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First look: New Commodore!

New look: Calais (foregound) and SS preview the new front and rear-end look of the VY Commodore.

Holden's VY Commodore breaks cover, but does nothing to dint Ford's confidence in its new BA Falcon

29 Aug 2002

HOLDEN'S new VY Commodore has been revealed to the world - and it's doing nothing to dent the confidence of the design boss of Ford's vital new BA Falcon.

"I really feel good about our car sitting against theirs," said Ford Australia design director Simon Butterworth.

"When you see the two together, we are going to be in a very strong position now.

"Having seen all of the competition - I think our car is really, really going to kick some arse, I really do." Official Holden pictures of VY were leaked onto an independent Ford fan website in the US yesterday and have since made it into some Australian newspapers.

The VY is the first significant visual refresh of the VT Commodore, launched in September, 1997, and the number one selling car in Australia ever since.

The pictures reveal a new frontal treatment that moves away from the VT and the subsequent VX's successful twin-nostril grille to a look previewed on the Cross8 dual-cab ute unveiled at the Melbourne motor show last March.

The rear-end has been squared off, evoking the look of the Subaru Liberty.

The photographs also confirm the existence of a new sports model, the SV8, which will sit between the S and the SS in the range.

What the photos do not show is what is expected to be a substantially revised interior with more European emphasis, an updated Ecotec V6, more refinements to the suspension and increased use of telematics.

The VY will be launched on September 10 and goes on sale late in the month, with the new 380N Toyota Camry launched before it and the BA close behind.

But while many details of the Falcon and Camry have already been revealed, Holden has attempted to keep the VY secret.

Judging by the photographs, Mr Butterworth is confident BA will be the best looking new local car, although he wanted to reserve final judgment until after viewing VY in the metal.

"From the image of VY I have seen, the car looks taller and narrower visually, but again I would have to see it in the 3D flesh," he said.

"You have got to see it on the road, the relationship of the vehicle to the road, how the rest of it sits.

"Also, I think we have done a very good job of having a holistic vehicle in terms of the design, so the whole vehicle sits together very well.

"My feeling is the Commodore now looks a little fragmented in the approach - it looks a little uncomfortable in some ways.

"So I think we are in pretty good shape."

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