Future Models - Holden 2010 Commodore

Holden 2010 Commodore Small change: Most of the changes to Holden's new VE II Commodore range are under the skin.

Small change: Most of the changes to Holden's new VE II Commodore range are under the skin.

Flex fuel ability, improved connectivity and more efficiency underpin MY11 Series II

GM HOLDEN has revealed basic details of its VE Series II facelift, almost two weeks ahead of its official national launch on September 10.

But the 2011 model year Commodore family’s full specification, technical and pricing details will have to wait until then.

Visually, the makeover is minor, bringing a new squarer front fascia incorporating revised headlight shapes, more prominent grille and bumper treatments, an ‘aero lip’ detail on the sedan’s boot lid, redesigned alloys on some models, and four additional colours (a bright red, mid-tone grey, beige and bright yellow).

Inside, there are three distinct ‘centre stacks’, mouldings, decorations and illumination colours depending on base, sports and luxury grades, a more ‘pilot orientated’ driving position, fresh features and options, a restyled heater/ventilation/air-conditioning control centre, and an emphasis on quality and craftsmanship.

Of arguably more importance is flex-fuel capability for models fitted with the 3.0-litre SIDI (Spark Ignition Direct Injection) V6 and 6.0-litre Gen-IV V8 in an effort to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

Calling it a “major step forward”, Holden says both engines can run on any petrol from 100 per cent pure unleaded, up to 85 per cent bio-ethanol (E85) for a sizeable increase in performance and up to a 40 per cent reduction in CO2 pollution compared to a regular 3.0L or 6.0L powerplant.

Holden2010 Commodore center imageFrom top: Holden Commodore Omega, Holden Ute SSV, Holden Calais V interior, Holden Commodore SSV interior, Commodore Series II badge.

Aiding the flex-fuel cause are 31 Caltex service stations that now offer “Bio E-Flex fuel” (as it is branded by the petroleum company) in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney. This will increase to 100 sites from next year.

However, while this makes the VE Series II the first Australian-made car to offer this technology, the volume-selling 3.6-litre SIDI V6 will not go flex-fuel capable until 2012.

Even without ethanol, a raft of other improvements have lowered the sedan’s consumption while raising the V6 models in the Federal Government’s Green Vehicle Guide to a four-star rating.

Also contributing to the lower consumption figures are improved aerodynamics, including better underfloor air flow panels (except on base Omega), reduced trim height on Omega and Berlina, airfoils fitted to the front of the Omega, Berlina and Calais sedan rear wheel housings, the redesigned boot lid, and a more aero-friendly front undertray.

Mechanically, the inclusion of a clutched air-conditioning compressor so it does not pump when it is switched off, and a slightly lower engine idle speed on the 3.6L SIDI V6, help lessen petrol use.

As a consequence of all these measures, the 3.0L SIDI V6’s combined fuel consumption average is now down by two per cent to 9.1L/100km (formerly 9.3), the 3.6L SIDI V6 owner will now benefit from a three per cent economy gain (down to approximately 9.6L/100km from 9.9) and the 6.0L V8’s thirst drops six per cent (from 13.9L/100km to about 13.1).

However, there are no economy improvements for LPG models.

The Omega ute finally ditches the old 180kW/330Nm 3.6L Alloytec V6/four-speed automatic gearbox combination for the much more advanced 3.0L SIDI V6/six-speed auto pairing that the rest of the VE range equivalents received in September 2009, resulting in a 12 per cent improvement in petrol consumption.

Another development in line with the times is the adoption of the Holden-iQ infotainment system – a standard fitment touch-screen device that forms part of a redesigned dashboard.

Among its features are the ability to store CDs on an internal flash drive (not standard on Omega), along with full Bluetooth, USB and iPod/MP3 integration.

On higher-end models it will also support a new advanced high-clarity full-colour mapping sat-nav system with real-time traffic condition info and voice control.

A reverse camera is also present on all models with the exception of the ute.

Breaking down the models, the Omega gains a 6.5-inch centre screen and 16-inch alloy wheels on top of the features already mentioned.

As with previous models, the mid-level Berlina adds a chrome crossbar, its own fog light surrounds, 17-inch alloys and different interior trim.

The Calais scores a heavy chrome bonnet base, a smattering of greater brightwork throughout the body and 18-inch alloys – an inch under the Calais V-Series’ wheels.

Sportier models get a “more muscular look”, according to Holden, with deeply bolstered seats on both the SV6 and SS, circular air vents, a ‘sports’ instrumentation pack and racier cabin detailing. The SS V-Series also gets the Calais headlight treatment and its own 19-inch wheel design.

Holden 2010 Commodore Small change: Most of the changes to Holden's new VE II Commodore range are under the skin.

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