The new Holden VF Commodore is out for all to see. It is being hailed as the most technologically advanced vehicle ever produced in Australia and is clearly targeted at the high end of the market. At 35 years old maybe it has grown up and now showing some level of maturity or is its life expectancy still in the balance?
It can automatically park in parallel or 90-degree positions, project a digital speedometer on the windscreen, warn drivers of a front or rear collision, or tell them if they are moving out of their lane and warn of others in the blind spot, all new for an Australian-built car.
Holden showed off a VF Commodore Calais V-Series car in the new Prussian Steel Grey. It’s the flagship model with its newly designed front and rear ends, includes aluminium bootlid and bonnet, and updated interior.
The old geometric look used for the last seven years on the VE model is replaced with a more sculptural shape. It features a higher and wider front grille, slim front guards and a refined central power bulge. There is also a more complex lower bumper arrangement.
Holden has gone for a lower and wider look at the back, with wrap-around taillights merging into the boot-lid and the rear number plate surround dropping to the rear bumper.
Inside is where we see some big changes that are designed to look more like a part of the Chevrolet stable. Using higher-grade plastics and an upgraded appearance helps to achieve this goal. It’s to make the interior more plush, to incorporate new technology, and update the old ergonomic issues.
One of the new features is a new 20cm touchscreen and the latest version of GM’s MyLink audio and info system that has a number of apps allowing Internet streaming, Bluetooth and Smartphone connectivity and DVD ability. An electric handbrake, push-button start, and auto-detection keyless entry also feature for the first time and are fitted to all VF models.
The Holden VF Commodore is the start of a new, globalised era of Australian-made GM products, sharing several interior parts and technologies with other GM models from around the world. This car will be the most technologically advanced car ever built in Australia so far.
The VF Commodore will need to run until the end of 2016 and after that the future of the Commodore is still uncertain. Right now however the Calais V show car is making its mark, the unveiling of the VF Commodore SS followed in mid February, which was planned to coincide with the American unveiling of the Chevrolet SS. Final details on the entry car, pricing, and full specifications including drivetrains are still to come and availability is due around May 2013.