Unlike with the outgoing VE, the Holden VF Commodore core interior design is shared between all models – including the Calais shown on Sunday, and the SS revealed here. GM Holden design director Andrew Smith said the strategy for designing the VF Commodore interior was to simplify the number of interior options compared with the outgoing VE.
“When we did VE we tried very hard to develop multiple models that had very distinct interior themes,” he explained. “The guys decided this time around to simplify it, to do one interior theme and differentiate it with materials.
“So what we’ve really done is focused on giving the customer a really premium interior, but not get so hung up on whether an SS and a Calais look completely different … they have different themes.”
The broad, horizontal fascia of the VF Commodore, and the switchgear, dials and touchscreen display, are shared between Calais and SS models, with design difference in the detail.
Chief colour and trim designer Sharon Gauchi said that advancements in technology since the VE program meant that designers could now differentiate 'themes' between models using different decorative elements and different materials. The objectives with the SS interior were, however, broadly the same as the Calais.
“With the sport interior, we wanted to inject a sense of luxury,” she added.
“We’ve abandoned the large colour blocking that we did with VE. With VE we launched the [SS] interior with a big expanse of orange, with a big expanse of red.
“What we’ve done with the sport interiors is create that sense of ‘I’ve grown up, I’m sophisticated’.
“The full black [interior] is not an oppressive, dark interior because you get layering effects of materials… It’s very sensory from a touch point of view, and very sensory from a visual point of view.
“Typical sports cues [are] the chrome, perforation [leather], the suede, the carbon-like finish in the instrument panel and door trim. With the black interior … it doesn’t get the red stitch, it gets a grey stitch.”
Compared with the full-black interior shown, the second interior option gets grey alcantara inserts and lighter lower trim colours. The front seats are all-new, but while the seat base is shared with the Calais V-Series, the backrest has more aggressive contouring than the luxury model. Other changes include bespoke 'SSV' stitching on the alcantara-clad passenger-side dash panel (the Calais does not get an interior badge). Conversely, the SSV show car does not get the front seat heating function of the Calais, with the button left beneath the central air vents blanked out.
Although the Holden VF Commodore SS show car was equipped with a manual transmission, interior design manager Joe Rudolph confirmed that for the automatic models “paddleshifters are enabled, it’s just a choice model by model whether we implement it…” The Holden VF Commodore Calais V-Series show car did not get steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters, however it is believed that the SS automatic will get paddles for the automatic transmission’s manual mode.
Rudolph would not confirm this, or whether the paddleshifters are being reserved for the HSV range of VF Commodore models, however he did say that for design development purposes “they [HSV] have been up here twice, I’ve been down there [Clayton] twice”.
Read CarAdvice's full coverage of the Holden VF Commodore here.