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Lighter Holden Commodore bulks up

Slimmed down: Holden's VF Commodore will benefit from weight reduction of around 40kg.

Holden has stripped the equivalent of an adult from Commodore, but added a child

Holden logo11 Feb 2013

By BARRY PARK

A RADICAL weight-loss program for Holden’s VF Commodore has resulted in a car that is up to 70 kilograms lighter than the vehicle it replaces – but there’s a catch.

Holden executive director of engineering Greg Tyus said the addition of more technology to the new Commodore added about 30 kilograms of weight to the vehicle, making for an overall saving of about 40kg.

He said most of the gains come from accumulated savings of “a few hundred grams” in many of the Commodore’s components, while more details are yet to emerge about aluminium components incorporated into the new car’s chassis, and new lightweight plastics around the interior.

“When you talk about that 40 kilos (in overall weight savings), we actually took out 70 kilos and put stuff back in,” said Mr Tyus.

The diet would have dragged the Commodore’s kerb weight well below its current 1600kg-plus for the most economical 3.0-litre six-cylinder model, but instead the VF is expected to tip the scales at around 1580kg.

Holden is keeping changes to its V6 and V8 engine line-ups under wraps until closer to the VF Commodore’s June launch, but has made no secret that fuel economy was a priority.

The car-maker is yet to reveal how much fuel the new Commodore will save over the previous model, but a spokesman told GoAuto that, while the figures for the updated car were “not quite 7.0 [litres per 100 kilometres]”, the numbers “won’t be far off it”.

The most economical Holden currently uses an official 8.9L/100km.

Another aspect that Holden hopes to improve with the VF is quality.

Mr Tyus said the Adelaide assembly plant, which is already building pre-production versions of the VF, was still having some “small issues” with build quality, but he expected them to be resolved before the car’s showroom launch.

Holden has also been able to reduce “shut lines” – the technical term given to the gaps between panels – by up to a few millimetres compared with the previous model.

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