The VL Commodore was a major makeover of the previous model VK Commodore.. It would be the last of the 'mid size' Commodores.
The VL had a number of major changes made to it. The interior, the exterior and the engine were vastly different from the previous model VK.
The VL used a new engine. An imported 3.0L RB30E straight 6 engine which was designed in Japan by Nissan. The reason this engine was used instead of tweaking the VK’s black engine was because all cars manufactured in Australia from January 1 1986 had to run on unleaded fuel. Due to exchange rates, it was more financially viable to import an engine instead of making changes to the current one. Despite initial scepticism, the RB30E was well received by the Australian market as evident from sales figures.
6 months into its release a 150kW (200hp) turbocharged RB30ET version of the Nissan engine was released. The 5.0L V8 was released in October 1986.
Date of Introduction:
Commodore SL sedan
Commodore SL station wagon
Commodore Berlina sedan
Commodore Berlina station wagon
Commodore SS sedan
Calais station wagon
Prices at Time of Introduction:
$13 830 (SL six-cylinder manual sedan)
$15 150 (Executive six-cylinder automatic sedan)
$18 381 (SL six-cylinder turbo manual sedan)
$23 540 (Calais automatic sedan)
$42 250 (1988 HSV Groups A)
Total number built:
151 801 including 500 1986 HDT Holden Commodore VL SS Group A’s, 750 1988 Group A’s and various other HSV and HDT models.
Substantial reworking of previous Commodore body shell with new lowered front-end bodywork featuring wide slim headlights and a small louvred grille; Calais has transparent grille and semi concealed headlights; all models have integral plastic front bumper/ spoiler/ air intake and raised lip at the rear of the bootlid.