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Button out for the VE

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Button out for the VE

Barry Park

October 31, 2007

Holden has dumped the "sport" button on the five- and six-speed automatic versions of its VE Commodore range. The button, which used to sit in front of the gear shift lever, switches the transmission into a sportier mode that shifts down a gear in anticipation of more aggressive driving, and holds lower gears for longer before changing up.

However, VE Commodores fitted with five- or six-speed gearboxes from this month will not have the button. Instead, the car will automatically switch to sport mode when the driver pushes the gear selection lever over to Active Select mode, which allows a driver to manually change gears.

Holden spokeswoman Kate Lonsdale told Drive the button was removed in response to customer feedback.

"We had the capability to do it by going with the tap up, tap down function (on the gearbox) and driver preferences studies from the US showed that people liked it on the shifter," she said. "It was also done for functional reasons, as you don't need to take your eyes off the road to find the button and press it.

Buyers selecting VEs fitted with the four-speed gearbox, which does not have Active Select, will still get a sport button. -- BARRY PARK



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