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Paddle shifters for latest Holden Commodore

Front and centre: The 17-month-old Holden VF Commodore gains a recalibrated electric power steering system, which the company says makes for better on-centre feel.

Holden ups the ante on V8 Commodore ahead of Ford Falcon XR8 launch

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Holden logo9 Oct 2014

By TIM NICHOLSON

HOLDEN’S VF Commodore gains automatic transmission paddle shifters on its top-most V8 model, along with revised steering and other tweaks in a mild range update just weeks ahead of the launch of rival Ford's swansong Falcon.

Adopted from the Holden-built, Commodore-based Chevrolet SS exported to North America, the steering wheel-mounted paddles are only available on the 6.0-litre V8-powered SS V Redline performance flagship – including a newly minted Craig Lowndes special edition (see separate story) – but are expected to spread across the range.

The finger-tip shifters on the six-speed transmission give the hairy-chested Commodore a point of difference over Ford’s born-again XR8 that is set to be launched with the new Falcon range in late November.

The SS V Redline also gains 19-inch black alloy wheels and a black roof option when matched with the Red Hot, Heron White or new Jungle Green body colour.

Another new colour – Some Like it Hot Red – is also on offer across the Commodore range.

Other cosmetic changes include a gloss black rear valance on the SV6, SS, SS V and SS V Redline sedans.

An updated reversing camera with updated software that provides curving target lines is now standard across all Commodores.

Holden has dropped the LPG-powered version of the SV6 and cut the Caprice range down to just one grade – the Caprice V– available with a 3.6-litre V6, 6.0-litre V8 or V6 LPG-powered engine.

Pricing remains mostly static across the board, except for the base Calais and SV6 sedan and Sportwagons which rise by $300, to $40,790 and $36,790 respectively, due to the new inclusion of a full-size spare wheel.

Elsewhere, the Commodore maintains its opening price of $35,490, plus on-roads for the Evoke sedan before topping out at $55,990 for the V8-powered version of the Calais V-Series Sportwagon.

Under the skin, Holden engineers have recalibrated the electric-assisted power steering system for enhanced on-centre steering feel and precision.

The new steering tuning for the Commodore include Touring FE1 for the Evoke, Calais, Calais V and Caprice V, while a Sport FE2 and FE3 tune features on SV6, SS and SS V.

SS V Redline benefit from a new Sport and Competitive FE3 tune.

Standard features that carry over for the SS V Redline include head-up display, park assist, rear parking sensors, forward collision warning, lane change and blind spot monitor, Holden's MyLink infotainment system with an eight-inch colour touchscreen, Isofix child seat anchors and embedded apps including Pandora and Stitcher, Holden chairman and managing director Gerry Dorizas said the updates to the still relatively new Commodore improve a vehicle that he says is in the same league as some of the world's best.

“Although VF is only 17 months old, we are committed to keeping the product fresh and giving customers what they want – this is the essence of any customer-oriented company and our focus on being the most customer-centric brand in Australia,” he said.

“I’ve driven countless cars right around the globe, and the Commodore is a truly world-class vehicle.

“The success of our Calais and Redline models, in particular, speaks to the strength of our product and Commodore’s consumer appeal.”

Sales of the Commodore have returned to respectable levels since the launch of the VF in June last year, with Holden selling 27,766 units in 2013, while year to date, the South Australian-built family favourite is up 26.5 per cent to 23,784 units.

Holden Commodore pricing*
Sedan range
3.0 Evoke (a)$35,490
3.6 Evoke LPG (a)$37,990
3.6 SV6$36,790
3.6 SV6 LPG (a)$41,190
6.0 SS$42,990
6.0 SS V-Series$46,490
6.0 SS-V Redline$52,490
3.6 Calais (a)$40,790
3.6 Calais V-Series (a)$47,990
6.0 Calais V-Series (a)$53,990
Sportwagon range
3.0 Evoke (a)$37,490
3.6 Evoke LPG (a)$39,990
3.6 SV6 (a)$40,990
3.6 SV6 LPG (a)$43,190
6.0 SS (a)$47,190
6.0 SS V-Series (a)$50,690
6.0 SS-V Redline (a)$56,690
3.6 Calais (a)$42,790
3.6 Calais V-Series (a)$49,990
6.0 Calais V-Series (a)$55,990
*Excludes on-road costs.

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