|Manufacturer||Holden Special Vehicles|
|Assembly||Clayton, Victoria, Australia|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door sedan (1992-present)
5-door station wagon (1998)
|Layout||Front-engine, rear-wheel drive|
The HSV Senator is a full size luxury sports sedan variation of the Holden Commodore, produced by Holden Special Vehicles in co-operation with Australian automaker Holden. It has been manufactured since 1992 at Elizabeth, South Australia, before final assembly in Clayton, Victoria, Australia. The car is based on a rear-wheel drive architecture, and the current generation E Series is powered by a 6.2 litre V8. Until recently, there were no exact or direct rival for this vehicle; however, in October 2006 FPV announced the release of the Falcon Force 6/8 as a competitor.
Initially the car was offered only in two trim levels but with the introduction of the VT generation in 1997 the ranged expanded into multiple versions including special limited edition build variants and station wagon body types.
- 1 Model Timeline
- 2 Limited Edition Model Timeline
- 3 See also
- 4 Notes
Introduced 1991 when the VN series was replaced with the VP generation. The year after that the Senator was introduced, based on the VP Commodore. The Senator was created in an attempt to design a vehicle that offered both luxury and performance as well as to complement the existing long-wheelbase Statesman models. Offering smoother styling compared to the HSV Clubsport and GTS models, which favoured performance rather than luxury, the Senator took advantage of the independent rear suspension which was offered on high priced VP Commodores and Statesmans at the time and was only one of a handful of Commodore-based cars that had automatic climate control air conditioning. Other features included a leather interior, cruise control and limited slip differential. A three spoke steering wheel was featured. Top speed was 220 km/h (137 mph). The car is available with HSV's 180 kW (241 hp) 5.0 litre V8 engine coupled to a GM 4-speed automatic transmission or 5-speed manual. There was actually two versions built the standard Senator and the Senator 5000i which featured a more powerful engine. The total number built for both versions was 382.
In 1993, the significantly redesigned VR Senator was released, based on the VR Commodore it was the first radical body change since the 1988. The rear seating was from the Holden Statesman. Along with the rest of the HSV range, the Senator bodykit was penned by designer Ian Callum to produce a sleeker, more aggressive stance along with a 185 kW (248 hp) version of the 5.0-litre V8. A new suspension setup was developed, known as the touring package which aimed to provide capable handling and a smooth ride. Additionally from May 1994 onwards, the Senator could be optioned with HSV's new 215 kW (288 hp) 5.0-litre "stroker" V8 known as the '215i'. The $10,000 “stroker” engine option was handbuilt as an upgrade over the 5.0-litre V8. This engine could be coupled to either the 4-speed automatic transmission or a 6-speed manual transmission. 0–100 km/h (0-60 mph) takes 7.8 sec for the 185i and takes 7.3 sec for the 215i. Total number built for both versions was 855.
In 1995 the VS Senator was introduced based on the VS Commodore. This model saw slight revisions to the body styling, trim and new alloy wheels. The VS Series II saw the fitment of HSV's ISS (Integrated Security System) as standard as well as new steering-wheel mounted stereo controls. There remained a choice of two models: the 185i and the 215i. The 185i had the 5.0-litre (4987 cc) V8 engine which pushed out 185 kW (248 hp) at 4800 rpm. The 215i had the 5.7-litre (5737 cc) V8 engine which delivered 215 kW (288 hp) at 4800 rpm. The total number that were built by December 1995 was 416, down 439 units over the VR.
VT Senator Signature
Introduced in 1997 the VT gained the larger all-new bodyshell of the VT Commodore and also heralded the introduction of a Senator Signature wagon for the first time into the HSV range. An upgraded 195 kW (261 hp) 5.0 litre and 220 kW (295 hp) 5.7-litre V8 engines were offered. The VT Senator Signature came standard with speed-sensitive steering which would act in different ways depending on the road and surrounding conditions and luxury suspension tuned featuring Monroe Sensatrac shock absorbers. Appearance differed from other HSV models with the use of a chrome single-slat grille, side skirts, front fog lamps and 10-spoke 17 inch alloy wheels. The suspension was lowered, with leather seats and woodgrain standard throughout the Senator Signature.
The steering featured the Variatronic power assisted rack and pinion technology. The independent rear suspension and luxury front and rear Sensatrac variable rate dampers fitted made for smooth ride control and high speed stability. Additionally, HSV added complementary special features which were for the driver rather than the car, such as a Maglite torch, wheel nut cap remover and a multi-purpose pen knife. The VT Series II introduced a new 5.7 litre LS1 V8 which produced 250 kW (335 hp) and 473 N·m (349 lb·ft).
A choice of two transmissions were offered a 6-speed manual and 4-speed automatic. Front and side airbags, climate control air-conditioning and traction control are some of the features that come as standard. By activating a certain button in the cabin labeled “power” the automatic transmission holds the gears in longer, this gives the car more acceleration power. Storage wise the cabin offers, pockets behind the seats, door pockets, a large glove box and a console bin plus the larger boot.
VT Senator Signature Wagon
This car was also known as the Senator Signature Estate Wagon. There were two versions available with this version the 195i and the 220i these was known by the badges found on the rear. The numbers that were chosen was to illustrate the power the cars had. Some of the optional features included an upgraded braking system, rain sensing wipers and luxury tuned suspension. Leather featured heavily throughout the vehicle and dual climate control was to enhance comfort for the passengers throughout the large wagon. A special entertainment audio system is only available as an extra option it includes a Premium audio pack with 350 watt power amp and 6 stack CD. There is an optional Coulson 'performance' front seating which is for extra comfort. The wheels are 10-spoke 17" x 8" alloy wheels. These days there are very few of these wagons left today.
The 2000 VX Series brought a facelift with more angular styling with a distinctive 'egg-crate' grille while the VX Series II added toe-control links to the IRS (in line with the Series II update of the Holden Commodore), as well as Microdot technology to deter theft. Most of the main changes to the VX Senator are mostly exterior changes, with visual styling was again designed by former Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) designer Ian Callum. These changes included a chrome grille accent, crossed hatch lower grille, roof spoiler and a discreet boot mounted spoiler. Power increased by 5 kW (7 hp) for the now 255 kW (342 hp) LS1 V8. The VX Senator was partly based on the Holden Calais at the time. Electronic Traction Control comes as a standard option. Some features that come with the $72,881 Senator include 10-stacker CD player, two subwoofers with a premium sound system, four airbags, automatic climate control, cruise control, power mirrors and windows.
For the first time the Senator line up features rear parking sensors which beep when close to an object while reversing. An optional satellite navigation system and sunroof were available. The four speed automatic transmission is retained and for brakes there are two front ventilated discs and standard non-ventilated discs at the rear. Some of the dimensions are as follows: length is 4,964 mm (195.4 in), width 1,842 mm (72.5 in), height 1,450 mm (57.1 in) and the wheelbase dimension is 2,788 mm (109.8 in). The Senator weighs 1,710 kg (3,770 lb) and uses 18.1/100 km of fuel through the city, the fuel tank capacity is 75 litres. Once again the self leveling rear suspension featured and part of the entertainment package a 6 stacker CD player and 8-speaker sound system was added. ABS and traction control was added for extra safety. Throughout the cabin there is leather trim and dark wood grain on the dash board. Some extra options that were also available at extra cost was the premium brakes, Satellite navigation, leather-pewter and an upgraded entertainment sound system.
Y Series Senator
Following a slight change to the HSV series naming method, the Y Series Senators, based on the VY Commodore debuted in 2003. The Y-series naming method caused confusion with most people still calling it the VY. Featuring even more angular and aggressive styling, the Y series offered both an entry-level grand tourer Senator and high luxury Senator Signature models. Both came standard with a revised Luxury suspension tune, rear parking sensors and 260 kW (349 hp) LS1 engine. In addition to the features found on the Senator, the Senator Signature came with larger 19 in (482.6 mm)ch alloy wheels (the Senator came equipped with 18 in (457.2 mm)ch wheels), different seats and larger front brakes. The Y Series II update upgraded power to 285 kW (382 hp).
Some of the features that were introduced on the Y-series Senator include oil and battery gauges on the centre stack, shale leather trim interior trim as well as white backing for the instruments. A leather steering wheel was added to improve grip and feel when turning and more memory options for the front electric seats to cater to different users. HSV redesigned the front seats because of complaints from the customers they were too uncomfortable.
Standard features include a CD stacker, power mirrors and windows, cruise control, climate control, engine immobilizer and remote central locking. A rear DVD player and head phones were added. Front and side airbags were standard across the whole range. Two extra safety features were added: an electric tyre pressure monitoring system and High Intensity Discharge (HID) driving lights. Once again the fully independent multi-link rear suspension is standard on the Senator. GPS or Satellite navigation and the sunroof are not standard with this model but are available at extra cost.
The engine is a 5.7 litre LS1 V8 pushing out 260 kW (349 hp) at 5600 rpm and 475 N·m (350 lb·ft) of torque. New badging featured on the Senator read “260” reflecting the increased power output. The brake and some of the engine cooling vents located on the front bumper are slightly hidden to keep its luxury well present while viewing the vehicle. Mesh cloth is located at the front air dams. Some of the side skirts front and rear air dams and the lower parts of the exterior mirrors are coloured in a satin finish grey. The rest is finished in the body colour. The famous “Senator” name plates are featured on the side skirts, rear and at the bottom of the rear doors.
Some of the interior changes include alloy pedals, new colours, a re-designed four-spoke steering wheel with remote audio controls, white finish instrument dials and minor gauges now in their own dedicated binnacle in the centre of the dash. The multi-function read-out has been re-programmed to show the HSV logo and the vehicle build number and identification during start-up. Automatic climate control and a Blaupunkt 6-disc CD stacker are standard and 8 speakers. Carbon-fibre trim is found throughout the cabin as well as light shale leather trim. The starting price for the Senator at the time was $74000.
Z Series Senator
For the 2004 Z Series, the Senator Signature name was dropped. The car was based on the VZ Commodore and featured smoother, subtler styling, with 19 in (482.6 mm)ch wheels as standard. The engine was a new 6.0 litre LS2 V8 (as featured on the C6 Corvette) pushing out 297 kW (398 hp). Newly designed rear mufflers give the car more of a deeper sound. The Senator's weight increased to 1,735 kg (3,825 lb), 0–100 km/h (0-60 mph) takes 6.1 seconds and has a top speed of 250 km/h (limited). The fuel economy was officially rated at 10-12 litres/100 km on the highway, and a jump to 18-22 litres/100 km through the cities.
Dimensions were 1,450 mm (57.1 in) height, 4,984 mm (196.2 in) length, 1,842 mm (72.5 in) width and the wheelbase is 2,788 mm (109.8 in).
Some of the main options included the sunroof $2390, satellite navigation $3800, rear-seat DVD players $3900, Xenon headlights $1800, tyre pressure monitoring system $1395. Inside it features Nappa leather on the seats. The braking system on the Senator comes with ABS with twin-piston front callipers and grooved discs. The specially designed rear suspension has a self-levelling feature, so if the Senator was towing a trailer, instead of the weight forcing the back down and causing the front of the car to go up, the rear suspension would harden itself and therefore keeping the car levelled and aerodynamic. This feature is also on the current E-series Senator Signature.
The chrome outline on the grill was added to give the style more of a relaxed luxury appearance. The Senator was has specially designed 10 spoke alloys. For the interior special suede leather come as an optional extra. The Senator Signature name has now been dropped out of the line up, in the price department it matches the Clubsport approximately. Nappa leather is standard for the Senator. The 6.0 litre Gen5 (LS2) V8 engine was taken off the C6 Chevrolet. The brakes are upgraded and feature Bosche 8.0 ABS which provides EBD. The new LS2 V8 made it the quickest Australian made production car at the time.
E Series Senator
The E Series Senator Signature is based on the VE Commodore and was released in August 2006 with 307 kW (411 hp) of power. It is a four door, 5 seat sedan, is rated to tow a maximum of 1,600 kg (3,527 lb) and is fitted with automatic transmission and leather interior as standard. The development cost for the E Series Senator was more than the VT, VX, Y Series and the Z Series Senators combined. In general, the HSV Senator Signature is a significantly more upmarket form of the Holden Calais-V, with a matching pricetag.
The E Series Senator is 4,943 mm (194.6 in) long and 1,899 mm (74.8 in) wide, and the stopping distance from 100 km/h (62 mph) is about 36 metres. The Senator is equipped with 19-inch, 10-spoke chrome shadow alloy wheels. The cabin features carbon fibre and imitation metal highlights. For the first time there are no visible wood grain trims that have featured in previous models. The rear lights on the Senator are full LED and were repositioned, lowering them by 120 mm (4.7 in) to help differentiate the car from its Holden donor, creating sporting flair yet keeping the luxury image. The development cost to redesign the rear taillights cost HSV $3 million. The designers of the Senator have also attempted to add a more of a luxury feel to the car instead of favouring the aggressive side. The entry level price for the Senator Signature is $76,990, down $4,000 from the previous model.
Like the E-series HSV GTS, the suspension is fitted with switchable Magnetic Ride Control (MRC, or "MagneRide") offering Luxury or Performance modes. It does this by electrically adjusting the viscosity of the ferrofluid inside the shock absorbers, producing different damping levels. Magnetic Ride Control also enhances braking by preventing forward weight transfer when the car is under heavy braking. The MRC system development took three years and cost HSV more than $4.5 million.
Standard gear includes climate control, Blaupunkt sound, cruise control, full trip computer, rear park assist, traction control system, Electronic Stability Control, power mirrors and windows. The oil, voltage and temperature gauges are now digital. The interior offers a choice of light urban beige, white or black for the colours. The carpets remain dark as in the Holden Calais V-Series. The Senator Signature also offers a number of options such as a roof mounted DVD player, front park assist, rain sensing wipers and door entry lamps. Satellite navigation will become available as an option in the near future.
From April 2008, the HSV Senator Signature was fitted with the 6.2 litre Generation 4 alloy LS3 V8 that delivered 317 kW (425 hp) at 6000 rpm and 550 N·m (406 lb·ft) at 4400 rpm. It can go from 0 to 100 km/h (0-60 mph) in around 5 seconds and has a limited top speed of 250 km/h (160 mph). From this MY09 model onwards, the Senator Signature was available with an optional 6-speed manual transmission. In early 2009, HSV introduced a base model Senator at the Melbourne Motor Show. This special model was priced from $69,990 (RRP) with just 30 manual and 59 auto examples produced. While it retained the look of the Signature model, it was essentially a ClubSport with a Senator body kit and did without many of the luxury features mentioned above as well as the MRC suspension, GTS-style seating and shadow chrome finish on the wheels.
In October 2009, HSV released their E2 model upgrades which introduced the "Shockwave" theme to the exterior of the Senator Signature. It was applied in a more subtle way than seen on the ClubSport, GTS and Maloo models with the front end receiving a new grille and some LED daytime running lights while the rear was fitted with the same style of lower body kit as the other sedan models. As with other models in the E2 range, the Senator Signature was available with the "SV Enhanced Options" bi-modal exhaust system and the 20" Pentagon wheel in place of a re-designed 19" wheel. There were no interior styling updates for the E2 model.
2010 saw the arrival of the E3 HSV range which brought with it a raft of interior changes shared with the VE Series II upgrade of HSV's donor vehicle, the Holden Commodore, such as the new Holden iQ audio/infotainment system and safety features such as Side Blind zone alert. It also brought HSV's Enhanced Driver Interface (EDI) system to the Senator, a system that constantly streams real-time vehicle dynamics and performance information to the touch screen in the centre console. The exterior remained mostly unchanged from the E2 model apart from the move to a 20" forged alloy that was available in Dark Stainless or Gloss Black. The LS3 was upgraded to 325 kW (436 hp) with the fitment of the E2 GTS' bi-modal exhaust system. The E3 was also available with the upgraded 6-piston brakes from the GTS and had the option of a modern LPG fuel system called LPI (Liquid Propane Injection) to help reduce the running costs.
Senator Signature Gen-F
The E Series Senator Signature is based on the Holden Commodore VF, and was released in May 2013. It is a four door, 5 seat sedan, like it's predecessor, the E Series, and features a V8 LS3 Engine from the Chevrolet Camaro, which is shared among the rest of the HSV Gen-F range.
Limited Edition Model Timeline
This car was released in 2001 with the VX, continuing on into the Y series. Some features that come standard are 10 stacker CD system, 8 way power controls for the front seats, woodgrain instruments, electric windows, automatic climate control, ABS and front and side airbags. This top of the range model cost $98,850. The Senator 300 was presented to the public at the Melbourne international motor show. Only 33 cars were built and 7 of the 33 built were to go on sale in New Zealand. The engine is a Callaway tuned V8 that produces 300 kW (402 hp) of power and is only available with a 6-speed manual gearbox. ABS and a cross-drilled premium brake system were fitted inside 10 spoke 18” chrome shadow wheels. 0–100 km/h (0–60 m/h) takes just 6.1 seconds and can reach 400 meters (1/4 mile) under 14.7 seconds.
Senator Skaife Signature Z-Series
The car is a limited edition car that was based on the Z-series Senator with specially designed features added by V8 Supercar racing driver Mark Skaife which he had designed himself. Standard transmission was the 4-speed automatic. Some of the special features that are included with this car is a new colour called Phantom Black and chrome shadow wheel finish. Some of the interior features include remote boot/tail gate and woodgrain. ABS, rear DVD players and 8 speakers.
Senator SV08 E Series
This was a limited edition of 50 vehicles released in late 2008 in the "MY09.5" model year. The photo at the top of this page is a SV08. It was released alongside the limited edition 40 Years GTS. It was primarily to commemorate 20 years since the release of the SV88, one of the first vehicles released by the then new HSV outfit. There were 20 manuals (the first of the general run HSV E Series to use the TR6060 6 speed manual that had only been used in the W427 prior - straight from the current Corvette) and 30 autos. They were released in only 3 colours, Nitrate (silver) Sting (red) & Voodoo (blue). It was also the first VE model Senator to be officially released with a manual. Equipment levels & drivetrain were identical to the Senator Signature of the time. Unique features of the SV08 are: SV08 badging, 20" Pentagon wheels, lower body gloss black accenting (ran along the doors at the same level of the black accenting on the front & rear), chrome mirror head & door handle accents, SV08 sill plates & SV08 build plate.
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