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Future models - Holden - Commodore - VE

First look: Holden's billion-dollar VE Commodore

V-max: Calais V (above) and SS V (below) are powered by a 270kW V8.

Holden unveils its billion-dollar VE Commodore sedan, led by the new Calais V and SS V heroes

17 Jul 2006

THE veil is off Holden’s new $1 billion baby – the VE Commodore. In an extravagant reveal this morning Holden showed off its replacement for the nation’s best-selling large six-cylinder passenger car.

The fourth-generation Commodore is much safer, offers more technology and delivers more features and value for money than the outgoing VZ. Interiors, exteriors and suspensions have been upgraded or totally redesigned.

All models have high levels of active and passive safety thanks to extensive use of high-strength steels, which is reported to have added weight into the car.

Apart from ESP stability control, side and curtain airbags will also be available across the VE Commodore range, which will be made up of seven variants: Omega (which replaces Executive and Acclaim), Berlina, Calais, Calais V, SV6, SS and SS V.

Calais V and SS V were revealed today as the new heroes of the short-wheelbase VE sedan range, which goes on sale in August.

But Holden surprised many by also revealing its new WM Caprice long-wheelbase sedan flagship this morning, which goes on sale alongside the redesigned WM Statesman in September (see separate story). All-new Commodore wagon and ute derivatives won't surface until 2007.

13 center imageLeft: V8-powered VE Calais V. Below: VE Commodore SS V. Both V-series models feature a 6.0-litre V8, quad exhaust outlets, front quarter vents and a six-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift mode. Holden has benchmarked BMW and other high-end European car-makers on both quality and styling for the VE.

Although prices have not been released, prices are tipped to be up more than $2000 on high-end models.

The Omega is tipped to be around $1500 more expensive than the base VZ Executive in a clear move away from the entry-level "fleet special" tag.

Holden claims the Executive and Acclaim have moved too close together in equipment levels, necessitating a model revision.

The V-series Calais and SS twins introduce a new top-shelf specification to Holden's short-wheelbase luxury and sports offerings respectively.

The "V" signature is a clear signal to the likes of Audi’s "S" line and BMW’s "M" division, by offering higher-spec and performance than the standard cars.

Two 3.6-litre V6s will be offered in different states of tune, while the range-topping engine is a 6.0-litre Gen IV V8.

The Omega and Berlina will be powered by a 180kW/330Nm 3.6-litre V6 – up 8kW and 10Nm over the current engine - mated to a four-speed auto, while the SV6, Calais and Calais V will offer a high-output Alloytec V6 delivering 195kW/340Nm (5kW and 5Nm more than premium VZ variants), mated to a five-speed Active Select auto. SV6 will also continue to be available with a six-speed manual.

The 6.0-litre SS V8 develops 270kW/530Nm and will be mated to a six-speed manual. An optional new six-speed automatic from GM’s flagship Chevrolet Corvette and Cadillac models in the US will come standard with V8 versions of Berlina, Calais and Statesman/Caprice. The Gen IV gains 10kW and 20Nm over the existing V8.

There are plans for a 3.6-litre duel fuel LPG Alloytec V6 later this year.

Holden first launched the Commodore nameplate in 1978 and has built 2.4 million for Australian and export markets.

Watch this space throughout this week for a full report on the VE, its styling, engineering and safety credentials.

2006 VE Commodore line-up:

Omega
3.6-litre Alloytec V6: 180kW @ 6000rpm and 330Nm @ 2600pm (up 8kW and 10Nm) four-speed auto
Berlina
3.6-litre Alloytec V6: 180kW @ 6000rpm and 330Nm @ 2600rpm (up 8kW and 10Nm) four-speed auto
SV6 High-Output 3.6-litre Alloytec V6: 195kW @ 6500rpm and 340Nm @ 2600rpm (up 5kW and 5Nm) five-speed auto
SS
6.0-litre V8: 270kW @ 5700rpm and 530Nm @ 4400rpm (up 10kW and 20Nm) six-speed manual or six-speed automatic
SS V:
6.0-litre V8: 270kW @ 5700rpm and 530Nm @ 4400rpm (up 10kW and 20Nm) six-speed manual or six-speed automatic
Calais and Calais V:
High-Output 3.6-litre Alloytec V6: 195kW @ 6500rpm and 340Nm @ 2600rpm (up 5kW and 5Nm) with five-speed automatic
OR 6.0-litre V8: 270kW @ 5700rpm and 530Nm @ 4400rpm (up 10kW and 20Nm) with six-speed automatic

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