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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Holden Unveils The Next Commodore

    By William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    February 9, 2013

    Holden has pulled back the curtain for the new VF Commodore this morning in Australia. The VF Commodore according to Holden "the most technologically-advanced car ever created in Australia". This is an important car for Holden since sales of the Commodore and other big sedans in Australia have been on the decline.

    The VF Commodore retires the “geometrical” design theme used on the VE Commodore and uses the “scultptural” design theme. Up front, the VF Commodore has a higher, wider front grille, subtle central power bulge, and a new lower bumper ornamentation. Stepping around to the back, the VF Commodore has a redesigned trunk lid to improve aerodynamics and new taillights.

    Inside, Holden addressed one of the main concerns on the VE Commodore; a poor feeling interior. The VF's interior comes with a more luxurious design and higher quality materials. There is also a lot interior pieces and tech from other GM models such as the MyLink infotainment system.

    Under the skin, the VF Commodore uses a lighter body that that includes a aluminium hood and trunk lid. The body is also more aerodynamic which helps improve fuel economy. Holden is keeping mum on the powertrains, but its safe to assume that a lineup of V6 and V8 engines will be there.

    Other tricks the VF Commodore comes with includes a self parking system, blind-spot warning, forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning, head-up display, and other features.

    More information of the VF Commodore will be announced next month.

    The VF Commodore will make its North American appearance as the Chevrolet SS next week.

    Source: Holden

    Holden VF Commodore Calais V-Series 5
    Album: Holden VF Commodore
    17 images

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Release is on Page 2

    Holden's New VF Commodore Breaks Cover

    Australian Designed, Engineered and Manufactured – New Commodore Ushers in Technology Revolution

    The most technologically-advanced car ever created in Australia has broken cover.

    Unveiled at an exclusive event in Melbourne’s stylish Docklands, Holden’s new VF Commodore also spearheads a new export campaign to the USA in the form of the Chevrolet SS Sports Sedan. It brings in a host of new technologies that make it not only the best Commodore ever, but also one that is safer, more user-friendly and more fuel efficient.

    It also brings new levels of luxury and refinement to the large car segment, with a sumptuous new interior to match its upmarket exterior.

    “The VF Commodore really is a class above,” said Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux. “No other car created in Australia is as technologically advanced, and we’re very proud that not only was the VF designed and engineered here, but it will also be exported to the USA for GM’s biggest global brand, Chevrolet.”

    The VF Commodore, which will be built at Holden Vehicle Operations in the Adelaide suburb of Elizabeth, South Australia, highlights Holden’s advanced global design capability and promises a driving experience on a par with top-marque competitors.

    It will also be more fuel efficient. Thanks in part to the Federal Government’s grant of $39.8 million through the Green Car Innovation Fund, it features lightweight aluminium panels along with other fuel saving features such as electric power steering. It is also more aerodynamic than the VE Commodore it will replace.

    Among its many new technology features are some significant safety and driver friendly elements.

    Key convenience features include Auto Park Assist on all models, where the driver operates the pedals but the car effectively parks itself. Unlike many similar systems, it also allows drivers to choose between a parallel or 90 degree angle park. It also gets the latest version of Holden’s innovative MyLink infotainment system and keyless entry and start.

    Safety features include Reverse Traffic Alert, which warns of vehicles passing when reversing out of spaces, Blind Spot Alert, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning and a Head-Up Display, which projects vital safety information such as the car’s speed directly onto the windscreen.

    The new Calais V-Series sedan, on which the show car is based, will headline an extensively upgraded VF Commodore model range that goes on sale mid-year.

    “Our aim with the new VF Commodore was to create a car that challenged some of the broader perceptions people have about the traditional Australian-made large car,” said Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux.

    “We have created a car that not only serves the loyal buyers who continue to make Commodore one of the most popular cars in Australia, but also a new breed of discerning customer who wants higher levels of luxury and technology in their car.

    “When it goes on sale, it will offer levels of quality and sophistication to rival some of the best cars in the world.”

    The VF Commodore was designed and engineered at Holden’s headquarters in Port Melbourne, Victoria.

    Holden’s Director of Design, Andrew Smith, said the VF exterior design was a precise, contemporary execution that held true to the dynamic poise of its predecessor.

    “We’ve taken a powerful existing form and brought it up to another level, with the feeling now about projecting a real sense of quality and technological aptitude,” he said.

    “The styling is characterised by sculpted forms and richer detailing. There’s more gleam and polish at every point and careful attention to detail everywhere you look, from the vibrant front fascias and projector headlamp treatments through to the all-new rear end graphics.

    “And the key interior elements are entirely new: instrument panel, console, cockpit, seats, steering wheel, switches, shifters, textures, you name it, no detail has escaped attention.

    “Our designers set out with deliberate intent to exceed expectations by creating a cabin with premium large car ambience – a wow factor, if you like – that’s characterised by a fresh sense of luxury, comfort and convenience.

    “It’s a carefully cohesive design which echoes the detailed aesthetic of the exterior and places emphasis on rich, tactile materials and technical refinement. The ergonomic integration is excellent yet it retains a completely intuitive Holden feel”.

    “These vehicles reflect the truly international nature of our business and they can certainly hold their own anywhere in the world”.

    Holden’s range-topping V-Series Calais spearheads a strategy aimed at extending its upmarket luxury car appeal to a broader band of buyers.

    VF’s polished good looks owe much to great bone structure. The brilliant silhouette and athletic, wide track stance that made the award-winning 2006 VE Commodore an automotive style icon now reinforce a street-smart new look that’s fresher, more sophisticated and aerodynamically advanced.

    The Calais V’s streamlined exterior is also more aerodynamically efficient than the model it replaces. Given improved fuel economy as a major VF program target, Holden designers and engineers made extensive use of virtual modelling and wind tunnel technology to create a slippery new shape.

    The cabin design was driven by the requirement to integrate a raft of advanced driver assistance and infotainment technologies and to meet demanding GM global benchmarks.

    Given the opportunity to make extensive changes, the Holden interior design team went for it full-on. Their aim was to define new targets for perception of quality and interior harmony, using ‘best of the best’ benchmarking data.

    The result is a significant step forward in terms of craftsmanship, custom-tailored materials, fit and finish, ergonomic layout and all-round driving comfort.

    Interior themes

    • All-new instrument panel with integrated centre stack and cowled instrument dials combines infotainment, climate and other controls into a contemporary piece of modern electronics
    • Stylish new seat designs feature new structures and luxury comfort profiles
    • Quality, layered trim finishes in smooth soft-feel leather and suede with perforated leather inserts are accented by twin-needle stitching
    • Strokes of bright and galvano silver chrome and metallic embellishments gleam against jet black and light titanium background hues
    • Ice blue ambient lighting illuminates a re-designed centre console with versatile small item storage solutions and maxi cup holders
    • Ergonomic improvements include a new steering wheel design and a console-mounted electric park brake button (goodbye handbrake lever).
    • Power window switches are relocated to the armrests, the boot release control to the driver’s door

    VF’s evolutionary exterior design is a dynamic, mature execution – more sculptural and highly refined, with exceptional finishes, richer detailing, bright and jewelled accents.

    Exterior themes

    • Up front: the higher, wider front end features complex hood surfacing with a subtle central power bulge; raking spears point focus at prominent signature trapezoidal grilles
    • Jewelled halogen projector headlamps incorporate a ‘curved blade’ park lamp effect
    • Lower air intakes are flanked by LED daytime running lamps and fog lamps
    • New front fenders complement the flared, aero-sculpted wheel arches
    • In profile: all potency and forward movement with an upper decklid line that kicks into a slim integrated spoiler; chrome fender vents, larger, multi-spoke, machine-faced wheels
    • At the rear: a wider, more planted stance. Streamlined, uncluttered graphics are dominated by intricately jewelled new tail lamps that extend into the decklid

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    I like it! I'm really impressed with the interior. Here's hoping it comes to the States in other than SS trim (which would likely be unobtainable for many people). Can't wait to see what the Ute and Wagon versions look like.

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    It is certainly less generic than the outgoing car. Now that GM's brands have been pared due to their past screw-ups (an affront to loyal GM fans), they can afford to align the styling between Holden and Chevrolet without much trouble. Now that Chevrolet is more of a global brand, it can more easily make the transition.

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    Well we need to look at all the fact here that GM has sprinkled about this car. GM has not been real clear on this car or it's place and I think it has confused a lot of people. Also GM was not clear on the future of this car till this week.

    This car represents the top level that they can take the Zeta too and it the swan song for the platform, Holden stated this week they plan to replace it with a new platform already in the works in 2016 (Large Zeta?). The Zeta is old and has limits that a new platform can surpass.

    This car is not going to be cheap or have many choices. Generally you will buy it and choose a color but there will be little choice in options. There will not be other models unless the exchange rate changes Chevy and Holden have been clear on this. The car I expect will be priced over the Impala LTZ and be in a $42K to $50K range and will sell in number in 5K to 10K range per year.

    The devil in this car will be the details. The upgraded interior is just the start as ther SS will be more in tune with a performance Holden vs the standard.

    Look for more than a LT1 engine in this car. I am not sure what it will be but being a Halo car Chevy will do more than a base engine, Also look for a magnetic shock suspension that will make it handle as well as many high priced sport sedans but still have a high quality daily driver ride. I expect a duel mode exhaust like the Vette and Camaro base on comments of people I know who heard the car in Warren.

    While this car is not all things to all people it will be in the company of the ZL1 and Z06 kind of performance. It will be cheaper than a CTSV but will be pretty much similar performance. We need to keep in mind the CTSV will be moving up soon too.

    Now once they move to the new platform in 2016 a lot could happen. Not only will the car lose weight but performce will be even more able with the upgraded hardware, The possiblitly that this car if based on the Alpha could be built in the ATS, CTS and Camaro plant. This would bring in a better chance a Ute and V6 sedan could be added.

    The new SS is only creating a slot for a new model in the GM line and will hold it till the new car is ready,

    As we know anymore there is so much more and so many more changes GM is working on than we know, GM anymore keeps their plans close and have many more suprises for us.

    This car is now one to get too judgment over or over react on for what it is or is not as it is only a gap filler and GM could have just left the slot open and not done anything for two more years, I think Mark has a plan and we should all be happy once it plays out.

    The road test and track test will be very telling on this car. Just look at what the Camaro has been doing to the Mustang in test with the magnetic suspensions, expect the same here vs the Charger SRT and 300.

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    Love the Interior, Exterior is another thing.

    Front end reminds me of the ugly Chrysler 200

    Rear End reminds me of a Buick

    Side profile reminds me of a old Buick and what is up with the vent behind the front tire.

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    Lets keep the big picture in mind.

    First this is a vehicle for Holden and is secondary to Chevy only since it will be very low volume.

    Second this car is an old Zeta and is to Holden what the W body was to GM NA. It is at the limits of what they can do and Holden stated this week it is being replaced with a platform already being done for 2016. Big Alpha?

    If this new car is on the Alpha it could be added to the Camaro, ATS and CTS line. We could then see a cheaper V6 and Ute at this point as there would not be any issue with the exchange rate,

    The devil is in the details on this car as I expect a better than LT1 engine and magnetic shocks with duel mode exhaust. This car will play in the area the ZL1 and Z06 play as it is nearly in that price range.

    We knew up front this was not going to be a second coming of the G8. This car is not offensive and should appeal to a large group. It also should do to the Charger SRT8 what the ZL1 did to the Shelby. This car will handle unlike anything in class other than the CTSv and will tear up the track but will give a ride home that will best the 300.

    The fact is GM knows more of what is to come and could have waited two more years with no RWD sedan or take this limited approach with a top end performance model that will help establish Chevy as a RWD sedan maker again and then being in a wider range of better models.

    I seen stated that the Zeta was at the limits and that is why the Alpha was made. They could go much farther with a new clean sheet vs re engineering the old platform. It was also cheaper.

    I expect the chevy will have a little more flash as the Holden posted was not the performance model. But the days of some of the cartoonish Pontiac add ons are over. Don't get me wrong I loved the crazy Pontiacs but I am smart enough to know I was also in the monority when it came to the market as a whole. They just stuck with the cladding a little too long and the G6 GXP's buck teeth just help finish off some of what was wrong at the end. The G8 was not bad but Chevy has to hold to its own look as GM is not going to revisit Pontiac with this car.

    Like it or not this is only the start and you will need some time for GM to lay out all the cards. We need to look big picture. I know GM is limited on what they can say but I wish they could be more up front with this car and better explain the whats and why we have what we have and this is only step one.

    Mark Ruess gave us RWD 2 years sooner than he had too. We should be glad he has shown commitment. The old GM Managment Matrix would have left us waiting two more years and not even established a beach head for a new RWD line.

    While this is not a car for everyone we will see much more in the future is my feeling. 2016 or 17 could be really interesting. GM should be applauded for taking the risk and stepping out into a segment few are willing to start at this time.

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    Watch the CTS in 6 weeks for the upper limit of where Alpha can get to in size. Above that there is the Omega platform coming, while that will be Cadillac only at first, it will have to filter to others as well. That's there this car will likely end up.

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    The exterior is bland and looks like too many other cars. Sort of looks like a Chrysler, looks like a Hyundai from the back. The styling just doesn't give it any character or personality, it is as if they designed it to just blend in and be forgotten about.

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    The exterior is bland and looks like too many other cars. Sort of looks like a Chrysler, looks like a Hyundai from the back. The styling just doesn't give it any character or personality, it is as if they designed it to just blend in and be forgotten about.

    Quit looking at the trees for once. This car has been designed with the possibility of being sold under multiple brands in multiple countries in mind; it's been designed to be flexible.

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    Are you nuts, hyper?

    All they had to do was not ruin it.

    Unfortunately, they did just that.

    The VE was perfect at its debut as far as styling goes, this is a pointless (and obvious) nose and tail job that does the car no justice.


    Are you serious?

    Zero comparison there.

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    Get a grip Camino!

    The Zeta was perfect a few years ago and has hit the end of the line unless you love over weight cars. Besides you would never buy one of these anyways nor would you get a coupe or Ute from this package.

    The reality is there is a lighter more advanced car on the way and we get the last years of a RWD that will reestablish the RWD segment for Chevy. The coming car will get praised as the ATS has because it will be based on present technology and not 90's technolgy.

    The only reason I bring the W body in is it did its job for a long time but it finally hit the limit on how much farther it could go. You know as well as I that the Zeta is a very old car that already has been re engineers to the point it has hit the wall. It is better to start with a new clean sheet of paper vs putting more and more money in a old car.

    This also is a Holden first and GM was not going to invest a lot of money for 5000 Chevys a year to look a whole lot different. I do expect the SS to have more HSV add on parts to spice it up vs the photo of the standard Holden we have here. Also the Chevy Zeta Holden has been selling for years always looks similar to the Holden so changing for a hand full of cars imported here would have been a greater risk.

    Dude you just have to think and look at the big picture and stop thinking with emotion. Besides you were not going to like this car anyway as it has 2 doors too many for you and would never come here as a ute. If you sit back and watch the next car if built here as I expect could bring with it many more models and changes we would not see if there was no change away from the Zeta.

    You need to grasp what is going on that they can't tell you as it will suprise you.


    Watch the CTS in 6 weeks for the upper limit of where Alpha can get to in size. Above that there is the Omega platform coming, while that will be Cadillac only at first, it will have to filter to others as well. That's there this car will likely end up.

    I have considered he Omega too for a long time but not sure where it will slot in if at all for Chevy. I still think it may fit at Buick? Also could it be built on the same line as the Alpha?

    There is a lot going on here and it will be interesting.

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    You completely miss the point.

    This "refresh" ruined the looks of the car and that wasn't necessary.

    Zeta isn't very old, certainly not as old as a W-body, nor as played-out.

    Your assertion that this car will not come here in other bodystyles may, or may not, be true. In fact, I almost hope it doesn't now that it looks the way it does.

    To me, this is just the final fumble in the way GM has handled Zeta throughout the architecture's history.

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    Are you nuts, hyper?

    All they had to do was not ruin it.

    Unfortunately, they did just that.

    The VE was perfect at its debut as far as styling goes, this is a pointless (and obvious) nose and tail job that does the car no justice.


    Are you serious?

    Zero comparison there.

    Yeah, if any platform is the W-body these days, it's the Epsilon.

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    Was Zeta pretty much clean sheet, or was it an update of the previous '90s platform that the Monaro/GTO was on? Maybe that is where the W body comparison is coming from....

    Total clean sheet architecture.

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    Camino it is about more than just you. This car will do fine.

    This car needs to appel more to down under buyers than anything right now as Chevy will be only taking a limited number.

    Also GM has made it clear that the Zeta is at the end of the engineering and economic scale. This was made clear in their statments and the fact they are bringing a new platform in 2 years, That is unless you are in love with 4000 pound cars?

    While not as old as the w the Zeta is to an age where most MFG's will replace a platform anymore. Many MFG try not to go more than 10 years anymore.

    As for your Holden pure blood thinking that is over as GM is working as one anymore not as a bunch of competing divisions. Holden is getting their a$$ handed to them by FWD Asian cars and while the Zeta is holding on it is no where as strong as it once was. Though it is still doing much better than the Falcon.

    This car will do fine and the Chevy I expect will have more aggressive add ons like the HSV. If you want other models like a Coupe and Ute come back in 2016 as that is your best chance at seeing these models. GM and Holden in the last couple weeks have made it clear there will be no UTE on the Zeta coming to America.

    You can piss and moan all you like but untill your job is on the line at GM you do not have all he info they have and you future is not held in doubt if things do not go as planned. At this point we are lucky to get what we have now and in time with Ruess we may do better once he gets things in place to provide a economic way to build this line in this country.

    There is a lot more to this than just what we discuss here.

    For me this is just the opening act and the main show is to come.

    Styling is subjective and the like vs dislike is even from the many comments I have read not unlike the Vette. This is a little less hot wheel like than the SRT8 and I expect the car to appeal more to the mature euro like market. Which brings up the fact that it also has to be sold in Europe too.

    To me the car did not change enough and still looks dated like a 04 GTO. But I can live with that knowing this is a short term car and that the driveline and suspension will be holding the place till the new lighter car is here.

    It is what it is and you were not going to buy it anyways. I will wait till the final Chevy is shown friday before I pass final judgment on the styling. I expect they will have no trouble making 5000 units and it will secure a place in the market for future RWD at Chevy,.

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    We all need to also keep in mind the car Holden has shown is not the performance model.

    This. There are a couple of front and rear fascia designs in the photo gallery on page one. Holden hasn't shown their full hand yet. The Chevy SS will most likely be wearing the Commodore SS body kit, etc. which is still under wraps, sort of.

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