5/6 spd. man; 4 spd. auto
Top Speed:
255 km/h (Senator 5.7 litre)
Number Built:
2534 (all models)
3 star
HSV Commodore VR
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 3


The upgrade from VP to VR represented a significant change, none less so than for HSV. By now, the brand had matured into something wild and exciting, the envy of most and able to match it with the best European machinery going around – and on a price basis they well surpassed almost anything on the market.

The new model HSV displayed bolder lines than its predecessors, courtesy of a beautifully proportioned body kit which featured a specially designed bumper incorporating large central air intake flanked by smaller cooling slots for brake cooling.

You could now option your Club Sport with a 185kW version of the ever reliable 5.0 litre V8; among the enhancements were a recalibrated GM-Delco engine management system linked to a Bosch electronic ignition, a cold air box fed denser air to the system and reworked exhaust headers designed to reduce back pressure.

Larger 17x8 alloys previously reserved for the Senator’s were now standard fare, as was ABS. And now the family man could partake in a little HSV magic, with both sedan and wagon version of the Club Sport being available (the longer-wheelbase wagon version utilising the side skirts developed for the Statesman).

For the GTS, HSV stroked the engine out to a stonking 5.7 litres, or 350ci. Not since the days of the Monaro GTS had this figure been mentioned in the company of a Holden, however in HSV guise the unit was good for an awesome 215kW and 475Nm.

When fitted to the Senator, it was mated to a six speed box and new high performance “Hydratrak” differential, developed entirely in Australia as a joint initiative of HSV and BTR.

The GTS featured a larger rear spoiler and distinctive GTS badges on the flanks, the switch away from decals making the car immediately appear far more up-market. Unlike Henry Ford’s model T, there were at least three colours from which to choose, Diablo Red, Sherbrooke Green and Alaskan White.

Some protagonists argued the GTS had evolved into more of a grand-tourer than race-bred special, and their argument was somewhat founded when you considered the standard fixtures list, which included air-conditioning, cruise control, power windows, power door mirrors and a security coded sound system.

At the upper end of the HSV range was the Statesman and Caprice, the latter iteration fitted exclusively with the 215i engine. The larger wheelbase HSV’s were always going to be a compromise on comfort vs. performance, and so the HSV engineers choose to fir 16x8 wheels shod with higher profile 65 series tyres. The ride was supple and refined, and didn’t give much away from a handling perspective. And it could always be argued that the GTS also contained many creature comforts – that was until you hit the windy stuff.

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