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VZ Commodore: Design previews VE

Ridges resort: Holden has introduced two clear ridges onto the bonnet of the VZ range.

Holden hints at the next generation Commodore with last V-car update

10 Aug 2004

LOOK at VZ and squint hard because here’s the strongest hint yet to what Holden’s all-new VE Commodore will look like when it is launched in the first half of 2006.

While VZ itself is an evolution of the sharper and more aggressive lines introduced with the VY Commodore mid-life makeover, Holden design director Tony Stolfo makes it clear that it represents more than that.

“VZ shows a hint of the design direction we will take with the next generation V-car,” Mr Stolfo confirmed at last Thursday night’s VZ media launch.

Going by Mr Stolfo’s hints, we can expect VE to be a taut and crisp design with clear European overtones.

And it’s noticeable that Holden has attempted to give the impression of a lower ride height and more aggressive stance for VZ via the new front-end look.

“The significantly stronger new graphics accentuate width across the front,” Mr Stolfo said. “Road presence is emphasised by the larger air intake openings, the use of textures and a more compact headlamp design.

“The more powerful form of the new bonnet is a big contributor. The twin spears that develop from the bottom of the fascia, through the radiator grille to chase across the top of the bonnet are consistent with GM Euro themes and give a more pronounced, sculptured appearance.” The VZ is the last significant restyling of the current V-car before it abandons its ancient Opel-sourced underpinnings for an all-new locally developed architecture called Zeta.

The VE and WM long wheelbase external design development has been led by Richard Ferlazzo with another senior designer, Peter Hughes, responsible for the exterior shaping of the staple Commodore sedan.

Both Mr Ferlazzo and Mr Hughes are among Holden’s group of young stars who emerged with the VT Commodore under the tutelage of Mike Simcoe.

Sources within and close to Holden who have see the VE shape insist it is an outstanding design.

The use of VZ as an introduction to VE styling cues is a tactic common in many new model introductions across the history of the automotive industry.

Styling features of the VZ range include:
• Single sports bar grille theme
• Wider and deeper grille opening
• More compact headlights
• Textured mesh inserts in the larger air intakes differ from one model level to another – either cross-hatched (base models), oval (luxury) or hexagonal (sports)
• New design wheel covers for Executive and alloy wheels for the rest
• V6 models get new Alloytec badging Individual model treatments include: Executive and Acclaim:
• Larger Holden symbol in grille
• Body coloured lower facia, rockers, décor panel and bumper
• Silver chrome bezels
• Taller tail-lights with semi-opaque lens and banded reverse and turn indicators Berlina:
• Jewelled projector headlights
• Twin horizontal row of halogen parking lamps
• Deeper chrome bonnet header
• Centre stack now includes ‘Topcap’ lidded bin
• Foglights with free-form reflectors
• Charcoal woodgrain finish on instrument panel and console surround Calais:
• Twin horizontal row of halogen parking lamps
• Deeper chrome bonnet header
• Projector headlights with black bezel treatment
• Jewelled-effect foglights with chrome surround
• Centre stack now includes’Topcap’ lidded bin
• ‘Piano Black’ decorative finish on the instrument panel and console surrounds SV6:
• Larger Holden symbol in grille
• All-new rear tail-light treatment including circular lamps
• Large front air dam
• Black bezel headlight surrounds
• Foglights in lower facia
• New-design spoiler with black insert
• Oval exhaust tip SV8:
• Larger Holden symbol in grille
• All-new rear tail-light treatment including circular lamps
• Black bezel headlight treatment
• New-design spoiler with black insert SS:
• Twin horizontal row of halogen parking lamps
• Larger Holden symbol in grille
• All-new rear lamp treatment
• Chrome fender vents
• Jewelled, black-bezelled projector headlights
• Foglights with free-form reflectors
• New rear spoiler with aero foils on the underside
• Twin chrome exhaust tips New Caprice and Statesman styling features include:
• LED brake lights
• A new dark mercury silver called Odyssey
• Reed/Light Reed beige interior Statesman:
• New grille with vertical chrome highlights
• More technical looking 16-inch alloy wheels Caprice:
• Front facia features enlarged lower intake and more aggressive surface treatment
• New rocker skirts
• New rear facia which incorporates a lower moulding
• Chrome surrounds for LED tail-lights

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