What GM's Holden unit declares as the "most technologically-advanced car ever created in Australia", and we'll add to that, perhaps one of the better-looking to come out from the Land Down Under, the new Commodore VF, was finally unveiled today during an exclusive event in the city of Melbourne.
Ironically, it may also be the last Australian-designed and engineered rear-wheel drive, Commodore as Holden itself has announced that it will replace the car with a new model in 2017.
The good news is that Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux confirmed the Commodore's replacement would keep the same name with production continuing to take place in Australia; the bad news is that, according to Drive, he said it would be based on a new global design from GM, meaning it will switch to a front-wheel drive platform.
Nevertheless, for the next four years, the last true-blue Australian Commodore brings a fresh design both inside and out along with new luxury appointments.
From a North American perspective, the Commodore VF is important as it spearheads a new export campaign in the form of the Chevrolet SS Sports Sedan that will be officially unveiled in the USA next week on February 16. As you may have already noticed from our own rendering of the SS, the cosmetic changes over the VF Commodore are expected to be subtle.
“The VF Commodore really is a class above,” said Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux. “No other car created in Australia is as technologically advanced, and we’re very proud that not only was the VF designed and engineered here, but it will also be exported to the USA for GM’s biggest global brand, Chevrolet.”
The VF Commodore, which will be built at Holden Vehicle Operations in Adelaide, South Australia, features lightweight aluminium panels along with other fuel saving features such as electric power steering, and better aerodynamics helping reduce fuel consumption as much as 10 percent over the VE Commodore it replaces.
Holden is not ready to talk about the VF Commodore's engine range yet, but it is expected to continue with a selection of V6 and V8 engines.
New technology features include a standard Auto Park Assist system where the driver operates the pedals but the car effectively parks itself, the latest MyLink infotainment system, and keyless entry and start.
On the safety front, there's a Reverse Traffic Alert system, which warns of vehicles passing when reversing out of spaces, Blind Spot Alert, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning and a Head-Up Display.
Holden boss Devereux added that a lot of attention was paid to make the VF Commodore look and feel more premium.
"The styling is characterised by sculpted forms and richer detailing," he said. "There’s more gleam and polish at every point and careful attention to detail everywhere you look, from the vibrant front fascias and projector headlamp treatments through to the all-new rear end graphics."
"And the key interior elements are entirely new: instrument panel, console, cockpit, seats, steering wheel, switches, shifters, textures, you name it, no detail has escaped attention. Our designers set out with deliberate intent to exceed expectations by creating a cabin with premium large car ambience – a wow factor, if you like – that’s characterised by a fresh sense of luxury, comfort and convenience.
Over the next few months, Holden will also introduce the replacements for the station wagon, Ute, long-wheelbase Caprice and, of course, the HSV performance models of the expanded Commodore family.