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About the VP Commodore
Released in late 1991, the VP series was the first facelift of the second generation Commodore. Externally, VP received: new front guards, new grille and headlights and new front and rear bumper fascia. Sedans also gained a new ribbed boot garnish panel, the ribs extending over the tail-light lenses.
The Ute range released in January 1992 was part of the VP family. Most VP improvements were under the skin: reduced cabin noise levels, better handling, improved ride quality and availability of IRS (independent rear suspension) for sedans. This IRS system was a carry over, first used in the long wheelbase VQ series. Fitted as standard equipment to Calais and SS models, it was optional for all other sedans. The VP Calais was also the first Holden to utilise the new Bosch Body Control Module (BCM). It controlled many of the car’s secondary electronic functions including speed variable intermittent wiper control, remote immobiliser/alarm, auto headlights-off and various warning systems, etc.
Partway through the VP series, the Bosch patented anti-lock braking system (ABS) was made available. The first Australian built Holden to be ABS-equipped was actually the LWB VQ II (November 1991. Initially, ABS was only optional for VP V8 IRS sedans. In mid-1992, ABS for V6 IRS sedans became available. Finally in 1993, ABS was introduced as an option for any sedan or wagon with a live-axle rear end. One of GM-H’s sales promotions included a $990 ABS safety package.
The basic engine and transmission line-up was essentially as before, the 3.8-litre V6 or 5.0-litre V8, mated to the B-W TS 5-speed manual or 4L60 4-speed automatic (previously called TH700-R4). The 180kW version of the 5.0-litre EFI V8, previously only seen in HSV vehicles, became available as a regular option across the VP range. Ticking this option usually meant the car was ordered as HSV enhanced. Equipment levels were generally higher than the VN series including remote control central locking (with deadlock), power side mirrors and immobiliser security system fitted to all models, except utilities.
All VP models except S, SS and Calais were easily recognised by their new clear acrylic grille. S and SS grilles were painted body colour, while Calais again had its own unique grille. Model line-up was similar to the VN series, with two additional variants – Berlina LX sedan and wagon, added in March 1992. The new LX models were positioned midway between Berlina and Calais, fitted standard with many previously optional items including: front and rear power windows, alloy wheels, digital readout climate control and Calais style instruments with trip computer.
Late in 1992 the limited edition Calais International was released. It was fully optioned with: a 5-litre V8 EFI engine, ABS, leather seats and steering wheel, fog-lights, specific alloy wheels and unique black and beige interior colour treatment. Vacationer sedans and wagons were also released in late 1992, Another relatively unknown special was the SS V6. This was effectively an SS fitted with a V6 engine and 5-speed manual, produced in sufficient quantities to homologate the VP V6 for Group E (Series Production) racing. It also received a 3.27:1 differential, IRS and minor modifications to engine electronics, etc..
Early in 1993, the VP Series II upgrade was announced. This resulted in a general mid-model upgrade at all levels, with minor interior and exterior changes and Series II identity badges ·fitted to the boot lid or tailgate. The HSV VP model range included: SV91, Maloo, Senator, Senator 5OOOi, GTS, ClubSport and ClubSport 5OOOi. GTS and 5OOOi models received a 200kW version of the 5.0-litre Holden V8.