While wagons can make great high-performance vehicles, the same usually can’t be said of minivans. However, that hasn’t stopped some manufacturers from trying to give these practical haulers a touch of sportiness. The Toyota Previa, for example, had a mid-engine layout with an optional supercharger and manual. And the Mercedes-Benz R-Class was a luxury minivan with a 500-hp AMG trim. But there’s another model that also tried to cater to enthusiasts: the Oldsmobile Silhouette OSV. And there’s one for sale right now.
OSV tried to be a performance division
Automaker performance divisions are nothing new. BMW has M, Mercedes has AMG, and Cadillac has the V-Series as well as the Blackwing models. And while Ford’s division is called ‘Ford Performance’ today, in the 90s and early 2000s, it was called SVT. It was SVT that GM was trying to emulate with Oldsmobile Special Vehicle, Driving.ca reports.
If you’ve never heard of OSV that’s not surprising. The idea of an Oldsmobile performance division was promising on paper, and the brand did produce sporty cars in the past. For example, the original 442 and the later Cutlass Calais Quad 442. Unfortunately, OSV didn’t really achieve much success.
OSV debuted at the 1999 SEMA Show with three different concept cars based on contemporary Oldsmobile models. One was based on the rear-wheel-drive Intrigue sedan, Motor1 reports. While it had a 4-speed automatic, it was linked to a 3.5-liter supercharged V6 with 260 hp and 260 lb-ft and a Borla performance exhaust. The Intrigue OSV also had 4-wheel cross-drilled Brembo disc brakes, Recaro seats, a lowered Koni sports suspension, a body kit, and titanium pedals.
There was also an Oldsmobile Alero OSV coupe, Barrett-Jackson reports. Like the Intrigue OSV, it has Brembo brakes, a body kit, Koni suspension, and a Borla exhaust. But instead of a V6, it has a 2.4-liter supercharged four-cylinder with 230 hp, Driving.ca reports. And it drives the front wheels through a 5-speed manual transmission.
But the oddest of the three concepts was the Oldsmobile Silhouette OSV.
The Oldsmobile Silhouette OSV concept
When the Oldsmobile Silhouette debuted in the 90s, it was one of several badge-engineered minivans based on the ‘Dustbuster’ Pontiac Trans Sport, Jalopnik reports. But because Oldsmobile was a luxury brand, its minivan got a few higher-end features, such as power-sliding doors. In fact, the Oldsmobile Silhouette is arguably the first luxury minivan, Autotrader reports.
The 1999 Oldsmobile Silhouette OSV concept is from the minivan’s second generation, which had a more rounded appearance. And while the OSV version isn’t quite as extreme as the Alero and Intrigue, it does have some upgrades over the standard minivan.
The Oldsmobile Silhouette OSV doesn’t have a supercharged engine. But it does have a K&N cold-air intake and a Borla exhaust like the other two cars, Hagerty reports. As a result, instead of 185 hp, its 3.4-liter V6 has 210 hp, The Drive reports.
The Oldsmobile Silhouette OSV’s other modifications also match the Alero and Intrigue OSV. It has a body kit, a lowered Koni suspension, Brembo brakes, and 6 leather Recaro seats. And, as with the other two cars made for the 1999 SEMA Show, it has a unique ‘candy-red’ paint job.
One of the Oldsmobile Silhouette OSV concepts is for sale
The red-painted concepts, though, aren’t the only examples of OSV cars. Oldsmobile created another set of Intrigue, Alero, and Silhouette OSVs, only painted dark green, Consumer Guide reports. But the red cars are the originals—and as of this writing, one is up for sale.
The Oldsmobile OSV cars have traded hands several times in the past. The Intrigue OSV, for example, sold on Bring a Trailer in January 2019 for $9600. And the Alero OSV was sold at a 2009 Barrett-Jackson auction. That same auction also saw the sale of the red Oldsmobile Silhouette OSV for $9900, Hagerty reports. It later sold in 2012 for $18,150.
It’s unclear if the 1999 Oldsmobile Silhouette OSV currently listed on AutoTrader.ca is the same luxury minivan. According to Hagerty, it likely isn’t, because the original show car wasn’t road-legal. That, along with the 2013 Oldsmobile Nationals award the minivan comes with, lends some credence to the seller’s claim that this Silhouette OSV is a “1 of 3” example. As of this writing, it’s listed at $8588 CAD.
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