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The NASCAR racer heavily based on the 2013 Holden Commodore has been unveiled in Las Vegas. Chevrolet took the wraps off its 2013 contender, which closely resembles the Chevrolet SS sedan, a re-badged version of next year’s locally made VF large car.

It’s our first look at the styling cues of the overhauled VF, the biggest change to Commodore design and engineering in seven years. The styling of the NASCAR racer, though, suggests CarAdvice’s artist impression (below) published in August is remarkably close to what the production SS will look like.

Although ironic that the styling for the locally designed and built Commodore is first previewed in Las Vegas (unveiled at 5am AEST this morning), it reflects General Motors’ plan to sell the Commodore in the United States as the Chevrolet SS – a high-end, V8-engined performance sedan – from late 2013.

 

According to a Holden spokesperson, the changes between the NASCAR racer/SS and the VF Commodore “are lightly cosmetic … they’re [VF and SS] built on the same set of parts”. The styling of the NASCAR racer is said to follow the Holden VF Commodore in the same way a current V8 Supercar looks like the VE Commodore.

Compared with the outgoing VE, the Chevy shows a vertically-smaller but wider grille opening with square cross-hatch inserts. Styling focus moves to the larger, lower air intake aperture flanked by LED driving lights on each side. The longer headlights are more curvature in appearance than today’s VE, and are pulled further back towards the slimmer wheel-arches – to improve aerodynamic performance, Holden engineers requested trimming the bulging front arches of today’s VE.

At the rear, the tail-lights are also more curvaceous, vaguely Cruze sedan-like the way the lights meld from the back of the rear quarter panel into the bootlid. It would be the first time since the 1997 VT that rear lights have shared space on the bootlid, and the first time since the 1986 VL-generation that the numberplate surround has been positioned on the lower bar – that is, of course, if the 2013 Holden Commodore follows the Chevrolet racer here. The integrated split-twin exhausts will feature, although the bootlid leaves a taxi-advertising-like blank canvas to be filled by the production model.

A statement released by Chevrolet today confirms that “the [production] Chevrolet SS will be a derivative of the award-winning global rear-wheel-drive architecture that spawns performance vehicles like Chevrolet Camaro and Holden’s upcoming VF Commodore. The limited production version of the Chevrolet SS will be a 2014 model and will arrive in dealer showrooms in late 2013. It is the first time in 17 years that Chevrolet will offer a rear-wheel-drive sedan for sale in the United States.”

Ex-Holden Chairman and Managing Director, and current GM North America President, Mark Reuss (above, with US vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports, Jim Campbell, on right) used the NASCAR announcement to reaffirm his enthusiasm towards adding a Commodore-based performance sedan to the Chevrolet lineup.

“With the SS, Chevrolet is delivering a true rear-wheel-drive NASCAR race car that is very closely linked to the performance sedan that will be available for sale, ensuring that our most loyal enthusiasts will have the opportunity to experience the same thrill every day on the open road that our race car drivers enjoy on the track on race day.

“The Chevrolet SS also demonstrates how we are able to leverage our global product portfolio to deliver a unique performance experience.

“The specialised development and testing work done for the race car will certainly benefit the entire Chevrolet product lineup.”

Reuss is a supporter of General Motors’ Australian design and engineering arm, having headed the Holden brand here from 2008 to 2009.

Although Chevrolet hasn’t offered a rear-wheel-drive sedan in the United States since 1996, when the Impala was first dropped from the line-up, the resurrection of the SS [Super Sport] badge came with the return of the fifth-generation Camaro in 2010. The SS was first used by Chevrolet as an optional package on the 1961 Impala. The Impala sedan returned to the Chevrolet line-up at the turn of the millennium, but utilised front wheel drive.

The unveiling of the Chevrolet NASCAR racer will be followed in February by the release of the production Holden VF Commodore and its Chevrolet SS twin. While the SS isn’t expected to go on-sale in North America until October, the VF will be on-sale here in April. The first production vehicles are expected to run down the Elizabeth, South Australia, manufacturing line after the Christmas shut-down period, during which the plant will be re-tooled to accommodate the new VF and SS. After almost seven years, production of the VE Commodore will cease in March.


  • Shak

    Well we finally get our first glimpse of what VF will potentially look like, and IMO it looks like a very good step forward from the VE. However, it was never the VE’s exterior that was letting it down. Holden needs to step up big time with the interior of the VF, and offer some attention grabbing technology if they truly want to see a sales resurgence. 

    • Devil666

      I can’t agree less. Way to slap a generic Chevy face on an Australian icon.

      America, f*** you!

      • Shak

        Well i doubt we’ll be getting an exact copy of the American face. We will probably get  an Australianised version for the front and rear designs, and the Yanks will get a slightly altered version of our SS models. Yes it does look a bit generic and American, but remember that this car has the likelihood of selling in large numbers in the US, so they do need it to appeal design wise to both markets. 

        • Joker

          You’re right Shak, It will be Australianised…It will have a Holden badge on it. Oh and the steering wheel is on the other side. 

          Honestly, I find it a bit messed up that the car is revealed to America in NASCAR form and not to Australians. In fact, this pretty much dismisses Holden’s Commodore as an “Australian” car. It’s done. Dusted. 

          • $29896495

            It’s revealed in the US because it designed in the US despite what they say. By the way, if you look one class down you’ll see where the front came from. As for the body, well that’s (as stated above) generic, pointless. The same way our V8s are going.

          • Joker

            The Point is that it’s based on the Commodore- yes I know it’s a generic shell with head light and tail decals…but it’s still a so called Australian car. I’m saying that if this is the case, it should be revealed here before anything is shown elsewhere. Even if it’s in V8 Supercar OTF. 

          • $29896495

            Yes Joker I agree, it’s just GM coming out of the closet finally. Remember how they would show drawings of each of it’s Commodores as far back as the original which was a direct Opel/Vauxhall lift, and say it was Australian designed. It’s just publicity B.S.

          • DanielD

            Why would GM setup an elaborate cover story about where it is designed?

          • $29896495

            It’s not a cover story, it’s publicity. Holden’s main stay in this country (even though Ford were building cars here first) is that they are Australia’s own. That the product is designed for, and built for, as well as in, Australia. 

            How do you think it would go over, when that’s the main stay of their advertising, they turn around and say “car designed in UK or Germany or the USA” for Australian condition? 

    • Andrew M

      I highly doubt the VF will look like this, If so it will be a step backwards IMO.

      This is so yee haa typical yankee its not funny.

      I think its also a bit rude that the VF V8 Supercar hasnt been revealed yet, but with that said I doubt there will be many similarities.

      Nascars always tend to have that real comic/cartoon look about the cars, I doubt this is a very good insight into the VF we will get here.

      In a weird way we sort of hope it doesnt sell too well over there because if Australia becomes the lesser sales volume we wont be dictating manufacture of it.
      Sort of paves the way for the rumoured Cruze and Cruze based SUV to be the Oz build program

      • Shak

        Well lets agree to disagree on the looks (at least until we see it in production guise or V8SC guise). You are right however in pointing out that if the SS takes off in the US we can all but kiss local manufacturing goodbye. They already have the Camaro set up in Canada, and rumour is that it will move to Alpha in its next gen, so that could mean if the SS is successful in the VF cycle it could join it’s cousin on the production line in Oshawa.

        • Andrew M

          So you dont agree that the Aussie VF will look much better (which is my speculation) or that this Nascar looks better than the current VE?

  • Monk

    Looks awkward.   The headlight design, while a minor point, can adversely effect the overall image of the car.  These are a backwards step from VE.

    • Spot

      Yes, the Korean Epica DNA is starting to show 

      • Monk

        Maybe some “ugly Subaru” too…

      • super_hans

        Agreed on the Epica DNA showing, which is unfortunate. The kick at the end of each headlight (which hung around on the new Malibu) always looked tacky to me.
        I think the falcon will benefit more from adopting the handsome new global styling of the fusion/mondeo than Commodore will from the new Malibu

        • $29896495

          Totally agree super

        • Robj

          Epica DNA, what idiots…

    • Schah7

       I agree Monk & Shak sorry mate “it looks a very good step BACKWARDS from the VE.!
      The front just doesn’t look right at all & doesn’t “flow” with the rest of the car.
      & Check out those pair of big tough GM Morons.! ROFL.

  • Cedar

    No WOW factor in this design. Looks pretty bland to me except for some of the livery which of course does not come with the road car version (thank goodness).  Having owned every model of the Commodore for the past 14 years there is something aside from the looks, ,motor, fuel consumtion, interior, etc that will determne if I buy another. And that is (drum roll) if the rear seat folds down completely. For a large car not to be able to carry bigger items such as a bike in the back because only the centre folds is quite embarrasing. Look at much smaller cars with that feature and they can carry a small fridge in the back. Could never do that with my Commodore and I’m not about to buy a station wagon. Looking forward to the new model, however, no fold down seat – no buy.

    • Devil666

      Tell me about it! That stupid centre port is retarded.

    • Jimmy

      Why don’t you want to buy a wagon? Wagons are awesome, and the sloping roof line of the commodore actually makes the car look quite good. People will also like you for not buying a big silly SUV. :) 

      • well well well

        it might look good but it has nothing on the older VZ when it comes too cargo space. it may as well be a commodore hatchback

    • DanielD

      I doubt Holden will make fold down seats in VF as that would require quite a bit of structural changes at this point in the cars life. 

      Wagons are ok to drive and the Commodore Sportswagon is a good looking bus at that.

  • Sumpguard

    If that is indeed what it will look like then Holden are in trouble!

       

  • PROJET L

    Skoda Octavia wants it headlights back…

    • Dave W

      That’s the Holden Cruze headlight.

  • peddy.d

    well VE is certainly the last commodore our family will ever have, this car looks terrible

    • John

      So you’re going to write off buying an Australian built and designed Commodore because an American NASCAR has typical American styling that doesn’t appeal and has never appealed to Australians? Even though the styling is almost certainly going to be different here? No, don’t wait until the actual road going Holden version is seen or even driven to write it off.

  • The Real Wile E

    Looks like and end of model special.

  • AJS

    Well now, I don’t dislike people sharing their opinions and what not. But c’mon guys, based on a few pictures you’ve already written it off. Wait until you see it in person or at least until a few photo’s of the stock production versions are released. Remember that the NASCAR series is usually stick on headlights and tail lights. These may translate better in the flesh etc.

    • Monk

      I’m happy to wait and see – and I hope for their sake that it does look better in road-going guise.

  • Superh77

    just a slightly bigger looking malibu
    I understand that they have a uniform look BUT COME ON the rump looks shocking maybe the HSV are the pick

  • Devil666

    If that is an accurate VF face, Holden is dead to me.

  • JD

    looks like a cross between the Holden Epica and Malibu

  • Roadtard

    The artist’s impression looks to be fairly accurate – and it was well received when first shown in August.

    But I’m not excited.  The Volt-like front end styling suggested by Wheels (wrong again?) was more convincing than this.

    The car’s going to have to be brilliant to drive and own!

    • Golfschwein

      You made me dig my May 2011 edition of WHEELS out, Roadtard. It would have been a tremendous leap forward if the VF had looked like that, as it had an exciting ‘WOW!’ blend of animal and modernity. In WHEELS’ defence, it was the very first attempt at a scoop pic on the VF, and may very well have been based on insider information coming through at the time. Otherwise, why would they have done it? 

      More recent pics have hinted at the Malibu-large look (seemingly confirmed here, sadly), and I think it’s a timid outcome and an opportunity missed. Oh, and someone here also said ‘Octavia headlight’. YES!

      • Norm

        Agreed. This looks ominous.

        I think the opportunity was missed a long time ago when Holden went down the “Bathurst” road with the VE and inflicted the awful Alloytec on it’s engineers and the public.

        The Sportswagon is a great effort though. 

        End of the line – all change.

      • Pro346

        You drive a golf its looked the same for decades….

        • Golfschwein

          I actually drive a Falcon now, but otherwise, sure! That’s what Golfs do. So will the next one. And it’s relevant to my observations on the VF and that its first scoop pictures made it look fantastic …exactly how?

          • Garrywhopper

            Well there you go I always thought driving a VW was like turning gay, there is no way back, (well gay blokes, women can jump back over no dramas)

  • tiddy

    I wonder if the headlights on actucal NASCAR versions will be painted on 

    • Subfoz

      NASCAR have been using painted on headlights for years.

  • lion

    I think people are jumping the gu a bit here. lets see it in the metal first as if you look at the other nascars and the cars they are based on they hardly look the same.
    CHILL

  • Andy Whitby

    Perhaps the resale on used VE will go up. GAAAAA GM what were you thinking you just can’t glue a face on the VE, it was a beautiful car when it came out and it still is ….

    How did Holden go so wrong ? The VT/X-VY/Z worked how could they stuff this ?

    • $29896495

      As essentially a Ford guy, I have to say I’ve always liked the look of the current Commodore, especially over the Falcon. It has presence and style. Not bad for an American design. But grafting a Daewoo nose on it, makes it look unbalanced. It’ll go to it’s grave now, probably just a little quicker. ( I know you’ll object to the daewoo reference but you get my meaning, Epica/Malibu)

      • DanielD

        The lead designer on VE was Australian and the lead design team were Australian.

        • $29896495

          Are you really sure? Like the Australian designer standing in front of the Opel Vauxhall drawing when the Commodore first came out. Speaking of which they have all been Opel shells right up until this model. Which is Chev. 

          • DanielD

            They follow the GM brand image, but thats hardly surprising, Opel and Holden are both American owned.

  • Sam

    If it had Kia or Hyundai badges on it all the knockers would be wetting themselves with excitement.

  • Dave W

    Looks way better than the current double nostrils + Hitler’s mustache design.

  • Synthia

    New Mazda 6 is looking good upgrade right now… Disappointing commodore yet again… Eugh. No wonder aus car industry going down the sink…

    • Dave S

      The mazda 6 still wont come with a proper diff or driveshaft (most important for a Commodore), nor will the Mazda 6 come with the option of a ‘small block V8′.

      Holden know how to do a sports sedan, the VF wont change that

    • Sam

      ‘Disappointing Commodore yet again’ I cannot believe 5 people gave your insipid comment a like. Yes let’s judge the yet to be even seen let alone driven Commodore sold in Australia  based on pictures of an American NASCAR which barely resembles the model sold there which in itself is most likely to look quite different to the future Aussie model. 

      • $29896495

        I think people are judging on two levels. 1) the Nascar nose – not the tail. 20 the Picture of a road car above, which to mean is fair enough. Because discounting a grill, which may change, the headlights will stay the same. Those stick on head lights are supposed to copy the real thing – look at the picture. If you like them fine, but allow others to dislike them

  • Scotty

    I have to say that i always thought NASCAR vehicles all look the same because they have design rules which pretty much makes the front/rear end and side skirts uniform across all brands of racing teams. Its the engines and the passenger capsule area of the car which is unique to the brand of the teams. I dont think you can take too much of this into account for the new VF commodore. Holden are a bit like Apple. Leak random stuff out to put people off the track. when i say this comment in now way do i suggest holdens marketing ploys are as good as Apple.

    cant wait for the update to the commodore though. hopefully they remain with an aggressive look like the VF and not go to a bullet smooth shape of a Falcon.
    Internally i think you would see things like Mylink updates and the compatibility of Siri into the vehicle system. i think Holden will go all out with their supposed LAST commodore.

    • Shak

      Well MyLink has all but been confirmed for the VF sometime into its model cycle (possibly upon launch). A lot of other interesting tech like lane departure warning, and radar cruise have been rumoured but they seem unlikely given this car sells at a very sensitive price point and raising the price any more would send it into German territory, without any of the badge cachet. 

      • DanielD

        Lane departure etc might make it into the export models.

  • Chest Rockjaw

    One word… Vomit!

  • supercujo

    All new feature in the VF Commodore, it will only turn left.

    • Scotty

      lol all i could hear is Jeff Dunham with Bubba-Jay, “it’s makin a left turn”!

    • well well well

      haha yea. where gunna drive wheel fast and turn too the left!!!

  • Oldboy

    Australian taxpayers money for American race cars, what next.

    • DanielD

      How about Australian Tax Payers money for Chinese owned mines, digging up Australia’s non renewable resources.

      Feel better.

      • Sydlocal

         If it wasn’t for digging up those non-renewable resources we would have been absolutely slaughtered during the GFC and be in a far worse condition than we are now. I’m not saying it is right or wrong, merely stating that mining is one of the main factors that is keeping Australia up the pointy end economically at the moment. Even though the Govt can’t stop wasting money.

        • DanielD

          I know what you are saying Sydlocal, but I am sick of this idea being perpetrated by people like Oldboy that Australian manufacturing and car manufacturing in particular is the one and only subsidised industry in this country or any other.

          Manufacturing IS something that first world countries do. The UK has belatedly woken up to this and apparently we have to wait ten years for the great unwashed to wake up to it here.

          • Oldboy

            My comment about the Nascar subsidy was facetious but the fact remains, when GM-H were exporting high spec LHD Commodores to the US they were retailing them for considerably less than we would pay here for a similar spec vehicle even with the additional shipping, conversion etc costs. At the same time they are taking money from various Aust governments.
            I  feel strongly about manufacturing in Australia, my point is there are hundreds of small and medium companies here,  exporting and struggling to get any development dollars from EDMG and all the other federal export support organisations, because they have no funding.
            The money has gone by the billions for decades to the US and Japanese owned Australian car manufacturing industry in a very lopsided manner.
            Let’s be real, there is no future, ever, in building cars here for our domestic market (without massive ongoing assistance). Design and engineering, that’s another story, but manufacturing no; high wages and tiny market.
            Let’s share this development money with the companies and manufacturers who have a real future potential to export and create wealth, who knows they may even have a bit of Australian ownership too.
            We have been stitched up by the multinationals for too long, let’s put an end to it and start building a future.

          • Mr Irony

            Conversion costs?

            You do realise that the VE was engineered from day 1 to be LHD & RHD. There is no conversion required. They are built in LHD in the factory in Adelaide.

          • Oldboy

            This is in reply to Mr Irony since I don’t seem to have that option on your post.
             I had assumed the US market cars would be built LHD, but I suspect the actual production line would have to be converted to make these small LHD runs adding additional costs.
             The converse position ( high cost to produce RHD cars) is pedalled about by Euro manufacturers whenever they feel the need to justify the exorbitant cost of their products here versus their domestic market.

          • Mr Irony

            VE commodore was engineered from day 1 as LHD & RHD.  This includes manufacturing facilities,
            production line, etc, etc. No conversion costs required. This is the 21st
            century you know.

            That makes two assumptions & both wrong (no-one buys it
            that the first post was not about car conversions). A pattern is emerging here.

            Anyway,  for more
            points to ponder, have a look at my next post.

        • Andrew M

          It is also the Mining sector that is driving jobs overseas because our dollar is just too high to make manufacturing viable.

          Dont listen the the Dollar repopt each night to guage how we are going. The bottom line is when the dollar is high we suffer not prosper.

          I also dont see how Mining got us through the GFC. If anything reliance on mining and the international ties it creates makes us more linked to international trends.

          The mining boom is creating a false economic bubble around Australia. How can you think that growth figures on the back of substantial mining growth nullifies just about every other industry/sector that is dying in Australia

    • Shak

      We did not pay for the NASCAR racers, and our money has nothing to do with it. 

      • Oldboy

        Please see my response above

  • Robj

    I think we all need to see the VF before we can comment. VE is currently great value for money if you need space and handling and dont want a *&^%$ softroader like everyone else.

    • $29896495

      That’s just their problem, the “everyone else” wants other things now days. If it’s good looking, it has a chance of attracting some buyers, but hitting it with the ugly stick. Bad news.

      One reason to show the car like this is to prepare us for what will follow. Minimise the damage. 

    • Sydlocal

       Do you mean needing space with a smaller boot than most medium sized cars? No arguments about the back seat though.

      • DanielD

        Rear wheel drive does rob boot space over many front wheel drive designs. Inherit in the designs. Just like how front wheel drive cars have very long overhangs in front of the wheels because of their engine layout..

        • Sydlocal

          The longer front overhangs are becoming more common on cars these days no matter which end drives it to meet more stringent pedestrian crash standards etc. The VE Commodore was right on the limit as the designers wanted a short overhang and that was the best the engineers could do. They only missed out on their target by the smallest amount whilst still meeting crash standards etc. It just proves that our automotive engineers are world class.

          • Golfmother

            MMMM not so on BMW .

  • Overthereontheleft

    Boring

  • Poison_Eagle

    Who is leading the design US or Aus? Or 50/50?
    In any case the rear is a facsimile of Cruze, so far looks like a joke compared to VE.

    • Golfmother

      You tell em norman , back in your falcoon .

      • Poison_Eagle

        That was heaps good. u showed me with that one bro.

      • Poison_Eagle

         I think its high time CA knock this joker on the head, which his mother no doubt tried , but clearly he emerged from the bucket.

  • Subfoz

    Guys these pictures are of a NASCAR which in flesh dont look much like to road car all, They just have airbrushed light.grills etc.

    So id say about all holden fans can take from this is the shape of the lights and grill as the AUS road versions will look alot differnt.

    • Jimmy

      You don’t need much of an imagination to visualise how the actual road car will look. It’s just the front and rear of the car receiving a makeover, with the exact same body from the VE. I must say, they could have done a lot better with the design, especially with the tail lights. I see too much Malibu and Epica, which is not a good thing. 

  • Mac Attack

    In the headlights I see a mix of 2014 Impala and 2013 Malibu the rear slightly resembles the Cruze which at the beginning of the year it was stated to look at the Cruze series 2 rear end for character lines and surfaces. It looks as if the door skins will be re profiled for the new fender vents and lines other than that I want to know what technical advancements are in store. I know there will be new soft touch dash trim and a host of electric upgrades with the New Mylink replacing iQ, electric park brake. 
    You see the inside is where you drive so I wanna know about that. I could care less if it is Malibu like or what ever so long as it is RWD

  • twincharger

    The VE a good looking car,a lot better than any pictured above.It all appears to be very American like the Taurus.

  • BK

    Holdens are gettin uglier . Need to put a bigger chev badge on it to hide it

  • Sam

    I don’t understand this negativity towards the Commodore when this is a typical NASCAR variant. It will look vastly different to this. Even the American Chevy version won’t look exactly like this. The comparisons to the Epica and Malibu are ridiculous in their negativity as well. The Epica really wasn’t that bad looking a car, I mean I’d rather jump off a cliff than even drive one but still. Being a part of GM means that their will obviously be similarities, the Malibu’s rear lights are inspired by the Camaro as well. Seriously wait until the Australian version is released before your pathetic complaining. 

  • well well well

    if it looks like that!! i’ll like it. just because the commodore fan brigade seem too hate it!!!

  • bad news

    I think when they actually make the VF they will look much better in flesh and look slightly different to the American chevy

  • Goodfa

    I think the real thing will look much better than what we see in these pictures.(or at least I hope so)

    First impressions is that Holden are being way to conservative. Gosh even Toyota have been more adventurous with the styling of the new Camry.