Launching as the most technologically advanced vehicle ever produced in Australia, and what Holden managing director Mike Devereux has labelled the "no excuses" Commodore, the Holden VF Commodore debuts standard across the range a system that can automatically reverse park the car in parallel or 90-degree spots. Selected models can also project a digital speedometer on the windscreen, warn drivers of a possible front or rear collision, or tell them if they are wandering out of their traffic lane – all firsts for an Australian-built car.
Holden unveiled a single VF Commodore Calais V-Series show car in a new Prussian Steel grey colour, the flagship model showing off its freshly designed front and rear ends, lightweight aluminium bootlid and bonnet, and all-new interior.
“Scultptural” exterior design themes replace the “geometrical” theme used with the seven-year-old VE Commodore. A higher, wider front grille treatment, subtle central power bulge, slimmer front guards, and complex lower bumper ornamentation are, Holden says, designed to give the Holden VF Commodore a “sophisticated” new look.
At the rear, a lower and wider look was the aim, with wrap-around tail-lights melding into the boot-lid and the rear number plate surround moving to the rear bumper bar. Several key design changes were to realise a massive improvement to aerodynamics.
Inside, Holden aimed for three main improvements – to make the interior more rich, to integrate new technology seamlessly, and improve ergonomic issues. The design theme is deliberately designed to blend into the Chevrolet family, with higher-grade plastics and surfacing.
A new eight-inch touchscreen debuts the latest and most advanced version of GM’s MyLink infotainment system, with several apps allowing internet streaming in addition to Bluetooth connectivity and DVD capability.
Only the door skins, roof and glass remain identical to the VE, while the only links the VF Commodore has to its predecessor inside are the roof trim lining, map lights, centre console lid and rear seat air vents – everything else is all-new. An electric handbrake, push-button start, and auto-detection keyless entry also feature for the first time and are fitted to all VF Commodore models.
The Holden VF Commodore ushers in the start of a new, globalised era of Australian-made General Motors products, sharing several interior trim parts and technologies with GM models from around the world. The VF Commodore continues to be locally designed and developed, however Holden has raided the GM parts bin in the first move towards the VF Commodore replacement in 2017, which will also need to borrow a General Motors global platform of as-yet unknown description.
Come its on-sale date in May, this Holden VF Commodore will need to improve the large car’s lagging sales performance. Speaking with Holden executives, designers and engineers, they believe they have a car that is relevant and will work.
“We’ve always had a good looking car that’s performed well,” said Holden boss Devereux.
“But what is different about today’s vehicle is both the sophistication, the technology, and the refinement that makes this a ‘no excuses’, no asterisk, star, exclamation point, exclamation point, you can fill in the word… world class vehicle.
“This car is the most technologically advanced car ever conceived, created and built in this country, without a doubt."
The VF Commodore needs to run until the end of 2016, but right now the single Calais V show car is making its mark with design – the unveiling of the VF Commodore SS will follow at 12am Friday February 15th
, timed to coincide with the US unveiling of its Chevrolet SS near-twin, while details on the entry car, pricing, and full specifications including drivetrains are still more than a month away.
Click for CarAdvice's comprehensive coverage of the new Holden VF Commodore.