Car reviews - Holden - Commodore - SV8 sedan
Berlina 3.0 sedan
Calais V Sportwagon
Calais V V8 sedan
Calais V V8 Sportwagon
Calais V8 sedan
Executive LPG sedan
LT Liftback diesel
Omega MY10 sedan
RS 2.0 turbo
S Supercharged sedan
Sportwagon SSV Redline
SS V Redline
SS V sedan
SS-V Redline sedan
Vacationer 5-dr wagon
9 Jan 2003
SV8's clean, contemporary and unmistakably new front-end styling carries GM corporate cues already introduced for Monaro. The slipperier new shape is said to reduce aerodynamic drag by 4.2 per cent to 0.319Cd, thanks to the sharper lines of the bootlid and front fascia.
Combined with attention to the underbody, the changes mean lift has been reduced by a big 47 per cent to 11.7kg at 100km/h, resulting in a reduction of the yawing moment coefficient of seven per cent and therefore slightly better crosswind stability.
SV8 misses out on perhaps the most aggressive Holden bodykit ever produced in the VY SS. But while it may be based on the Executive, the SV8 "street sleeper" does get tough-looking alloy wheels (albeit smaller than the SS hoops at 17-inch) and a rear wing spoiler.
Like SS, SV8 is based on the low-series VY Commodore, meaning there's no chrome and no projector headlights but a simple, single-slat black grille incorporating a prominent Holden lion badge, while the tail-lights are dark-tinted and regular side skirts and bumpers replace the more aggressive SS kit.
The new grille is flanked by twin headlights behind a single, clear lens with black bezel backgrounds and the interesting "bullseye" parking lights.
Meantime, the trailing edge of the deep new wedge-shaped bonnet pressing rests on a somewhat unsightly new black plastic plenum ramp to deflect wind more cleanly over the wipers and windscreen.
Body coloured rub strips, new-design wing mirrors, V8 front quarter badging and a new, floating-style rear spoiler further set SS apart from Executive in terms of exterior styling, as do the massive new and exclusive five-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels.
But if the new front-end design is modern and distinctive, the jury is still out on the VY rear end, which appears more compact due to its sharper, edgier new styling treatment and attracts claims that its somewhat triangular tail-lights are similar to Magna's, making the rear a mismatch with the front end's rounder proportions.
Either way, it will be interesting to see if the slightly controversial VY styling will be as widely accepted in the longer term as VT's ground-breaking shape was.
The Road to Recovery podcast series
Did you know?Holden says the reshaped plenum ramp reduces noise at 120km/h by up to 2.5dB(A) across the high frequency range from 1000-6000Hz, while the new wing mirrors were also computer and wind tunnel-designed to reduce sound pressure levels by up to 3dB(A) between 500 and 5000Hz to near "no mirror" levels
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