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)
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.