VT COMMODORE [303,895 BUILT]
FOR VT, an all-new body was wrapped around the VS drivelines: Ecotec 3.8-litre V6, V6 Supercharged and a surprising final fling for the fuel-injected Aussie 5.0-litre V8: We all expected the ex-Corvette LS1 V8 but that came later. When new, VT received some criticism for being heavy but the extra safety and integrity of the bigger body – plus standard features such as driver’s airbag and electric seat, and independent rear suspension on all sedans and wagons – made the weight worthwhile. But the independent suspension – not quite right on early-build VTs – chewed-out rear tyres. The VT was a great looking car, with every model, from the base Executive up, styled by true car enthusiasts to be ‘premium’ and ‘aspirational’. The SS took on a new mantle as an upmarket performance car; more like an HSV than ever. VTII in mid-1999 saw the introduction of the imported GM LS1 all-alloy 5.7-litre V8 including, a little later, a special 300kW version for HSV’s GTS.