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William Maley

Holden Unveils The Next Commodore

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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

View full article

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I like it because of what it is, which is a fullsize RWD sedan that's gonna hit our shores.

But the exterior styling reminds me of quite a few other cars at once.

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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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Guest hyperv6

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....

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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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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.

That's what I thought...looks like most of the dev work was done in the early '00s...


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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.

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      The company was, however, quick to emphasise that their overall goal remains unchanged: to create exciting products for niche customers looking for unique vehicles.
      HSV also revealed its intention to introduce a freshened logo concurrent with the introduction of its 2018 range.
      The new visual identity offers a more contemporary interpretation of the ‘Lion & Helmet’ that has adorned HSV vehicles, and represented the company, since its inception in 1987.
      “The current logo has served us well over many years, but as the business transitions to encompass a far broader array of product offerings, this new logo represents a new and expanded brand promise,” said Jackson.
      “The Australian market is shifting and, like Holden, we’re shifting with it. This subtle logo change helps signify a new era of vehicle availability from HSV”, he said. “But make no mistake, while it’s a new logo, our customers can expect the same uncompromising attitude to introducing exciting vehicles that Australian’s love to drive”.
      In terms of vehicle branding, Jackson also confirmed that the two Chevrolet vehicle lines will be marketed as just that: Chevrolets. “Our engineering involvement starts and stops with the conversion of the vehicles from left to right-hand drive. These are iconic Chevys to the core and we’ll let the famed bow-tie speak for itself”, he said.
      In respect of Holden vehicles that have been enhanced for new segments like the 4x4 space, those products will be designated ‘by HSV’ and wear the ‘Lion & Helmet’ in selected environments like on the front grille. “If we then take some vehicles further up the food chain, and both Holden and HSV believe the best branding approach for the vehicle is to receive the full HSV designation, then we will make that call at the time”, said Jackson.
      Playing to HSV’s niche design and engineering capabilities, the Colorado SportsCat features a raft of styling and chassis enhancements that will position it as the most advanced sports 4x4 on the market.
      To be available in two variants – SportsCat and SportsCat+ – the styling enhancements begin with radically modified exteriors featuring all-new fascias and grilles that, with the addition of LED fog lamps and functional tow hooks, combine to deliver two distinctive and sporty front-end appearances.
      The SportsCat+ features a rugged “bonnet bulge” while at the side of the vehicle, prominent wheel arch fender flares, smooth-form on SportsCat and casselated on SportsCat+, frame bold 18” x 10” forged alloys wrapped in sports all-terrain Cooper tyres.
      A stylish hard tonneau, with load-rail provision and quick-release mechanism, combined with a unique sports-bar on SportsCat and sail plane on SportsCat+, enhance the vehicles’ sporty profile, while at the rear, a prominent “Colorado” tailgate applique’ makes a bold statement.
      The styling enhancements don’t end with the exteriors of the vehicles. The interior also comes in for a substantial make-over to deliver premium levels of comfort and style.
      SV Sports seats, the front heated, featuring uniquely designed seat foams for optimum support, are wrapped in Jasmine leather and Windsor suede, with this trim combination also adorning the instrument panel. Twin-needle red stitching provides an added highlight, also featuring on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, door trims and centre console cover. Branded floor mats complete the interior style and comfort make-over.  
      From a chassis perspective, the modifications are marked and deliver the SportsCat’s unique driving dynamics.
      Both SportsCat models feature HSV Sports Suspension with the front spring rate stiffened to 110 Newtons/mm. Its MTV dampers have been tuned around the revised spring rate, with both modifications contributing to a more performance-based handling characteristic.
      In addition to the increased spring rate, front ride height has been lifted by 25mm. This modification further improves the approach angle of the vehicle, increases ground clearance to the body and reduces the vehicle’s overall rake, delivering a more natural on-road stance.
      The chassis enhancements continue with the adoption of a Rear De-Coupling Anti-Roll Bar on the SportsCat+. Developed specifically for the vehicle by HSV’s chassis engineers, the de-coupling rear sway bar improves the higher speed road driving performance of the vehicle by controlling rear roll, and thereby improving overall vehicle balance and turn-in transient response. The de-coupling feature ensures the vehicle’s suspension settings can be optimised for off-road performance.
      SupaShock suspension, as introduced to the Australian market on HSV’s iconic GTSR W1, will also be available as a factory-fitted option on the SportsCat+, taking the vehicle’s suspension capabilities to another level yet again.
      SportsCat+ also adopts a unique braking package, further enhancing its sporting credentials. Front 4-piston forged AP Racing brake callipers are complemented by 362mm x 32mm diameter rotors and a large (25.4mm) diameter brake master cylinder, to deliver improved pedal feel through a reduction in pedal travel and softness.
      The functionality of the vehicle’s Traction Control System has also been adjusted to allow for less aggressive interventions, particularly on corner exit. These adjustments also help deliver a more performance-based vehicle response.
      SportsCat’s stylish 18” forged alloys are wrapped in Cooper (Zeon LTZ Pro) Sports All-Terrain tyres. These Cooper tyres are a hybrid between a sports-truck tyre and an all-terrain tyre and, in addition to their rugged off-road properties, were specially selected by HSV’s chassis engineers for their outstanding on-road performance characteristics, most notably on tarmac and dirt roads. The overall size of the tyres (285/60 R18), and their rolling radius, also delivers a further 20mm increase in vehicle ride height for a total (front) ride height increase of 45mm.
      In commenting on the engineering enhancements, HSV’s Engineering Director, Joel Stoddart, said “We set ourselves some pretty aggressive targets heading into the SportsCat program. We wanted to set the bench-mark for on-road performance without compromising the vehicle’s off-road capabilities. In fact, we’ve managed to improve the vehicle’s off-road performance, so I’m confident the team has delivered on both counts”.
      In addition to the styling and engineering enhancements developed by HSV on the new SportsCat range, the vehicle also carries over a raft of core vehicle features that help complete the premium offering.
      From a performance perspective, both SportsCat models are powered by a 2.8 litre double overhead cam Duramax Turbo Diesel engine that offers 147kW of power and up to 500Nm of torque when specified with the optional 6-speed automatic transmission with Active Select. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard fare.
      Braked towing capacity of 3,500kg and a maximum payload of approximately 1 tonne deliver impressive workhorse capabilities.
      The stylish HSV modifications to the interior also complement a breadth of already impressive driver and cabin comforts and technologies including an 8” colour touch screen, embedded Satellite Navigation, a premium 7-speaker audio, a rear-view camera and seven airbags.
      Said HSV’s Managing Director, Tim Jackson, “Most 4x4’s Pick-Ups are inherently capable off-road – essentially, it’s a category expectation, and we’ll certainly be amongst the best-in-class in this regard, especially with our added ride height and Cooper tyre package. But what we also wanted to do with the SportsCat program was dial up the vehicle’s on-road characteristics, given that’s where most people tend to spend the bulk of their time driving their vehicle. With our unique suspension packages and AP Racing brakes combined with the interior and exterior comfort and styling enhancements we’ve made, we’re confident we’ve developed Australia’s most stylish and advanced sports 4x4”.
      The SportsCat range is due to start production at HSV’s new facility in Clayton, Victoria, late January, with Recommended Retail Pricing to be confirmed closer to model availability.
      For over 100 years, Chevrolet has forged an enviable reputation for building strong and dependable “full-size” pick-up trucks, and HSV has committed to bringing their pinnacle model – the Silverado – to Australia and New Zealand.
      Power, payload and towing capability are what Silverado is famous for and all these attributes will be reflected in the five-model 4x4 Crew Cab line-up that HSV will offer:
      2500HD WT 2500HD LTZ 2500HD LTZ “Midnight” Edition 2500HD LTZ “Custom Sport” Edition 3500HD LTZ All five vehicles share the same impressive heavy-duty equipment including:
      Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8 engine ~332kW of power ~1,234 Nm of torque Allison 1000 6-speed automatic transmission Towing capacity of ~3.5 – ~6.1 tonne (model dependent) Payload capacity of ~1,140kg – ~1,848kg (model dependent) 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes Automatic locking rear differential Said HSV’s Managing Director, Tim Jackson, “The availability of the Chevrolet Silverado range opens up some wonderful new opportunities for our business in a market segment whose potential is relatively un-tapped, and we believe has high growth potential”.
      “Whether it be the farming or mining sectors, those who need to pull a large caravan or horse float or simply those who want awesome towing and load carrying capability, Silverado is the pinnacle of the GM range”, he said.
      Conversion of the Silverado range will commence at HSV’s new production facility in April 2018. The 3500HD LTZ model will be available late in Q2, 2018.
      Recommended Retail Pricing is still to be confirmed.
      The Chevrolet Camaro defines performance and this legendary nameplate, in the form of the Camaro 2SS Coupe, will also be imported and converted to right-hand-drive by HSV, and available in 2018.
      The driving force behind the Camaro 2SS is Chevrolet’s 6.2L Generation V LT1 Direct Injection V8 engine mated to an 8-speed, paddle-shift automatic transmission and generating up to 340kW of power and 615Nm of torque.
      The vehicle’s Performance suspension provides a dynamic connection to the road with stopping power delivered by 4-piston Brembo front & rear performance brakes with fixed callipers.
      High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps and LED Daytime Running Lamps deliver signature front-end appeal while stylish 20”, 5-split-spoke alloys (8.5” front & 9.5” rear) are wrapped in 245/40ZR20 (front) and 275/35ZR20 (rear) Goodyear Eagle tyres. A rear stanchion spoiler and dual-outlet exhaust with bright tips add aggression at the tail.
      The interior of the Camaro 2SS delivers the perfect marriage of form and function. It starts with power-adjustable heated and ventilated leather-trimmed front sports bucket seats for optimum comfort and support, complemented by a leather-wrapped, flat-bottom sports-profile steering wheel for ultimate grip.
      Dual zone automatic climate control, a 9-speaker Bose premium audio and 24 colour interior spectrum lighting enhance interior ambience while the Head-up Display, Drive Mode Selector and Enhanced Driver Information Centre blend exhilaration with innovation. 
      Conversion of the Camaro 2SS is due to commence at HSV in July 2018 with Recommended Retail Pricing still to be confirmed.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The Zeta RWD platform had so much promise when it launched with 2006 Holden Commodore. Plans were drawn up for a number of models that would have included a number of the GM brands, including Cadillac. But the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent bankruptcy of GM saw many of those plans go into the trashbin and would ultimately mark the beginning of the end of Holden's local production. We have learned about one of those Zeta projects.
      Motoring reports that Holden was working on a Zeta-based SUV that would compete against the Ford Territory, a model that used the underpinnings of the Falcon.
      “There was an SUV and that was probably one of the defining moments around global Zeta and it was probably one of the defining moments around Holden’s success in Australia,” said Mark Sheridan, former head of Holden's advanced vehicle design chief and one the key people behind the development of Zeta.
      “Ford made a really good decision around Territory … We looked at cars exactly like that way back on Zeta and the GM leadership at the time said no. They said ‘we can do these better and more efficiently because they are the types of cars we do, off North American architectures rather than the Zeta architecture.”
      Sadly, General Motors would not build that SUV for Holden. Insiders at Holden believed that if the project was allowed to continue, it might have helped keep local manufacturing.
      “That (Zeta SUV) would have given us a portfolio that would have given us a much bigger stretch across the marketplace and that would have given people a choice,” Sheridan said.
      “If that had been allied with the Zeta architecture or something that we manufactured in Adelaide, then Adelaide wouldn’t have had the volume issues and the productivity issues and the cost issues it had.”
      This isn't the first story of a Holden project being canned. As we reported last year, there was a secret project for an electric supercar that could rival the Bugatti Veyron in terms of performance.
      Source: Motoring

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      At 10:45 AM this morning at Holden's Elizabeth plant in South Australia, the final Australian-built vehicle rolled down the assembly line - a VF II SS V Redline complete with six-speed manual. The vehicle marked the end of 69 years of Holden production in Australia with 7,687,675 vehicles built. It also marks the end of Australian car production with Ford ending theirs last year and Toyota wrapping up a few weeks ago.
      Holden held a private ceremony at the plant for the 945 workers where they saw the final Commodore and three other models; Caprice V, SS Ute, and a Commodore Calais V V6 (the only model fitted with an Australian-built engine). The final four will become part of Holden's heritage collection and be shown at a heritage display on the Elizabeth site.
      “The passion and dedication of the team here is second to none, it has been an honour to work alongside them. In the final years of production, we have been building categorically the best-quality cars to ever roll out of this plant, and our last car was our best. Together we achieved a string of productivity and quality awards in recent times, doing so during the closure period is testament to the skills, professionalism and dedication of the team,” said Holden’s Executive Director of Manufacturing, Richard Phillips in a statement.
      “Right after supporting our people comes ensuring we set Holden up for success for many years to come. The best way we can honour our people and our heritage is by building a successful future and that’s exactly what we’ll be focused on when Monday rolls around. Today, however, is about paying tribute to the generations of men and women across Holden and our supply network who have given so much to our company. Holden is the icon it is today only because of these passionate people. On behalf of everyone at Holden, I thank you for your service from the bottom of my heart,” said Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Mark Bernhard.
      Holden will still maintain a major presence in the country with a design and engineering center in Port Melbourne, the Lang Lang Proving Grounds in Victoria, and a sales office. Holden is also planning a major product offensive with 24 new products to be launched by 2020, including a rumored Camaro. But there are concerns about the long-term ramifications of the loss of Australian manufacturing, along with whether or not Holden can make any inroads with this ambitious product plan.
      “It’s probably going to be an emotional day. It’s not the easiest thing, but life will go on,” said Kane Butterfield, a paint shop worker at the plant to Drive.com.au.
      “It’s pretty tragic really that we’ve let go one of the best cars around the world. It’s an absolute tragedy.”
      Author's Note: Wheels Magazine has a live blog chronicling the final day of production at Elizabeth which you can check out here. Also, you can see our review of the 2015 Chevrolet SS here.
      Source: CarAdvice, Drive.com.au, Motoring, News.com.au, Wheels Magazine, Holden
      Press Release is on Page 2
      Holden honours 69 years of local manufacturing, culminating in more than 7.6 million vehicles built for Australia and the world   Company pays tribute to the generations of people within Holden and the supply chain who helped build a legend Holden to honour that legacy by building a bright future in Australia; company retains 1000 direct staff plus 6000 people across 200-strong national dealer network Lion brand to retain world-class Design and Engineering teams working on local and global programs; retention of Lang Lang Vehicle Proving Ground ensures Holdens will always drive and feel like Holdens should New vehicle onslaught continues with ongoing commitment to launch 24 new products by 2020, completely transforming Holden showrooms  Holden’s world-class transition program has resulted in 85% of Holden workers to date successfully transitioning, setting a new benchmark in the industry  GM Holden today celebrated nearly 70 years of proud manufacturing heritage with the final Holden Commodore rolling off the Elizabeth line today at 10.45am (Adelaide time). A private ceremony for employees was held today to mark Holden’s proud manufacturing history and pay tribute to the generations of hard-working men and women who literally built the Holden legend.
      From the very first Holden 48-215 to roll off the Fishermans Bend production line on 29 November 1948, to the final VFII Commodore Redline to come out of the Elizabeth factory on 20 October 2017, Holden has been a part of the fabric of Australia and that’s an honoured position that the Lion brand is committed to keeping for many years to come.
      Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Mark Bernhard, said: “Treating our people with dignity and respect was always our number one priority during this transition and we’re all proud we were able to achieve that, we see it as recognition of their dedicated service over the years. With 85 per cent of all workers to date successfully transitioning, we’ve worked closely with our people to support them.
      “Holden also appreciates the partnership and assistance of the state and federal governments, along with the unions, over many years.
      “Right after supporting our people comes ensuring we set Holden up for success for many years to come. The best way we can honour our people and our heritage is by building a successful future and that’s exactly what we’ll be focused on when Monday rolls around.
      “Today, however, is about paying tribute to the generations of men and women across Holden and our supply network who have given so much to our company. Holden is the icon it is today only because of these passionate people. On behalf of everyone at Holden, I thank you for your service from the bottom of my heart,” said Mr Bernhard.
      Holden’s award-winning employee transition centre will remain open on the Elizabeth site for at least two years’ post factory-closure to ensure all Holden and supply chain employees have the best possible chance to successfully transition.
      Holden’s Executive Director of Manufacturing, Richard Phillips, paid tribute to the people and achievements of the Elizabeth plant: “The passion and dedication of the team here is second to none, it has been an honour to work alongside them. In the final years of production, we have been building categorically the best-quality cars to ever roll out of this plant, and our last car was our best. Together we achieved a string of productivity and quality awards in recent times, doing so during the closure period is testament to the skills, professionalism and dedication of the team.”
      Looking to the future, Holden will remain a diversified business and a powerhouse of the Australian automotive industry for many years to come. Employing approximately 1000 direct employees in Melbourne and across national zone offices, Holden will also retain its highly-skilled Design and Engineering teams, working on local and global vehicle and transportation programs. This includes retention of Holden’s world-renowned Design Studios and the famous Lang Lang vehicle Proving Ground near Melbourne in Victoria.
      This is in addition to the nearly 6000 people employed across Holden’s 200-strong national dealer network, ensuring Holden’s customers are continued to be looked after and all warranty and spare parts needs continue to be met as they always have been.
      Over the past two years, Holden has outlined its future path and strategic priorities:
      Beyond October 20, Holden will continue to employ approximately 1000 direct staff and an additional nearly 6000 people across its 200-strong national dealer network. Holden will launch 24 major vehicles and 36 new drivetrain combinations by 2020. Holden will have a world-class and diverse SUV line-up, including the all-new Equinox hitting showrooms in November 2017 and the all-new Acadia SUV in 2018. The esteemed Commodore nameplate will live on in 2018. Holden will introduce a true V8, rear-drive sports car to Australia. We are building Holden’s biggest and best vehicle range ever: a true product onslaught. Holden is taking a leadership position with next-generation mobility technology through Maven and OnStar, and an ability to capitalise on GM’s leadership in electric vehicles and autonomous driving technology.    Holden will retain a Design and Engineering workforce of approximately 350 people beyond 2017, working on local and global programs.   Holden vehicles will continue to be tuned and tested for Australian conditions and customers with the retention of the famous Lang Lang Proving Ground in Victoria; Holden’s world-class Global Design Centre continues to contribute to, design and execute local and global product programs, such as the Buick Avenir and Opel GT. Home Ground Advantage, Holden’s $5 million / 10-year commitment to grass roots sporting clubs has been a huge success with more than 3000 entries to date.  
      View full article
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