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With the Holden VF Commodore exterior design “sculptural” has replaced “geometrical” as the design team set out to replace the previous car’s blocky appearance with a more curvature look. Two looks have been created – VF Luxury and VF Sport, with the latter under embargo until 12am Friday.

“Back in VE days, the surface language trend was sheer geometrical,” tells exterior chief designer Richard Ferlazzo (below).

“These days things have evolved, and we see a lot more sculptural elements and sinewy detail in all cars.

“That’s great because it works well with what we already had. With such good bones, all we needed to do was enhance the original car.”

Speaking about the design philosophy behind the VF Commodore, Ferlazzo cites the belief that “[large sedans] don’t need to be all things to all men anymore … so [it’s] afforded us the luxury of pushing this thing [VF] more upmarket as an aspirational car.”

The only common parts the VF Commodore shares with the outgoing VE are the door skins, roof and window glass, although Ferlazzo adds that “we did need to modify the doors with new passive-entry door handles, but the form shape is the same..”

The bonnet and bootlid are stamped in aluminium to reduce weight.

Ferlazzo points to the “nice power bulge in the centre” of the new bonnet, and the “sweeping line that comes off the A-pillar to come towards the new ‘majestic’ grille…”

With raised eyebrows over the chrome elements on the Calais V-Series model, Ferlazzo clarifies that “if it [chrome] is tastefully applied, the sculptural elements… it looks very rich. That’s what we tried to do with this car.”

“Headlamps are another element of recent technologies…” the design chief adds.

“Details of grilles and lamps and pieces of jewellery in themselves harks back to the earlier days before they were hiding all the optics … when the inside was just so interesting to look at”.

The wheelarch flares have been shaved to get the Commodore’s relatively poor aerodynamics number down to further assist with Holden’s fuel economy targets.

“[There is] a smoother transition into the wheelarches … creating the illusion of it blending in,” says Ferlazzo.

“At VE time we wanted a muscular [wheelarch] look, now we’re going for sculptural.”

Although the door skins are unchanged, new front guards with a longer vertical ‘kink’ reminsicent of that shown on the Coupe 60 concept – “Coupe 60 and VF were being designed at the same time,” hints Ferlazzo – makes the side of the VF Commodore looks different to the VE.

“The way the fender vent went before, it didn’t whip around in a sharp fashion.

“The fender is all new and we’ve highlighted the fender vent … we’ve added a little bit more embellishment with the bright detailing, and the side repeater lamp remains in that location.

“The way we’ve incorporated this, even if we haven’t changed the form of the doors, gives an illusion of [change]…”

Although the one-piece side body stamp has been changed to accept the lower bootlid deck, the rear window glass remains the same, and Ferlazzo confesses that he would have liked a “faster” roofline to blend into the lower, more curvaceous rear end.

“[With VE] we had these geometric [rear] lamps in the corners, now we have these sweeping lamps that come into the decklid,” says Ferlazzo. “One piece aluminium bootlid, aero ducktails, [and] we’ve removed the licence plate graphic from the bootlid to down below and that gives an entirely different look…

“So we’ve got the illusion of the width, and the perfect proportions of the car – long, low and wide.”

Ferlazzo insists he did not set out to “intentionally” look smaller than VE, but “fresher, sleeker and more sculptural.”

“But we didn’t want to make it look larger, of course,” he jokes.

Aerodynamics performance also played on the designers minds, perhaps more than at any time in the Commodore’s history. In addition to shaving the wheelarches, a ducktail lip spoiler, sharper edges of the tailight plastic covers, and a rear bumper that tucks under the rear wheelarches are all crucial moves to achieving a “much lower” aerodynamics Cd rating, which was always a VE sore point.

“Any aero guy will tell you that towards the back of the car you need crisp edges…” tells the design chief.

“We knew it back in the VT days, but the trend wasn’t for that at the time, we had a soft rounded look…

“If you have a target for aero, you either find it in other areas, or you incorporate them all. You incorporate them all, and you’re probably not going to like the look.

“So it’s just a balance between all the aero enablers and the styling trends and the freshness that we can all accept.”

Holden will lift the embargo on the second VF Commodore ‘face’, the SS variant, at 12am Friday February 15th.


  • Golfschwein

    I would really like it if the Omega looked like the drawing shown. So, what’s the betting that this is a hint or just a rejected proposal?

    • Zaccy16

      my opinion is definitely rejected proposal

      • Garrywhopper

        Bet you’ve had a few of them in your time

        • Sumpguard

          More than a few.

    • Dansubs

      It does look nice – actually nicer than the car revealed today.

    • Fsdf

      It kind of looks like a Dodge Dart. Probably just one of the various designs they were toying around with.

  • DAVIDZ

    No folding back seat, FAIL
    No bench 3 seater Ute, FAIL
    No powertrain improvements, FAIL
    Far too expensive, FAIL
    But still better than say a i45 orphan :-)

    • Dansubs

      That is the third exact same posting. You are the copy and paste master. Now if only you had the facts to base an opinion on. See my detailed reply in one of your numerous postings.

    • TimeForActionAgainstDZ

      Davidz, you really have no clue (and no friends I bet).  Hopefully this site realises the gutter-trash your postings are and kicks you off the site.  Go find a girl to look at instead of wasting our time with your useless un-justifiable comments.

      • Darryl

        Exactly, as everyone’s mum says, unless you have something useful to say, shut the …….up.  You’re right, go and look at some other sites that might do it for you .I’m sure it won’t be far too expensive, ignore retail, the price you pay when you leave the dealership won’t take too long to match what VE’s are now going for. It has to.

  • Declan Collins

    I’m extremely excited to see the more aggressive (hopefully) design of the VF SS-V and SV6 models. Can’t wait for Daytona now!

    For me, the exterior is a huge step-up and I love it. You can’t beat the Zeta platform profile. The backend looks all class and the new sculptured front end draws my eyes. One one problem is the grill. It’s alright, but design wise, is a bit behind the rest of the car.

  • Robbo

    Being a more luxury car, no doubt for the price aimed at those looking for a premium sedan (as in the CalaisV), am I fair to say that Bi-Xenon or Xenon headlamps would have been a must?  Washer systems are a ADR requirement (dumb one at that) and I see none in the images.  Hope they are in production car images.  Just a small thing to mention.  Otherwise looks way better than I expected!

  • Roadtard

    Styling is subjective, so each to their own.  Me, I much prefer the VE’s geometric look.

    • Darryl

      The rear of the car looks good from directly behind, but in three quarter view doesn’t now match the geometric look of the doors/ side profile which is very noughties now. the 2 styling ëras clash a bit. The front just looks generic GM bland, looking at the ad for 2012 plated VE’s across to the right here, it looks geometrically sharper. Incidentally, anything happening to the Caprice?

  • Poison_Eagle

     I do like the way it looks, but did Cheverolet call the shots? Doesn’t look as if they had much autonomy.  The sketches look like they had sharper ambitions for VF,but had to reign them in to comply with the Chevy look.
    Also when are the specs coming out? Will they even release the Cd factor? VE is between 0.33 and 0.36 I think?

    • Force-15

      The drag coefficient of the VF will reportedly be <0.30 Cd.

  • Barry

    Does look great.Cant wait to see the SS,SV6 and especially how HSV work on it.

  • Blitzkrieg

    Those wheels look similar to the 19s on Fords G6E

    • Zaccy16

      I thought that too, they look better on the g6e turbo!

      • Zaccy16

        Exactly!!!!!

  • Adf

    think that they forgot to mention that great big antenna stuck on the back is left over too from the VE

    other then than thinks it looks great

  • Luke Brinsmead

    Looks quite good…refreshingly modern.

  • Timtam600

    The ugliest commodore I’ve ever seen. VE series is even better

  • Truck85

    Disapointed , no LED Tail Lights or DRLs in the headlights, They should have asked for help from DRL Trading for that or at least get the idea from their VE LED headlights and tail lights Designs.
    It does have the Korean appearance a lot.
    Very nice interior, Thank God, they finally changed it, although it is very American.
    Overall, good to see a major change to front and rear.
    Nice car. 

    • Julia_Gillards_No_1_Fan

      Rear LEDs are a big mistake to miss out on… Koreans have them on $20k cars.

  • Jober As A Sudge

    Doesn’t look too bad. Interior dash looks a bit busy but a definite step up from previous interior. Took them long enough to get rid of that finger breaking handbrake lever though wish they stuck with a traditional handbrake (not a fan of electronic or foot operated parking brakes). Downside to this is no news of new V6 engine. Holden seriously need to get a decent 6 or turbo 4 into this (keep the 8 as it’s a great engine and there will always be a market for it)

    • Monk

      Maybe a turbo diesel 4 as a marketing winner (fuel efficiency) and potential new entry level engine. S/C or turbo the 3.0L V6 for a bit of fun and to fix the gutless torque situation. 

  • FOcused

    Bring on Friday – I want to see the SS

  • Raymooney

    The rear brake and blinker lenses look to much like a Japanese import (Mazda)…or could that be Toyota….Not a good look…..esthetics are very important and engineers did not consider the famous models that were made by Holden in recent years. Disappointing.