HSV - Sydney International Motor Show

Published: 17 October 2002

Pictured: HSV.

Displaying an innate sense of style and refinement, HSV's recently launched Y Series range ushers in a new era of sophistication for Australia's performance vehicle icon and the 2002 Sydney International Motor Show is the perfect backdrop for its public debut.

This gives HSV's many eager aficionados their first opportunity to view the suave interior and exterior styling and high quality materials that allows Y Series to stand toe to toe with its premium imported rivals.

Indeed, HSV owner surveys indicate that customers often draw comparison with prestige European models. In 2001, for instance, 25% of HSV customers indicated that they considered a BMW as their first alternative choice. Those statistics set the tempo for Y Series, says HSV General Manager, Chris Payne.

"We deliberately set out to refine our suspensions, powertrain calibrations and braking system upgrades to lift the level of refinement to meet that European expectation. We also aimed for some very high benchmarks in terms of material quality and design."


The Y Series range consists of seven distinctive models. It also heralds the return of an old favourite - Senator - to offer a second level of HSV Grand Touring performance sedan, effectively bridging the gap between the overtly sporty ClubSport R8 and the even more highly specified Signature model.

HSV's legendary GTS four-door returns, albeit in strictly limited numbers - just 100 of these awesome performance sedans will be built. The exclusive HSV specified 300kW C4B V8 engine still resides under the hood but thanks to significant recalibrations it's now smoother and offers more bottom end and mid range performance.


Customers have long requested the convenience of automatic transmission coupled with the awesome 300kW C4B V8 and, now, Y Series GTS sedan becomes the first HSV to offer this sought after option. It's been made possible by the availability of a new 'torque enhanced' version of the Turbo-Hydramatic 4L60E four-speed auto capable of handling the massive torque of this legendary powerplant. So good is the new engine/transmission combination that it easily survived double HSV's normal durability and towing tests.


Clean, sophisticated styling sets the tone for the Y Series range. It's the work of a team headed by Neil Simpson, Chief Designer at TWR (UK).

"Using design cues with the previous GTS and the Coupé, I wanted to build on the HSV image with an even more muscular yet sophisticated package."

"An important design aspect was to create more significant differentiation between the GTS and the Senator body styles. The GTS is a powerful looking machine, whilst the Senator makes a more discrete Grand Touring statement that will appeal to customers who have previously looked at only the most exclusive of European Autobahn expresses."

A wider, more imposing stance is a feature of the new frontal styling, highlighted by an impressive lower spoiler, says Simpson.

"Inspired by a Formula 1 wing, it's the most eye-catching feature of the design. The 'V' forms part of the centre bar and reinforces this as the HSV signature."

Side elements link the whole design and the rear continues the themes of width while the centre bar with a 'V' in the spoiler echoes the front.

Maloo styling sets new standards with dual, left and right hand side exhaust outlets, a new sailplane design and, for R8, a new hard tonneau design.

Four new colours join the range for Y Series. 'Martini Grey', 'Turbine Grey' and 'Berry Red' are understated colours that work superbly with the sophisticated new styling, while the high impact 'Hothouse Green' is now available on ClubSport, ClubSport R8 and Maloo models.

A substantial investment in tooling development also sees the introduction of full injection moulded polypropylene body components, as used by all major OE manufacturers. One look at these world-class production parts, featuring sharper detail, lighter weight and a dramatic lift in quality, proves it was money well spent.


The Y Series interior follows the sophisticated lead of the exterior, explains Neil Simpson.

"The interior design of the Holden base vehicle has been improved considerably and with HSV's driver oriented changes we've created a great sporting cockpit. The changes are concentrated on the main areas of contact and, along with the new accent colours, strikes the ideal balance of sports and luxury."

Unique HSV interior touches abound, including a new four-spoke leather bound HSV steering wheel, with sports grips and audio controls and a striking white instrument cluster, complete with 260km/h speedo and HSV graphics. One ultra-cool HSV feature is incorporated into the Multi Function Display - on start up the HSV logo scrolls across, accompanied by the vehicle's unique build number and model id.

Race-look alloy pedals are fitted across the range, while manual models also receive the HSV shift light and audible alert previously restricted to GTS. The cabin's distinctively sporting character is further emphasised by the new central sports binnacle incorporating oil pressure and volt gauges (fitted to all models except ClubSport and Maloo).

"The centre sports binnacle reinforces the fact that the interior is focused onto the driver", say Simpson. "Take a look at any serious driving machine, particularly if it's red and Italian, and you'll see where we drew our inspiration."

Y Series also introduces a range of big-ticket luxury/convenience features across the board. Automatic climate control air conditioning is now standard equipment, with Senator and Senator Signature models adding a duel zone function which allows individual climate settings for driver and passenger.

Standard in-car entertainment is now via a high output Blaupunkt unit including in-dash six-disc CD changer and six speakers. R8 sedan, GTS, Senator and Senator Signature models up the ante with a Premium Blaupunkt 200watt system including in-dash six-disc CD changer and eight speakers with subwoofers.

HSV Bosch rear proximity sensors are now standard equipment on Senator, Senator Signature and GTS sedan. Twin in-dash concealed cup holders are fitted to all models.


Apart from its two-seat layout, Maloo essentially shares interior appointments with the ClubSport. In addition to the previously mentioned features, the HSV Contoured Sports Seats receive a sophisticated new 'metallic mesh-look' centre insert material - in a choice of Aztec Red, Baltic Blue, or Stone Grey - and are finished with high definition colour keyed stitching.

The interior comfort and appearance level raises a notch higher with ClubSport R8 and Maloo R8. HSV Performance Seats come with the same choice of centre insert material colours but add anthracite leather bolsters and colour-keyed leather door inserts.

Senator and Senator Signature feature swathes of sumptuous 'light shale' leather trim complimented by a brushed alloy dash surround, an 8-way adjustable driver's seat, HSV floor mats and alloy sill panels to create a truly prestigious interior ambiance.

The GTS sedan's exclusive performance status is reflected in its exclusive interior appointments. Its Contoured Performance Seats are finished in distinctive, premium quality 'Chainmail' leather, imported from Bridge-of-Weir Leather Company in Scotland, and are completed with anthracite leather bolsters and colour keyed leather door inserts. A carbon fibre style dash surround, alloy sill panels and HSV floor mats complete the luxury/high performance picture.

Of course every Y Series model also features all available safety features as standard, including - ABS, limited slip differential, dual front airbags, with side impact airbags and traction control on sedan models. Vehicle security continues to be a major priority with the latest generation HSV ESS (Embedded Security System), HSV 'DNA' and wheel lock nuts all standard. Bridgestone's premium SO-3 tyres, specifically developed to compliment HSV suspension tune, are fitted to all 18-inch wheel packages.


The Y Series mark of sophistication is also evident from behind the wheel where a host of 'beneath the skin' enhancements have resulted in a quantum leap forward in driving refinement.

A 12-month recalibration program for engine electronic control modules has brought a new found smoothness and refinement to the already exhilarating performance delivery of HSV's 300kW C4B V8 and the HSV enhanced LS1 V8. Both engines now provide more bottom end and mid range performance, while the HSV enhanced LS1 V8 also boasts increased maximum power to 260kW. An upgraded and recalibrated automatic transmission completes the revised drivetrain package.

While chassis dynamics are always an HSV focus, Y Series introduces a new HSV hallmark in the form of a sophisticated Euro-like ride quality, says Chris Payne.

"We deliberately set out to achieve a more compliant ride quality without losing the edge in handling and I believe we've achieved that. I am certain that many people think HSV's must ride harshly and that is far from the truth."

A revised power steering gear calibration resulted in enhanced on-centre steering feel and a more linear response to driver inputs. By incorporating a new 'digressive' shock absorber action HSV engineers capitalised on the steering improvements to not only create a sharper turn-in response to corners but also to ensure that every Y Series model imparts premium European-like ride quality.


Every Y Series model benefits from major braking system upgrades. The previously optional HSV Performance Brake System is now standard on ClubSport, Maloo and Senator. This PBR developed system features grooved 330mm front and 315mm rear rotors and is the same generation fitted to Corvette C5 models in the US.

ClubSport R8, Maloo R8 and Senator Signature now boast the sensational stopping power of the HSV Premium Brake System, featuring jumbo cross-drilled 343mm front and 315mm rear discs, clamped by four piston callipers front and rear.

Befitting HSV's most powerful model, the GTS sedan comes with one of the most powerful braking systems fitted to any production car in the world today - the HSV Six-Piston Brake System. This race-bred system (shared with its HSV Coupé namesake) was developed in conjunction with AP Racing in the UK and sports six-piston front and four-piston rear callipers acting on 362mm front and 343mm rear cross-drilled and grooved rotors.

Highlighting their impressive capabilities, every Y Series brake system features clearly visible HRT Red painted callipers with HSV logos.


As a model range, Y Series is set to make life very difficult for European competitors, says Chris Payne.

"Many of our customers are attracted by a wide selection of European cars that generally offer good dynamics and refinement. That expectation drives us to lift the bar in all aspects of the HSV brand."

"Where else can you buy a large four door sedan with 300kW and automatic transmission and, if you can find one, how much does it cost? People tend to forget that HSV models are often compared with much more expensive vehicles, and now with Y Series we're clearly on a par."

"We have tremendous performance, luxury features and value advantages in a uniquely Australian package and that's even further enhanced with refinements to Y Series."


HSV's four-vehicle display at the Sydney International Motor Show offers a good overview of the Y Series range.


With its unique blend of luxury and performance equipment Y Series ClubSport R8 is once again set to take its place as HSV's most popular model. Finished in Vespers, the display car showcases an aggressive yet sophisticated fully integrated body styling package complimented by 5 spoke 18 x 8 inch alloy wheels and three element projector lamp headlights.

Amongst the many features of the heavily revised interior are the HSV unique centre binnacle, white instrument cluster and Multi Function Display with build number and logo display on 'start up', along with the luxury of climate control air conditioning, Blaupunkt six-stack in-dash CD player and HSV contoured 'Mesh' Performance seats with leather bolsters.

HSV's enhanced LS1 V8, with power increase to 260kW, provides exhilarating performance while HSV's Premium Brake system is standard. Specifically developed Touring 3 suspension tune delivers sharper tune in response to corners and an even more compliant ride quality.


The attention grabbing 'Hothouse Green' paintwork of this Maloo R8 show car is the perfect match for a model that's long been regarded as the ultimate expression of the great Aussie sports Ute. Unique new exterior highlights include a one-piece rear cabin sailplane, hard tonneau design and ice-cool rear styling with dual left and right hand exhaust outlets.

Inside there are levels of luxury, comfort and quality previously unheard of in this type of vehicle, including cruise control, climate control air conditioning and Blaupunkt six-stack in-dash CD player.

HSV's enhanced LS1 V8, with power increase to 260kW, provides exhilarating performance while HSV's Premium Brake system is standard. Specifically developed Touring 3 suspension tune delivers sharper tune in response to corners and an even more compliant ride quality.


Resplendent in its 'Berry Red' finish, this show car makes an impressive premium luxury Grand Touring statement. Senator/Signature's unique exterior styling is subtly sophisticated and projects the vehicle's understated performance character, with an integrated rear lip spoiler and 19 x 8 inch alloy wheel and Pirelli P-Zero tyres.

The understated performance theme continues on the interior, much of which is covered with plush 'light shale' leather trim. Front seats are eight way electric adjustable, and there's dual zone climate control air conditioning, Premium Blaupunkt six-stack in-dash CD player, brushed alloy style dash surround and HSV's unique centre binnacle. This vehicle also boasts the optional sunroof.

HSV's enhanced LS1 V8, with power increase to 260kW, provides exhilarating performance while HSV's Premium Brake system is standard. Specifically developed Luxury 3 suspension tune results in a premium Euro-like ride quality without diminishing handling response.

In terms of luxury appointments, style, quality and refinement this is the equal of any alternative on the market. When performance and value for money are also taken into account there is NO comparison.


Sting Red is an ideal colour to display the unique and aggressive exterior styling package of HSV's awesome flagship sedan model, highlighted by body side mouldings, fender fairings and 19 X 8 inch alloy wheels with Pirelli P-Zero tyres.

Every aspect of its specification screams serious performance, from the exclusive HSV specified 300kW C4B V8, to the HSV (AP Racing) Six-piston braking system and the HSV Performance suspension tuned for ultimate handling response.

Interior appointments are impressive for a car of this performance potential. Distinctive, premium quality 'Chainmail' leather covers the contoured Performance Seats which are finished with anthracite leather bolsters and colour keyed leather door inserts. Additional luxury/performance features include automatic climate control air conditioning, eight way electric adjustable front seats, 'carbon fibre' style dash surround, HSV centre binnacle and Blaupunkt six-stack in-dash CD player.

With newfound refinement and quality to complement its prodigious talents this is again arguably the finest sporting sedan in the world.

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