HOLDEN HZ GTS SEDAN
The Holden HZ received minor updates to the exterior over the HX series, and saw the introduction of what Holden termed “Radial Tuned Suspension” (RTS) across all models. RTS made significant changes to the suspension of the car, greatly improving the handling finesse, while at the same time not compromising ride quality. Modern Motor magazine described the HZ as “a great handler spoiled by the car” in a comparison against the BMW 528i, contrasted as “a great car spoiled by the handling”. In this series, the base specification Belmont was deleted and the new Kingswood SL became the base luxury level for sedans and wagons, with a lower specification Kingswood sedan and wagon only offered as a delete option on the Kingswood SL. During the course of the HZ series, equipment levels were upgraded in 1978 effectively to match improvements in the opposition Ford Falcon range, but the life of the full W size Holden looked set to end following Holden’s release of the VB Commodore in November 1978. After 1980, W sized Holden passenger cars were cancelled—replaced by the downsized Commodore. The Kingswood luxury level lived on until 1985 on the WB Holden utility but the end of HZ saw the end of the Holden Premier alongside both the HOLDEN HZ GTS SEDAN and Sandman which were both deleted prior to the end of the HZ series.
Although the Monaro name had survived into 1977 as the HX Monaro GTS sedan, the coupé configuration was no longer in production and Holden decided to delete the Monaro name altogether from the new Holden HZ range. With the development of Radial Tuned Suspension, Holden transformed the bland characteristics of their full-size sedans and introduced a sporting variant called simply Holden GTS. Released on 5 October 1977, this HZ variant featured a four headlight grille, front and rear air dams, four-wheel disc brakes, sports wheels and a 4.2-litre V8 engine as standard equipment. The optional 5.0-litre V8 became standard in June 1978. But, with the November 1978 introduction of the new mid/full-size VB Commodore sedan and its availability with V8 engine power, the days of the HZ series appeared numbered. Production of the GTS ceased in December 1978, an estimated 1,438 having been built.