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About the VK Commodore
The VK Commodore was the fourth version in the V-car line, introduced in early 1984, was a major face lift of the VH series. The new car utilised VH front sheetmetal, new louvred grille, white front blinker lenses and full -height polycarbonate bumpers. This gave a strikingly different appearance to the previous series. The new 6-window body style, featuring a re-styled C-pillar with an extra quarter-window and re-designed rear door window frame, gave sedans a larger, cleaner appearance.
The interior had an all -new square look instrument layout, with touch buttons for minor controls to the left, all built into a new, wider binnacle surround. The SL badge was retained, SL/X became Berlina and SL/E was re-named Calais.
Holden’s new flagship Calais had fluorescent digital readout instrumentation, trip computer, central locking and cruise control, all standard. A new Executive Package, was introduced between the SL and Berlina models. Essentially an optioned-up SL, the Executive had Tri -Matic T-bar auto and power steering as standard. Early models were identified only by Executive decals on rear door quarter glass. Later Executive models had nameplates fitted to the boot lid (tailgate on wagons).
The annual Vacationer sedan and wagon limited edition holiday specials were released in late 1984 and again in late 1985, with power steering now standard. As the 1.9-litre 4-cylinder and 2.85 -litre 6-cylinder engines were now for export markets only, the base powerplant for Australian cars became the 3. 3- litre 6-cylinder carburettored engine. The standard powerplant for Calais, and optional for lower spec cars, was the new 3.3-litre 6-cylinder EFI engine.
Eurovox digital display audio systems were fitted to all models in the range, the Calais unit featured a joystick balancer/fader control and four speakers. Security in VK received a much needed boost, with metal shields fitted to protect door lock barrels, door latches and steering lock mechanism. Rubber shields were fitted to doorjambs near the snib buttons. Radios were retained by a hidden security bracket. In mid-1985, slider type interior lock buttons (previously only fitted to cars with central locking) were introduced for all models.
In late 1985, the 5.0-litre V8 engine was de-stroked slightly from 5044cc to 4987cc (308 ci to 304 ci). This was to enable the Commodore to qualify for the under-5OOOcc class in the new Group A touring car regulations. The change itself was relatively small, reducing the compression ratio from 9.2:1 to 8.8:1, with virtually no change in official power output figures. Probably the most important 4.9-litre V8 VK was the SS Group A, easily identified by its Formula Blue paint finish. This car was the so-called Sporting Evolution version (500 units built), allowing VK Commodore to race in Group A touring car racing.
SS Group A was considered an official GM-H model (to satisfy Group A rules), unlike those from the regular HDT range. HDT cars based on the VK series included LM5OOO, SS, SS Group 3, SS Group 3/Group A and Calais Director. SS and SS Group 3 came in Alpine (white) or Asteroid (silver). Group 3 featured: front air dam, rear and side skirts, single slot grille, rear spoiler and newly designed HDT alloy wheels. A rear-facing bonnet bulge and front guard windsplits were optional.