The new Commodore was unveiled overnight at Holden’s headquarters in Melbourne, Australia, with the automaker’s chairman, Mike Devereux, on hand to present it.
Devereux confirmed just days ago that a next-generation Commodore is already in the works and is due at the end of 2016. That gives the latest VF model only a three-year shelf life, though this is natural considering the VF is just a facelift, albeit a significant one, of the previous VE Commodore that’s been on sale since 2006 and formerly sold in the U.S. as the Pontiac G8.
The latest update brings a host of new technologies that make the VF not only the best Commodore ever, but also one that is safer, more user-friendly and more fuel efficient.
As predicted, the car features some lightweight aluminum panels along with other fuel saving features such as electric power steering. It is also more aerodynamic than the VE it replaces.
The car also gets the latest in infotainment and convenience features including self-steering park assist (for both parallel and 90-degree parking), a MyLink infotainment system with touch-screen and voice-activated control, and keyless entry and start.
Safety features include reverse traffic alert, blind spot and lane departing warning, a heads-up display and a forward collision alert system.
So far no powertrain details have been announced, nor any specifics for performance and fuel economy. In Australia, the engines from the outgoing VE are expected to carry over with minor improvements for performance and economy.
This means a 3.0-liter V-6 in the base model, a 3.6-liter V-6 in mid-spec models and a LS V-8 engine in range-topping models. Previous transmissions included six-speed manual and automatics. The Chevy SS is expected to arrive exclusively with a V-8 engine.
The updates are certainly a major improvement over the already impressive VE, particularly in the levels of refinement and quality. The new styling is characterized by sculpted forms and richer detailing and features a distinct European look. The tail section, for example, wouldn’t look out of place on an Opel.
The interior, meanwhile, looks to be miles ahead of the one from the VE. Most of the key areas here are entirely new: instrument panel, console, cockpit, seats, steering wheel, switches, shifters, textures, you name it, no detail has escaped attention.
While the new VF Holden Commodore goes on sale in Australia mid-year, we’ll have to wait until the second half of the year to sample the 2014 Chevrolet SS. The cars will eventually be sold on four continents, though Holden hasn't mentioned specific markets just yet.
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