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First look: Holden toughens up SV8

Family resemblance: SV8 now looks more like SV6.

Holden's entry-level V8 sports sedan gets some new clothes and a new price

22 Dec 2004

IT might sound like a contradiction, but Holden’s entry-level V8 stormer, the Commodore SV8 is heading up-market in an attempt to boost its sales.

From February 2005 the SV8 will rise $2000 in price to $43,990, the hike being attributed to the addition of a new exterior bodykit and some interior upgrades.

It’s a short, steep climb in price from SV8’s October 2002 launch when the car was first offered for $40,490.

But the fact is the SV8 has never set any sales fires, while the more overt SV6 launched at VZ time last year has been well received by punters.

Changes to the SV8 include a deep front facia with foglights, large air dam with hexagonal mesh insert, mesh grille, black bezel headlamps, side and rear skirts and five-spoke alloy wheels.

The updated SV8 will also offer body-coloured exterior mirrors, leather wrap steering wheel, power windows all round, side impact airbags and sports styled or optional leather trim.

Meanwhile the SV6, which is powered by the new 190kW Alloytec V6 engine, rises $500 to $39,490, but without any improvement in specification.

The top-line SS V8 bruiser also climbs $300 to $51,290, with new equipment including single zone electronic climate control, a dash-top storage compartment and twin fold-out cupholders in the instrument panel.

However, neither sporting V8 model gain any engine performance improvements, both cars still producing a sizeable 250kW and 470Nm from the 5.7-litre LS1 V8 engine.

These introductions should also signal the last changes to the current generation V-car Commodore before the arrival of the all-new Zeta-based VE Commodore around March 2006.

This is an unusual time for Holden to be making model updates, as it usually introduces new model Commodores in the third quarter. But the company has been researching these changes to SV8 last year, but was unable to introduce them when VZ was launched.

The changes also help reduce some of the enormous complexity of production in the Elizabeth (SA) assembly plant.

In a press release, Alan Blazevic, Holden’s marketing manager passenger cars, said the move to give the Commodore SV8 the same sporty design cues as the popular Commodore SV6 was consistent with the company’s market-responsive philosophy.

“The Commodore SV6 has immediately struck a chord with buyers – so much so that our S car sales in November were 95 per cent up on the same month last year,” Mr Blazevic said.

“It’s very much our business to anticipate changes in customer demand. Performance car buyers are becoming more particular about what they want in these high profile vehicles, and we’re determined to retain our winning edge in this market segment.

“We’re delighted with the response to our 190kW VZ Commodore SV6 and we are confident that V8 enthusiasts will be quick to appreciate what a great deal they’re getting with this revitalised Commodore SV8 sports package.”

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