Holden's new Series II VT Commodore, which goes on sale early in June, introduces a range of refinements and added value to enhance the appeal of this best-selling model range and consolidate Commodore's position as Australia's most popular nameplate.
Holden's Chairman and Managing Director, Peter Hanenberger, said the 'new from the ground up' VT Commodore had enjoyed outstanding acceptance since its September 1997 launch.
"Demand was high from the outset, and has never slackened. There are now over 100,000 VT Commodores on the road - each one a reminder that in terms of all-round design, driving dynamics, safety technology and value for money, this is undoubtedly the benchmark car of its class," he said.
"With the launch of the Series II VT Commodore, Holden is now offering even more refinement and an expanded standard features listing to ensure that Commodore's presence in the market is even further strengthened," Mr Hanenberger continued.
"Holden earned market leadership by focusing on the needs of our customers in this highly competitive segment. The Series II VT is an expression of Holden's determination to provide products that, through ongoing refinement, continue to provide market-leading features and value," he concluded.
The Series II VT Commodore and Calais are distinguished by a series of subtle exterior styling changes and new interior treatments. The new range also ushers in a powerful new era of Commodore performance with the introduction of an advanced and fuel efficient Generation III (GENIII) 5.7 litre alloy V8 engine, which is standard on the Commodore SS, along with an all-new 6-speed manual transmission.
Although it produces 23 per cent more power (220kW) and 11.5 per cent more torque (446Nm) than the 5.0 litre V8 it replaces, the more lightweight and compact GENIII V8 is significantly more fuel efficient. Figures indicate that when tested to the AS2877 procedure, the Series II V8 Commodore returns 13.0 litres/100 km on the city cycle and 8.5 litres/100 km on highway cycle for the automatic; and 13.0 litres/100 km and 7.4 litres/100 km respectively for the manual.
Calais now features Holden's smooth and sophisticated Supercharged V6 engine as standard.
VT Commodore's award-winning styling - a powerful and contemporary design characterised by sculptured body lines and a low, wide stance - has played a significant role in its sales success. Exterior styling cues that differentiate the Series II Commodore and identify particular models include revised grille treatments in matt silver and chrome; all-new wheel covers and alloy wheels; clear side and rear indicator lenses; chrome window surrounds; bodyside mouldings and Series II badging. The Holden Calais is further identified by a slim chrome bar on the rear decor panel.
Holden designers have chosen high quality all-new cloth seating trims for each model in the Series II range, which also introduces a new interior colour: Shale - a luxurious, light neutral shade. The Commodore S and SS offer a choice of three distinctive fabric trims that are colour-matched to complement exterior paint finishes.
There are three new paint colours: Phantom - a neutral black with high sparkle, Cinnabar - a rich, deep orange, and Tiger - a highly chromatic orange/gold, replacing Raven, Rubens and Valencia respectively.
From Executive level up, the VT Commodore delivered a remarkably high level of comfort (electric seat adjustment), convenience (six way trip computer, remote boot release) and safety (driver airbag, IRS) features as standard equipment - and the Series II Commodore continues the trend.
All models now offer the added security of remote central deadlocking. This user-friendly theft deterrent feature - it formerly required the key to be turned in the door lock - is now easily activated by pressing the Priority Key twice. Turn signal indicators illuminate for 3 seconds to indicate that the car is in a deadlocked state.
An electric boot release disable function also makes it more difficult for thieves to gain access to the boot. When the vehicle's security system is armed via the Priority Key to lock or deadlock, the in-car boot release button is automatically disabled.
Other clever features include a key off courtesy lamp for extra convenience. When the ignition is switched to 'off' or 'accessories', the centre dome lamp switches on for a 30-second period, illuminating the interior and allowing occupants to locate belongings.
A battery saver function is a further practical upgrade feature linked to the Series II Commodore's high-tech body control module. When the ignition is off, any interior lights left on, including the boot light, will automatically shut down after 60 minutes of inactivity to prevent battery drain.
Demonstrating Holden's leadership in safety technology, side impact airbags (SIAB) are now available across the entire VT Series II range. The unique, seat-mounted SIAB safety system is optional for Commodore Executive, S and SS models, and standard on Acclaim, Berlina and Calais.
Traction control can now be specified with V8 as well as V6 auto powertrain combinations. For the first time, cruise control is available as an option on all models equipped with manual transmission.
The competitively specified Series II Commodore Acclaim sedan and wagon now offer air conditioning as standard.
With a value-for-money equipment listing highlighted by the inclusion of driver, passenger and side impact airbags, independent rear suspension (IRS) and anti-lock braking (ABS) and traction control, Acclaim offers the most complete package of active and passive safety features of any locally manufactured vehicle.
S and SS
In addition to the Series II enhancements already detailed, both S and SS models now offer four power-operated windows as standard.
Demand for the popular Commodore SS sports sedan is expected to increase with the standard fitment of Holden's powerful new 5.7 litre 220kW Generation III alloy V8, identified by a GENIII V8 badge on the SS front fender. It is matched with an all-new, 6-speed manual transmission, (available later in the year) which features close gear ratios and dual synchronisers for a sporty feel with reduced shifting efforts, or optional 4-speed automatic transmission.
The primary safety benefits of four-channel traction control (with auto 'on' and manual switch off) now come standard with Commodore SS automatic.
Complementing the luxury look and feel of new seat trims in softly patterned and textured plush velour, Series II Berlina interiors now feature a woodgrain style transmission surround.
Also exclusive to Series II Berlina and Calais is remote approach lighting, a personal security feature which assists in locating the vehicle at night. When 'unlock' is pressed on the Priority Key, the vehicle's hazard flashers are activated, followed by the headlights, tail lights and interior dome lighting, which remain on for 30 seconds
A new feature, exclusive to Berlina and Calais, is a transmission indicator display (PRND123) in the centre of the instrument panel, which shows the driver the gear that is currently selected.
While the standard Berlina powerplant is the proven ECOTEC 3800 V6, buyers have the choice of Supercharged V6 and GENIII V8 engine options. Side impact airbags are now standard on Berlina sedan and wagon.
The series II Holden Calais, now with the refined Supercharged V6 engine as standard, features new seating trims and bolsters in soft, printed velour and a new woodgrain style instrument panel surround.
The console armrest is leather-covered, the leather-covered transmission handle and handbrake are highlighted with chrome buttons. Side impact airbags are now standard on Calais and tyres increase in size from 215/60 R16 to the 225/55 R16.
|Recommended Retail Pricing|
|Commodore Executive ECOTEC V6 sedan||$29,760 (manual)||No change|
|$30,500 (auto)||No change|
|Commodore Executive ECOTEC V6 wagon||$31,600 (manual)||No change|
|$32,340 (auto)||No change|
|Commodore Acclaim ECOTEC V6 sedan, now with air conditioning and side impact airbags as standard||$36,170 (auto)|
|Commodore Acclaim ECOTEC V6 wagon, now with air conditioning and side impact airbags as standard||$38,010 (auto)|
|Commodore S ECOTEC V6 sedan, now with 4 power windows as standard||$35,560 (manual)|
|Commodore SS GENIII V8, now with traction control (auto) and 4 power windows as standard||$46,650 (manual)|
|Commodore Berlina ECOTEC V6 sedan, now with side impact airbags as standard||$39,800 (auto)||No change|
|Commodore Berlina ECOTEC V6 wagon, now with side impact airbags as standard||$42,600 (auto)||No change|
|Holden Calais Supercharged V6 sedan, now with side impact airbags as standard||$49,760 (auto)||$1,500 decrease|
|Holden Calais with optional ECOTEC V6||$48,760 (auto)||No change|
|Supercharged V6 engine:|
|Commodore Berlina and Commodore S||$2,500|
|Pricing for all other options remains unchanged.|
|Early June 1999|