Holden Commodore VN

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Holden Commodore VN

1988 - 1991
6 cyl. & V8
3.8 liter EFI V6; 5.0 V8 EFI
125kW (V6) & 165kW (V8)
5 spd. manual; 4 speed Turbohydramatic; 6 speed ZF manual (Group A)
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Number Built:
Launching the VN Commodore, Holden said the totally new car had been designed to achieve the dramatic market impact reserved only for the most historic and significant Holden models.

And so it proved. There were a few VL Commodore components still under the skin, but the new VN had been stretched - in every important dimension.

A major generational change, the 'aero styled' VN returned Holden to the full-sized family car fold. It won all three motor magazine 1988 Car of the Year awards and was also a sales winner right from the start (the Executive model confidently targeted at fleet buyers), taking Holden back to its accustomed position on top of the Australian passenger car market in 1989.

Holden designers and engineers took a wind tunnel-influenced Opel Omega design and altered it substantially and ingeniously; widening, re-styling and re-engineering to meet Australian criteria. Interior roominess, torquey performance and chassis dynamics topped the list.

Reflecting an emphasis on aerodynamics as a way of improving performance and fuel consumption, the VN offered such features as flush-fitting side glass, steeply raked windscreen and low-profile headlights.

It also introduced as standard a larger, Buick-sourced 3800 EFI V6 (delivering as much power as the previous carbureted V8), teamed with locally made five-speed manual or premium imported 4-speed Turbo Hydramatic transmission.

Standard on SS and optional across the range came a fuel-injected 5.0 liter V8 producing 165kW. For the first time, the Commodore wagon was built on a longer wheelbase, and entirely new interiors featured a one-piece dash fascia with wide centre console and binnacle-style controls.

After an absence of nearly seven years, the Holden passenger car derived ute made a comeback in 1990 with an all-new VN-based VG Utility and S Utility. Model range: Commodore SL sedan, Commodore Executive sedan and wagon, Commodore Berlina sedan and wagon, Commodore S sedan and wagon, Commodore SS sedan, Calais sedan. In all, some 215, 180 VN Commodores would be manufactured, including the 5 millionth Holden.

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Also see:

Commodore VN Specifications
HSV Special Vehicles VN Commodore
The 1988 Holden Range
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