G’day mate: Holden throws the all-new VF Commodore on the Barbie

Normally you wouldn’t see a big fuss from the American press about a large RWD Australian saloon, but this one has special meaning for a few reasons.

First, the obvious…GM’s Australian subsidiary Holden has revealed the all-new VF Commodore in the Land Down Under. Technical specifications are mum at this point, but the saloons should be packed with the usual bits of kit: Auto Park Assist, MyLink infotainment system, Keyless entry and start, Reverse Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Alert, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, and a Head-Up Display. Corvette owners and enthusiasts alike should be very familiar with that last feature.

As far as the exterior goes, if the overall design looks familiar to you, that’s because it bears a striking resemblance to the outgoing Acura RL. I’m pretty sure that Holden did not benchmark the slow-selling luxury saloon for their next redesign, but the Calais V promises to push the entire Commodore range up a notch or two. Most of the luxury touches are on the inside, and they include:

  • All-new instrument panel with integrated centre stack and cowled instrument dials combines infotainment, climate and other controls into a contemporary piece of modern electronics
  • Stylish new seat designs feature new structures and luxury comfort profiles
  • Quality, layered trim finishes in smooth soft-feel leather and suede with perforated leather inserts are accented by twin-needle stitching
  • Strokes of bright and galvano silver chrome and metallic embellishments gleam against jet black and light titanium background hues
  • Ice blue ambient lighting illuminates a re-designed centre console with versatile small item storage solutions and maxi cup holders
  • Ergonomic improvements include a new steering wheel design and a console- mounted electric park brake button

For all of the things that Holden has upgraded in the new Commodore, it seems bizarre that they would go to such great lengths to do so. In case you haven’t already heard by now, the Commodore and its cross-town rival, the Ford Falcon, are both scheduled to make their way into the automotive junkyard in the sky by 2016. However, one key Holden executive has stated that there are bigger plans for the Aussie:

“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.”

That’s right, the General is planning a semi-sequel to the dearly departed Pontiac G8, which disappeared from the Colonies after the brand was shut down back in 2010. It was a part of a huge effort to not only slim down and be more flexible/viable in the long term, but it also was done in order to receive a massive bailout from the American government. Other than the G8, Pontiac had been relegated to a brand chock-full of rebadged grocery getters. Still, it will will be missed, but we’ll be able to wipe away our tears by rolling down the windows, and driving down the road in the all-new Chevrolet SS.

So, will the Commodore and the Falcon go the way of the desert-rat kangaroo? If you listen to those from Holden, probably not, but some have gone on record as saying that at least the Holden will live on. However, its fate is worse than death…it’ll be reborn (or reduced, depending on your point of view) as a large FWD saloon. Fingers crossed that it’ll continue to be able to do smoky burnouts with the rear tyres, as God had intended it to be…

Photo Credit: Holden

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