1 Sep 1997
Holden’s all-new 1997 Commodore may have been bigger, more refined and prettier than ever, but the same engines and a vastly heavier kerb weight made the VT quite a challenge for Holden’s performance car-making arm.
Asthmatic by today’s V8 standards, 195kW was on tap from the ClubSport’s blueprinted 5.0-litre V8 (up just 5kW from the lightweight VSIII Commodore-based model it replaced).
Not even a 30Nm peak torque increase (to 430Nm) could disguise the fact this was a significantly porkier car.
The original HSV VT ClubSport also lacked the exclusivity of today’s models because the same engine was available as an option in the day’s Commodore SS.
Nevertheless, with new standard features like a CD player, leather-wrap steering wheel, powered front seats and foglights, the first VT HSVs were vastly better equipped, more refined and quieter than their predecessors.
Why HSV didn’t fit the original VS GTS-R’s 215kW/475Nm stroked 5.7-litre V8 is anyone’s guess, however.