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HSV SV300: Fast Car History Lesson

By Alex Affat, 12 Jul 2020 Features

HSV SV300: Fast Car History Lesson

Clayton’s C4B-powered executive bruiser flew under the radar

Science says WE ARE wired to remember the beginning of something, and the end, but not so much the middle.

In terms of HSV and the used car market, early examples – along with all chrome-bumper Iron Lions – are booming, and we all lament the fact that we don’t own one of the last thumping Gen-F2 GTSRs. But the VXII-generation SV300 seems to exist in millennial limbo: not yet old enough to be ‘classic’, but not new enough to be front of mind.

HSV SV300

It had the makings of a great vehicle: limited production (100 units officially; 134 in actuality), a 300kW 5.7-litre V8, and a mandatory manual transmission (the six-speed T56). The SV300 was just the fourth HSV to wear the SV nomenclature, usually reserved for the brand’s most complete and significant performance packages.

The SV300 borrowed the then-absent GTS’s Calloway-developed LS1 (dubbed the C4B), an aluminium block variant with CNC-machined billet throttle body, steel roller rocker arms, titanium valve spring retainers, stainless steel valves, CNC-ported heads, high-flow exhaust and Hydratrak limited-slip differential. The SV300 also incorporated the new ‘Touring 2’ baseline suspension as part of the VXII range, which added extra toe control links at the rear to aid and improve handling.

Callaway C4B-powered 2000 HSV VTII GTS

HSV SV300

But while some thought of it as a mere GTS replacement, the SV300 was a more rounded and complete package, blending the mod-cons found in the Senator and VX Senator 300 – and loaded to the gills with luxury kit. This era, around the turn of the millennium, saw HSV make great strides as a company, reaching unprecedented production volume, and increasing comparisons with the European sedan was something the entire fraternity could get behind.

Classic Motor: Father and son roadtrip with a HSV 300

HSV SV300 engine

The SV300 is almost an archetype for this booming era of Holden Special Vehicles and – as a collectible – may yet have its day in the sun.

Twin-turbo HSV VTII GTS300

HSV SV300

2001 HSV SV300 specs

Engine: 5665cc V8, pushrod OHV, 16v
Power: 300kW @ 6000rpm
Torque: 510Nm @ 4800rpm
0-100km/h: 5.3sec (claimed)
Price new: $94,950 ($146K in 2020 money)

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