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Holden uncovers final Aussie-built Commodore

End of an era: The VF Series II Commodore hits showrooms in October and feature slight styling tweaks including bonnet vents.

VF Series II to be Holden’s fastest, most powerful Commodore yet

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Holden logo13 Sep 2015

By TIM NICHOLSON

GM HOLDEN’S final Australian-built Commodore is set to go out with a loud bang, with the company confirming its VF Series II range will be the fastest and most powerful car to wear the iconic badge.

Officially unveiled today at Holden HQ in Port Melbourne, the facelifted Commodore gains a series of cosmetic tweaks and tech upgrades to see it out to the end of local production in 2017.

Holden's new chairman and managing director Mark Bernhard said the VF Series II is the type of exciting car its customers come to expect from a new Commodore.

“We made a commitment to keep this iconic car exciting and relevant for Australian motorists, and that is exactly what we have done,” he said. “This is the vehicle that our Commodore customers have been asking for.

“Commodore VFII is powerful and refined, it will evoke emotion in its driver and exhibits all of the hallmarks Commodore has become renowned for over the years.” Mr Bernhard, who started his career at Holden in 1986, also praised the Holden staff involved in the final Aussie-built family car for ensuring the Commodore is the best it can be.

“Holden’s design, engineering and manufacturing teams have produced the best Commodore ever – a vehicle that truly lives up to its reputation and one that the entire company is incredibly proud of.

“This is the reason Holden is committed to ensuring we will continue to have engineering and design input into Commodore, and every other Holden vehicle in our range, for generations to come.” As GoAuto reported in May, the Commodore swaps the current model’s 270kW 6.0-litre V8 for a new 6.2-litre LS3 engine from the Chevy Corvette in all V8 variants.

Pumping out 304kW of power and 570Nm of torque, the new unit does not quite match the output of the engine in the American-market Commodore-based Chevrolet SS, but it now can race from standstill to 100km/h in just 4.9 seconds.

This is down from 5.7 seconds in the outgoing SS V Redline, and it undercuts Ford’s swansong XR8 that can do the dash in 5.2s as well as the refreshed Chrysler 300 SRT that gets there in about 5.0s.

As expected, Holden has dropped the LPG-powered versions, and there are no changes to the 185kW/290 3.0-litre V6 or the 210kW/350Nm 3.2-litre V6 engines.

Holden has also announced that V8 variants will also be offered with a bi-model exhaust with a unique Holden-designed ‘Baillie Tip’, and a mechanical sound enhancer.

GoAuto previously reported that Holden would introduce bonnet vents – similar to the ‘Ventiports’ found on a number of Buick models – to the 2016 Commodore and this has also been confirmed by the car-maker.

Holden says that the bonnet vents and new fascia ducts were developed by local Holden engineers with support from Monash University’s wind tunnel to improve aerodynamics around the front of the car.

In flagship SS V Redline guise, the Commodore also gains Brembo brakes on all wheels with bright red callipers, which, according to Holden, provides “exceptional” braking performance and are “specifically designed to perform under closed circuit and track day conditions”.

The VF Series II’s revised FE3 rear sports suspension was tuned at Holden’s Lang Lang proving grounds, and the company says it has improved the car’s ride comfort, while retaining its sharp handling.

Holden’s engineering team – which the car-maker announced yesterday will continue on beyond the 2017 factory closure – also tested the VF Series II at other Victorian locations including Phillip Island, the Alpine Ranges and the Surf Coast.

In terms of cosmetic changes, the Commodore gains a refreshed front fascia, with changes to the bumper that incorporates the fascia ducts, new alloy wheel designs on all variants above Evoke, clear lens tail lights on sedan models and new LED tail-lights for the Sportwagon.

There are two new colours to choose from – Slipstream Blue on all variants except Caprice V, and Empire Bronze on Evoke, Calais, Calais V and Caprice V only.

The price of some variants has risen, but Holden has maintained the $35,490 plus on-road costs entry price for the auto-only Evoke sedan.

Prices have lifted by $500 for the SV6 and Calais, the SS and SS V Redline are both up by $1500 to $44,490 and $53,990 respectively in manual guise, the Calais pricing remains at $41,290, but the Calais V V8 rises by $3500 to $57,490.

The Caprice V keeps its $60,490 price tag, and the Ute is up on some variants by between $500 and $1500, except the base Evoke which stays at $33,490.

As before, the Sportwagon attracts a $2000 premium over the sedan where available, and an automatic transmission is $2200 over the six-speed manual.

Other options include performance brakes on the V8s that adds $350, 20-inch forged-alloy wheels on Redline variants for an extra $1500 and premium paint, which costs $550, but is free for Caprice V buyers.

Some new features include keyless entry and start on SV6 and SS, a heads-up display on SS V, heated front seats and eight-way power passenger side seat on the Calais, a limited slip differential and new decklid lettering on Calais V, and a lip spoiler, new 19-inch alloy wheels and single exhaust tips for the Caprice V.

The new Commodore was revealed at the custom-built Commodore gallery at Port Melbourne HQ that was set up to celebrate 37 years of the Commodore nameplate by bringing together 30 examples of the car, including one of the first VB models from 1978, concepts and motorsport cars.

The VF Series II Commodore is in Holden showrooms from October, but keen buyers can place an order now.

2015 VFII Commodore pricing*
Sedan
Evoke (a)$35,490
SV6$37,290
SV6 (a)$39,490
Calais (a)$41,290
SS$44,490
SS (a)$46,690
Calais V, V6 (a)$47,990
SSV$47,990
SSV (a)$50,190
SSV Redline$53,990
SSV Redline (a)$56,190
Calais V, V8 (a)$55,490
Caprice V (a)$60,490
Sportswagon
Evoke (a)$37,490
SV6 (a)$41,490
Calais (a)$43,290
SS (a)$48,690
Calais V, V6 (a)$49,990
SSV (a)$52,190
Calais V, V8 (a)$57,490
SSV Redline (a)$58,190
Ute
Evoke$33,490
SV6$33,990
SV6 (a)$36,190
SS$40,990
SS (a)$43,190
SSV$44,490
SSV (a)$46,690
SSV Redline$50,490
SSV Redline (a)$52,690
*Excludes on-road costs

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