• Jul 16th 2006 at 3:28PM
  • 20
Holden surprised everyone by unveiling its pair of long-wheelbase sedans, the Statesman and Caprice, alongside the Commodore in Melbourne on Saturday. The development of the Statesman and Caprice cost AUS $190 million in addition to the AUS $1.04 billion spent on the VE Commodore line up. The money appears to be well spent as the two longer wheelbase models share virtually no exterior panels or interior features with the Commodore. We especially like the aggressive front fender flares on the Caprice shown above, as well as the nicely integrated turn markers inside the air vents on the front fenders. Otherwise, however, the two long wheelbase models aren't breaking much ground in design.

The Statesman and Caprice are one of Holden's biggest export models, with versions being sold by Chevy in the Middle East, Buick in China and Daewoo in South Korea. These are truly large sedans, as one glance at either vehicle's rear-seat legroom will tell you. If you read the press release, Holden appears intent on demonstrating that the Statesman and Caprice aren't just long-wheelbase versions of the Commodore, but separately developed vehicles all their own.

Both vehicles will be powered by either the high-output 3.6L V6 developing 261 horsepower and 250 ft-lbs. of torque or the 6.0L V8 that makes 362 horsepower and 390 ft-lbs of torque

The Statesman and Caprice will go on sale in September in Australia, at which time we should more know more details like price, features, and specifications.

(Holden's full press release and many more high-resolution pictures after the jump)

[Source: Holden]
2006 Holden WM Caprice

2006 Holden WM Statesman

Holden's Flagship Statesman And Caprice Go On Show
Sneak peek of Holden's prestige heroes before September launch

The all-new Holden Statesman and Caprice flagship cars today made their international debut in Melbourne in a historic double reveal.
The WM series Statesman and Caprice were unveiled alongside Holden's VE Commodore to highlight the design and development breadth of Australia's first $1 billion car program.

The surprise showing came before the official launch of WM Statesman and Caprice in September.

Statesman and Caprice boast the highest ever level of unique design applied by Holden, with virtually every panel and interior feature different from Commodore.

Holden invested another $190 million to develop the new generation Statesman and Caprice on top of the $1.03 billion VE program, underlining its importance to General Motors.

WM will extend a long-standing role with senior Federal and State politicians, government officials, businesspeople and private buyers in Australia and overseas.

The current Holden long-wheelbase cars have been the best-selling locally built prestige vehicles each year since 2000.

Taking exports into account, they are Holden's second largest-selling locally built vehicles. Holden last year exported more than 27,300 vehicles based on the current WL series Statesman and Caprice, more than seven times the number sold in Australia .

The vehicles carried the General Motors brands of Chevrolet in the Middle East , Buick in China and Daewoo in South Korea as well as Holden in New Zealand . They led Holden to record vehicle exports of 60,518 for 2005.

GM Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Denny Mooney, said the design differences between the all-new WM Statesman and Caprice and the VE Commodore were greater than ever before.

Mr Mooney said Holden decided to reveal both ranges together to highlight the breadth of its design and development achievements.
He said WM would elevate its position as one of the most spacious and accommodating sedans in the world for rear seat passengers.
"This car delivers design themes worthy of its leadership of Australia's automotive hierarchy, a luxury vehicle setting its own path more than ever before," Mr Mooney said.

"The all-new WM Caprice is the most distinctive modern vehicle which Holden has had the pleasure of calling its own.

"Virtually every panel is unique to WM. This car is now our biggest seller overseas which has allowed us to take the car to a whole new level.

"You're not buying a longer Commodore, you're buying a stand-alone car. Caprice will be among the most spacious passenger cars in the world, designed, engineered and manufactured right here in Australia .

"The space and comfort for rear passengers is particularly impressive and relevant for the buyer type and its proportions are truly stunning."

The Holden WM Statesman and Caprice will offer the high output Alloytec 3.6L V6 engine, delivering peak power of 195 kilowatts, and the Generation IV 6.0L V8 alloy engine delivering peak power of 270 kilowatts.

Both vehicles will go on sale in September 2006. Pricing, full specifications and features will be announced closer to the start of sales.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      The Caprice would make a great Saturn. It already has the styling cues to just change the badge and bring it over. It must be tempting for GM considering its history of badge jobs. This would be a good one.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Spear, sorry but you are definately wrong, as Chris has pointed out. The Commodore is a big car. Think wide body Opel Omega with a V8, but entirely new and Designed in Australia by extremely talented designers, who have worked for many of the world's leading brands, such as BMW, Saab, and Lotus to name a few.
      This a fantastic vehicle, one which I am glad to finally see in the metal.
      • 9 Years Ago
      By the time Zeta gets to the North America, gas prices might be high enough to warrant the Ecotec being standard equipment.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "15. Might be fine for Australia, might even be fine for Saturn in the U.S. -- The design is completely derivative, not one new element, a pastiche that is already almost stale.
      ....But I will say, that with that Acura grille and different taillights, it would make a more attractive Acura RL than the one on the road, although the present RL is newer looking.
      THE IMPORTANT QUESTION: can GM use this as a base to make exciting American cars?
      (PS__ not criticizing these for Australia, where they might be completely perfect; how would I know?)"

      Bob, you're kidding yourself right? This car is NOT a deriviative of anything - every element (at least in the chassis) is new!! It was designed new from the ground up - not one single chassis component is shared with any other car on earth. As for design influences - of course there will be design influences - no car is designed in a vacuum. The question is whether those influences are subtle, various and firmly adapted to create a completely unique design OR whether they are few, obvious and simply added without thought to create a vehicle which is nothing more than a hybrid of existing species. The Holden Commodore clearly belongs to the former category and I for one cannot identify any noticeable similarity with ANY car (US or otherwise). The Holden commodore has NOTHING to do with the Acura RL. The Acura RL is nothing more than a rehashed Honda Legend (a car which is also sold in Australia). If you want to talk about stale designs - the Acura RL is a text book example - it shares components with other hondas and is well known for blatantly lifting old mercedes benz designs cues. The Holden Commodore is vastly superior - and completely different from the Acura RL. The comparison is ridiculous. What is more ridiculous (and offensive) is the insinuation that Australians have lower standards than Americans when it comes to vehicle design. The error of that is evidenced by the fact that Australians have historically rejected American imports in favour of European and Japanese cars.


      As for the argument (expressed by some users in this forum) that the commodore is boring and generic. In so far as boring is the opposite of exciting - this car is definately not boring. You cannot be excited about a new car (which most people who see this vehicle clearly are) and at the same time call it boring. As for being generic - if looking like a normal car (albeit an incredibly appealing one) - as distinct from a tacky retro toy (e.g. almost any chrysler car) -means being generic, then I think its a case of guilty as charged!!!!

      • 9 Years Ago
      Not very imaginative but nice. What not selling it in the US as a Chevrolet... Caprice? :-)
      • 9 Years Ago
      Beautiful car...GM should bring it here and sell it as the Chevrolet Caprice!
      • 9 Years Ago
      excuse me, but these cars are simply awesome. What's stopping GM from slapping a Chevy or Pontice mark in front and sell it in US?
      • 9 Years Ago
      Come to think of it, Statesman was a Nash model for a long while!
      • 9 Years Ago
      it's not a holden, its a rebadged Opel Vectra from a couple years back.

      There's a crapload of them here in Poland
      • 9 Years Ago
      Boring, but it looks pretty good. The high-rez images have weird spots, like there was dust on the camera sensor. Also, the headliner seems to be ripped on one of the interior shots (black seats, image WM_Caprice_078, upper-right-hand corner near the rear grab handle). Might want to crop or fix that.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I too like the aggressive front fender flares which are almost identical to those on the 1981 AMC Eagle that I bought new 25 years ago! Of course, AMC was born of an earlier merger of Hudson & Nash. Commodore was a Hudson top of the line model following WWII and was exported to Australia among other countries. At least the Aussies know where to turn for a good automotive idea!
      • 9 Years Ago
      oops... my mistake :)

      to me, it looks almost the same as the vectra
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