The new VX Commodore range which goes on sale in October and replaces the VT Commodore is set to reaffirm Holden's position of automotive industry leadership.
While retaining the key attributes that won the VT Commodore such emphatic market acceptance, the VX Commodore range offers a higher degree of refinement, achieved through a series of design, engineering and feature upgrades.
Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Peter Hanenberger, said the VX Commodore represented the most important product launch for Holden this year.
"Our challenge was to take an extremely successful design and freshen it while retaining its huge appeal.
"The solution was to retain as much of the original VT as possible and introduce graphic cues that make each model in the range more distinctive. In this way, we've achieved the dual objectives of maintaining Commodore's design integrity and responding to wishes expressed by our customers for a more individually tailored model range," he said.
"But it goes beyond the external appearance - there are refinements right through the car, for example the side impact safety advances are of particular significance," he added.
"We also set a high priority on retaining another major asset, which is the value that is built into this car. When the VT was launched, it delivered a level of value that actually surprised the market.
"We've held a tight rein on pricing ever since and our objective is to preserve the value equation with VX Commodore. We have upgraded standard features across the range and optimised yet another key Commodore asset - its great driveability," Peter Hanenberger concluded.
Styling changes, accented by new headlamps, grilles and bumpers, highlight Commodore's good looks and provide more differentiation between models.
Holden also reinforces its leadership in safety technology by specifying ABS anti-lock braking system as standard on every Commodore and by introducing an advanced structural design that improves protection in side impact crashes.
Powertrain improvements deliver increased, class-leading fuel efficiency, enhanced performance and driving dynamics.
The option of sophisticated, Supercharged V6 performance is now available to Executive and Acclaim sedan buyers - and Commodore sedans and wagons maintain their value advantage with the addition of more comfort and convenience features, including a CD player with steering wheel controls, right across the range.
In delivering a fresh interpretation of Commodore's award-winning design, Holden stylists have emphasised the special character of each model level. Major features include two clear and brilliant new-tech headlamp designs, two rear d?cor panel treatments and a selection of well-integrated and specific new bumper fascias.
VX Commodore Executive and Acclaim continue with the traditional twin port Holden grille, now wider and deeper, flanked by striking teardrop headlamps with complex reflectors and crystal clear polycarbonate lenses. A new, short overhang front bumper incorporates a three-slot air intake. At the rear, the d?cor panel is now body-coloured, there are new-look, transparent tail lamps and the grooved bumper fascia incorporates slim, oval-shaped reflectors.
The Commodore S and SS present a lower and more purposeful stance - underlining their performance credentials. A black-bladed, twin port grille is now integral with an impressive one-piece bumper and larger air dam. They also feature clear, teardrop headlamps - outlined with black bezels, above circular fog lamps, in the case of the SS. Further performance cues include sculptured rocker mouldings, unique rear bumpers and new decklid spoilers.
While subtly differentiated from one another, the luxury level Berlina and Holden Calais stand distinctly apart - immediately identifiable by an exclusive, full width grille that flows into rectangular-style headlamps. The rear treatment is also unique, featuring a full width d?cor panel that incorporates tail lamps. Slightly extended bumpers make for a sleeker silhouette. Bright chrome highlights and machined finish alloy wheels continue the prestige theme.
VX Commodore offers a wider choice of 12 exterior colours, including six new to the range. Interiors are updated throughout. Seat trim fabrics and door trim inserts are completely new, designed with the emphasis on soft-feel luxury and colour-coded harmony. Holden Calais, SS and S models sport a smart, two-textured leather steering wheel trim.
The individual appeal of the Commodore SS is further promoted with the introduction of customised colour finishes on instrument clusters and metallised console fascias that are specifically colour keyed to complement exterior colours.
The VX range benefits from 'fine tuning' engineering refinements that will ensure it furthers Commodore's reputation as Australia's favourite driver's car. Driveline improvements, recalibrated and more powerful electronics, suspension changes and noise isolation measures combine to deliver smoother, more responsive performance, a three-to-four per cent improvement in fuel economy and a quieter ride.
Upgrades include a new design propshaft with dual rubber couplings and a faster, more powerful Powertrain Control Module (PCM). A larger idle air control valve improves cold start performance and idle quality; a more even distribution of positive crankcase ventilation gases between cylinders makes for more balanced engine performance and better spark control.
Commodore's ECOTEC V6 now produces more power - up 5kW to 152kW @ 5,200 rpm - with improved fuel economy.
Fuel consumption is a class-leading 11 litres/100kms on the city cycle and 6.6 litres /100kms on the highway cycle.
The V6 automatic transmission shift pattern has been modified for improved responsiveness and driveability, and Commodore's 'dual fuel' LPG option is now even more user friendly, allowing on-the-move switches from one fuel to another.
The performance of Commodore's 5.7 litre GEN III V8 is also enhanced, courtesy of a higher-flow inlet manifold and higher dynamic range fuel injectors, which assist in increasing power output from 220kW to 225kW @ 5200 rpm. New PCM software and recalibrations produce faster starts, improved idle and automatic transmission shift quality.
Front suspension changes - to the lower control arm pivot and stabiliser strut link - deliver a more progressive steering response and more even predictable handling qualities.
To complement VX Commodore's smoother ride quality, Holden engineers focused on reducing cabin noise - via foam-filled side pillars and a range of features which deflect and deaden airborne road noise and also lower wind noise - resulting in a quieter passenger compartment.
With the help of data derived from a major side impact crash investigation program it is conducting in conjunction with the Monash University Accident Research Centre, Holden has developed a new concept in side structure for VX Commodore which provides occupants with measurably better protection from injury.
Rather than simply being strengthened to meet government regulation, the central side (B) pillar is designed to deform in a certain way when it is impacted, changing the velocity profile so that the highest loadings are directed downwards and away from the body's most vulnerable areas: the head, neck and chest.
Further side impact injury protection measures include the introduction of energy-absorbing foam into door inners, revised door trim profiles and breakaway interior door handles.
In a first for a locally-produced family car, the safety benefits of ABS anti-lock braking are now standard across the VX Commodore range. Traction control is now available on models fitted with manual transmission.
Low beam headlamp performance has been significantly enhanced through the use of complex reflector technology which results in improved spread, penetration and evenness of the beam pattern.
The Supercharged V6 engine option is now available on Executive and Acclaim sedan models. Sound systems now feature a CD player as standard, and all models have steering wheel-mounted sound system controls.
Executive, Acclaim and S models now offer an automatically retracting power antenna; traction control is now standard on Berlina; and Acclaim and Berlina feature height adjustable front seat belts.
A driver's vanity mirror with sliding cover is now standard across the range, Acclaim features four power windows as standard and the Calais sports a boot-mounted luggage net for improved small item storage.
New Range Colours
Quicksilver - sharp silver with brilliant highlights; Shanghai Red - rich, chromatic mid-toned red; Dark Chestnut - deep chocolate with red highlights; Grey Storm - smoky grey with blue highlights; Red Hot - brilliant, highly chromatic solid red; Genesis Blue - traditional dark navy blue metallic.
On sale: October