Corsa Specialised Vehicles
Corsa Specialised Vehicles (CSV) is a small-scale automaker established in 1994 that is based in Mildura, Victoria, Australia. Its range consists of V8-engined high performance cars based on those produced by Holden.
Since its founder, Peter Dichiera (engine builder and 1970s drag racer, nicknamed "Mildura Maverick"), decided that CSV would not simply build modified versions of existing Holden cars, in 1996 it obtained government approval under the Australian Design Rules (ADR) scheme thus becoming a "secondary manufacturer" in the same mold as large-scale rival, Holden Special Vehicles (HSV).
CSV's famed tuner reputation was established with the first vehicle built in 1994. Badged Corsa 220i ("corsa" meaning "race" in Italian) and based on a Holden VR Berlina, it featured in a test comparison published by a local automotive magazine following which, thanks to favourable results against rival HSV,CSV built a further two vehicles by special order and began exhibiting at Australian motorshows.
The full CSV range has included:
- the Volanti (a phonetic adaptation of "volante" meaning "flying" in Italian), Strada (meaning "road" in Italian) and Veloce(meaning "fast" in Italian), based on the short wheelbase Holden Commodore (VR to VX series) sedan and wagon
- the La Classe (meaning "the class" in Italian), based on the long wheelbase Holden Statesman/Caprice (VS and WH series) sedan
- the Mondo (meaning "world" in Italian), based on the Holden Monaro (V2 series) coupé
- the Bullet based on the Holden (VS to VU series) utility.
The individual model designation of each vehicle is based on the engine output (in kilowatts). For example, in the case of the Mondo, it was offered as the GT305 (featuring a 5.7 L (350 cu in) LS1 producing 305 kW (409 hp), stainless steel high output headers, stainless steel exhaust, 19-inch alloy wheels and 245/35ZR19 tyres), a "Stage 2" GT350R (featuring a blueprinted version of the base engine) and a GT400R (instead powered by a 6.5 L (397 cu in) V8 engine).
Apart from high capacity and high output V8 engines, enhanced suspension and braking systems, CSV vehicles are characterised by upgraded interiors and full body kits (in particular, bonnet air vents, revised grilles and large decklid spoilers).
Over time, CSV has gained various high performance achievements in the local Australian industry that have included:
- producing, in 2000, the fastest accelerating Australian production car from 0 to 400m (the CSV Veloce)
- offering, in 2007, the first Holden Commodore-based performance car powered by a 7.0 L (427 cu in) LS7 V8 engine (the CSV GTS), in so doing beating rival HSV with its subsequent W427.
While still based in Mildura, CSV's expanded operations into Melbourne were terminated but also opened in Perth, Western Australia.
This CSV is not to be confused with HSV's Middle-Eastern export CSV badge, which stands for "Chevrolet Special Vehicles" instead.