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Future models - Holden - Commodore - VE

First look: Omega emerges, priced at $34,490!

Priced to please: Omega opens the VE Commodore menu at $34,490.

Holden reveals pricing and features for the VE Commodore and WM Statesman/Caprice

18 Jul 2006

BILLION-DOLLAR CAR. It makes a great headline, but out from the artificial light which shone so bright last weekend at the Melbourne Convention Centre, where Holden unveiled its fourth-generation VE Commodore with more than a little bit of razzle-dazzle, let’s put this all into perspective.

Holden this afternoon revealed that pricing for the VE Commodore would start from $36,490 (with air) for the crucial baseline model now known as Omega, which was deemed too plain to make an entrance onto the catwalk but has since emerged.

All those dollars – which represent $470 million in engineering, $550 million in investment and $190 million for the WM long-wheelbase derivative also unveiled in Melbourne – could allow for ESP to be fitted standard on this car, but not side airbags or curtain airbags. These cost $2000 extra.

Full details are still to be released over the coming weeks however, the new VE is heavier than the current car, will consume more fuel in most models and it will be surprising if it is not more expensive to repair in low-speed crashes. Although sure to be safer, the sedan will not achieve five stars under the Australian NCAP crash-test regime.

GoAuto can confirm that it will emulate the current car in scoring four stars.

13 center imageLeft: Omega interior (top). The as-yet-unseen Calais (centre) and its classy new interior (bottom). GoAuto can also reveal that an all-new Monaro will be built, although it must wait behind other bread-and-butter model derivatives such as a new ute. While the new "Zeta" architecture is flexible enough to build all manner of model derivatives, there is no confirmation that a new-generation station wagon will be built. The current VZ wagon and ute will continue into 2007.

A dual-cab VE ute is not expected, and the "Adventra adventure" – a stop-gap measure designed to stem the flow of 4WD sales to Ford and other brands – is almost certain never to be repeated.

The mechanical highlight for the VE is a sophisticated new suspension, which comprises a four-and-a-half-link rear and double-balljoint front-end which at long last removes all trace elements from the 1978 VB Commodore.

Power has increased on the V6 and V8 engines, but the former sticks with a four-speed automatic transmission on Omega and Berlina which some customers will consider one or two ratios short of the mark.

Further, was Holden listening to customers when it decided once again not to engineer a split-fold rear seat? It has also made a full-size spare wheel optional across the range.

To succeed, GMH must keep its production plant at Elizabeth in Adelaide full, and that means churning out between 135,000 and 145,000 cars per annum.

It does not intend to run a third shift at the plant, and with large-car sales in decline in Australia – and no certainty to be resurrected with this new car – extra emphasis is being placed on securing new export deals.

To this end, Holden will look to the US and Europe. It will show a VE SS and a WM Caprice at the GM Board of Directors Show in Detroit during August, where export prospects (as a Pontiac, for example) will be discussed with, and lasting impressions made on, GM chief executive Rick Wagoner and global product development boss Bob Lutz.

VE cars will also soon be put through their paces at European proving grounds, with GM Europe chief engineer and Opel managing director Hans Demant among those to make an assessment.

The car considered the make-or-break vehicle for the Aussie auto-manufacturing sector has arrived.

You've already read the reveal stories for both the short-wheelbase VE sedans and long-wheelbase WM sedans, as well as the inside story on the E-Series HSV range and the prospects of new-generation Monaro. Watch this space over the coming week for the full VE story, including: # Four stars for NCAP
# Quality strides, new suspension
# The first complete Australian Holden
# BMW 5 Series the benchmark
# Simcoe explains all
# Exterior design
# Interior design
# Denny’s deliverance

2006 VE Commodore sedan pricing:

Omega (4-spd auto) - $34,490 (up $500)
Omega (4-spd auto with air) - $36,490 (up $250)
V-Series special-edition (4-spd auto with air, 17-inch alloys, spoiler) - $34,990
Berlina V6 (4-spd auto) - $39,990 (down $3900)
Berlina V8 (6-spd auto) - $44,990 (down $3600)
SV6 (6-spd man) - $39,990 (no change)
SV6 (5-spd auto) - $40,990 (up $1000)
SS (6-spd man) - $44,990 (down $6800)
SS (6-spd auto) - $46,990 (down $4800)
SS V (6-sped man) - $51,990 (new)
SS V (6-spd auto) - $53,990 (new)
Calais V6 (5-spd auto) - $45,490 (down $8400)
Calais V8 (6-spd auto) - $50,490 (down $8100)
Calais V V6 (5-spd auto) - $53,490 (new)
Calais V V8 (6-spd auto) - $58,490 (new)

2006 WM Statesman/Caprice sedan pricing:

Statesman V6 (5-spd auto) - $58,990 (up $2000)
Statesman V8 (6-spd auto) - $62,990 (up $1300)
Caprice V6 (5-spd auto) - $65,990 (down $4700)
Caprice V8 (6-spd auto) - $69,990 (down $5400)

Omega features:

• 180kW/330Nm 3.6-litre V6, four-speed automatic
• ESP, EBA, EBD
• 16-inch steel wheels
• Dual-stage front airbags
• Cruise control
• Single-CD player with MP3 compatibility
• Four-way power driver's seat
• Multi-function display with trip computer – five-inch screen
• Power windows

Berlina adds:

• Optional 270kW/530Nm 6.0-litre V8, six-speed automatic
• 17-inch alloy wheels
• Additional cluster displays
• Six-inch multi-function display screen
• Side impact airbags
• Rear Park Assist
• Bluetooth connectivity
• Six-disc in-dash CD player, MP3 compatible
• Leather wrap steering wheel
• Dual-zone climate-control

SV6 features:

• 195kW/340Nm 3.6-litre V6, six-speed manual or optional five-speed automatic with Active Select
• 18-inch alloy wheels
• Dual-stage front airbags, side impact airbags
• Sports suspension
• Sports fascia, bodykit and rear spoiler
• Front foglights
• Body color mirrors and door handles
• Dual exhaust with chrome tips
• Leather-wrap steering wheel
• Bluetooth connectivity
• Power windows

SS features:

• 270kW/530Nm 6.0-litre V8, six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic with Active Select
• Quad exhaust with chrome tips
• 18-inch alloy wheels
• Dual-stage front airbags, side impact airbags
• Sports fascia, bodykit and larger rear spoiler
• Sport suspension
• Sports seats
• Unique SS seat trim and logo
• Six-disc in-dash CD player with MP3 compatibility
• Leather-wrap steering wheel

SS V adds:

• Projector headlights
• 19-inch alloy wheels
• 6.5-inch multi-function display
• Curtain airbags
• Dual-zone climate-control
• 230-watt audio system with sub-woofer
• Color-coded instrument cluster
• Sports gauges
• Sports profile leather-wrap steering wheel
• Leather seat trim
• Alloy pedals

Calais features:

• 195kW/340Nm 3.6-litre V6, five-speed automatic • Optional 270kW/530Nm 6.0-litre V8, six-speed automatic
• Sport suspension
• Projector headlights
• Chrome bonnet header
• Dual exhaust with chrome tips
• Curtain airbags
• Six-way power front seats with leather bolsters
• 6.5-inch full color multi-function display
• Leather grip on gearshift
• Rear centre armrest

Calais V adds:

• Zoned front and rear park assist
• Rain-sensing wipers
• External mirror puddle lamps
• 18-inch alloy wheels
• Leather seat trim
• Single screen roof-mounted DVD
• 230-watt audio system with sub-woofer
• Priority seat and mirror memory
• Eight-way power front seats
• Sliding centre armrest

2006 VE Commodore options:

Air-conditioning (Omega only) - $2000
Side and curtain airbags, active head restraints (Omega) - $2000
Leather trim seats and curtain airbags (Berlina, SV6, SS) - $2500
Six-disc CD stacker (Omega, SV6) - $595
Bluetooth (Omega) - $390
Full-size spare wheel and tyre (Omega) - $100
Full-size spare wheel and tyre (Berlina, SV6, SS, SS V, Calais, Calais V) - $250
Leather trim, eight-way front memory seats, heated mirrors (Calais) - $3000
Country pack suspension (Omega – not available with LPG) - $330
Sports suspension (Omega, Berlina) - $695
Electric tilt and slide sunroof - $1690
Overhead DVD player (all models except standard on Calais V) - $1290
Metallic paint - $375

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