• Feb 28, 2008
Click image for a high-res gallery of the VE Sportwagon SS-V

Wagons are cool. They're practical, too -- a fact most of the world outside North America seems to fully understand. Alas, we're here in the land of the crossover. Sure, there are some nice ones, but they aren't nearly as fun as what Holden has brewing. Following up the "concept" that made its debut in Sydney last October, Holden has formally unveiled the VE Sportwagon, which comes in the same range of trim levels as the VE Commodore sedan, up to and including the musclebound, tire-immolating SS-V, which is shown above.

Depending on trim level, non-SS models generally come with one of two 3.6L Alloytec V6 engines (this is the same 3.6 you'll find in any number of US GM vehicles -- the Alloytec-branded motors are manufactured in Australia, however). The standard one is good for 241 hp / 243 lb-ft via a 4-speed automatic. The "high-output" version delivers 261 hp / 250 lb-ft courtesy of a 5-speed auto with a manumatic feature. The SSvand SS-V get the 6.0L, 362-horsepower / 390 lb-ft V8 as standard equipment. It's mated to a 6-speed automatic, also with a manual-shift feature. Optionally, the Calais V can be had with this powertrain as well.

The SS-V is our fave, with HID lamps, big 19" wheels, and the full muscle-machine look of its sedan counterpart, just with more space for your stuff. Sadly, Pontiac won't be getting a version of the VE Sportwagon, which would have been a much cooler Poncho family hauler than the '87 Safari 9-seater (navy blue with the woodgrain stickers and yacht-like steering) this Autoblogger learned to drive in. Chalk up yet another win for Aussie gearheads, who'll get a highly practical and stylish vehicle that can do burnouts at will.



[Source: Holden]

PRESS RELEASE:
VE Sportwagon Offers Great Value And Choice

GM Holden released pricing for the all-new VE Sportwagon at the Melbourne International Motor Show today, adding great value to its list of attractive features.

The 2008 VE Sportwagon range starts from as little as $37,790 # for Omega, with each of the seven models only $1,000 more than their VE sedan equivalent.

At $41,290 #, the new VE Sportwagon Berlina is an amazing $5,600 less than its VZ wagon equivalent whilst offering a range of engineering advances and safety features including Electronic Stability Program (ESP ® ) , Rear Park Assist and six airbags which are standard across the range.

Having more than doubled the model range from three in VZ to seven in VE, the new Sportwagon offers buyers more choice and more features to further enhance its appeal to both private and business customers.

GM Holden's Executive Director of Sales, Marketing and Aftersales, Alan Batey, said value and choice would be key features that would attract buyers to the new VE Sportwagon.

"The Australian market is becoming increasingly challenging and at Holden we believe the VE Sportwagon's pricing, sedan-like handling and stylish design will ensure it has the competitive edge it needs to succeed in its segment.

"The extended VE range offers real choices in practicality and flexibility to both the business buyer and Aussie families.

"With safety features such as ESP and six airbags as standard across the range, many potential buyers will see this as a great value car which ticks all the right boxes," Mr Batey said.

VE Sportwagon Model and Powertrain Line-up:

Omega
Alloytec V6 with 4 speed auto transmission

Berlina
Alloytec V6 with 4 speed auto transmission

SV6
High Output Alloytec V6 with 5 speed auto transmission

SS
Gen 4 V8 with 6 speed manual transmission -or-
Gen 4 V8 with 6 speed auto transmission (optional)

SS V-Series
Gen 4 V8 with 6 speed manual transmission -or-
Gen 4 V8 with 6 speed auto transmission (optional)

Calais
High Output Alloytec V6 with 5 speed auto transmission

Calais V-Series
High Output Alloytec V6 with 5 speed auto transmission -or-
Gen 4 V8 with 6 speed auto transmission (optional)

# RRP – excludes dealer delivery and Government charges

VE Sportwagon Highlights

Overview:

* Great style, performance and practicality
* All the storage advantages that comes with a wagon
* Seats 5 adults in comfort
* Higher cargo floor making it easier to load items into the cargo area
* Flexible cargo cover for security, with innovative D-pillar tracks for added functionality
* 60:40 split 2nd row seat which can be folded flat for storage of larger items
* Innovative opening tailgate which requires less opening space

Safety

* Electronic Stability Program (ESP ® ) standard on all models
* Driver, front passenger and side impact airbags standard on all models
* Curtain airbags standard on all models
* Occupant protection system designed for the real world driving environment
* Ultra-stiff body structure, multiple load path strategy and structurally optimised front & rear deformation zones

Technology

* Rear Park Assist standard on all models
* Roof-mounted DVD system available on selected models
* Integrated navigation system available on all models
* Multi-function driver information display system

Performance

* The multi-link Linear Control Suspension system is the most advanced suspension design ever under a Holden
* Large, fade-resistant brake systems help reduce stopping distances
* Increased diameter wheel and tyre packages for braking and cornering control
* As on sedan, two V6 engine versions will be available: an Alloytec 3.6 litre V6 with single exhaust; and the Alloytec High Output 3.6 litre V6 with dual exhaust
* 6.0 litre Generation 4 Alloy V8 coupled with a six-speed manual transmission, or optional six-speed automatic transmission

Omega
Standard features on Omega include:

* 3.6L Alloytec V6, peak power 180kW, peak torque 330Nm*, four-speed automatic
* Electronic Stability Program (ESP ® ) including Anti-lock Braking System, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Electronic Brake Assist and Traction Control
* Four 16-inch alloy wheels
* Multifunction steering wheel
* Multifunction driver display
* Cruise control
* Rear Park Assist
* Automatic headlamp mode
* Single disc CD player
* Dual stage front airbags; side and curtain impact airbags

Berlina
Berlina has all Omega standard features and in addition:

* Four 17-inch alloy wheels
* Front fog lamps
* Leather wrap steering wheel
* Trip computer with triple display
* Bluetooth ® connectivity for compatible mobile phones
* Six-disc in-dash CD player, MP3 compatible
* Four-way electric adjustment of driver's seat
* Dual zone electronic climate control
* Six-inch multifunction display screen

SV6
SV6 features include:

* 3.6L High Output Alloytec V6, peak power 195kW, peak torque 340Nm*, five-speed automatic with Active Select
* Sports suspension
* Four 18-inch alloy wheels
* Leather wrap steering wheel
* Bluetooth ® connectivity for compatible mobile phones
* Single disc CD player
* Sports interior
* Sports body kit
* Dual exhaust
* Chrome highlights
* Rear Park Assist

SS
SS features include:

* 6.0L V8, peak power 270kW, peak torque 530Nm ** , six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic with Active Select
* Limited Slip Differential
* Sports suspension
* Four 18-inch alloy wheels
* Bluetooth ® connectivity for compatible mobile phones
* Six-disc in-dash CD player, MP3 compatible
* Sports front seats
* Rear Park Assist

SS V
SS V has all SS standard features and in addition:

* Projector headlamps
* Alloy faced pedals
* Four 19-inch alloy wheels
* Leather wrap gear selector
* Leather wrap sports profile steering wheel
* Leather seat inserts
* Dual zone electronic climate control
* 6.5-inch multi-function display screen
* Zone based Rear Park Assist

Calais
Calais features include:

* 3.6L High Output Alloytec V6, peak power 195kW, peak torque 340Nm*, five-speed automatic with Active Select
* Four 17-inch alloy wheels
* Leather wrap gear selector
* Leather wrap steering wheel
* Trip computer with triple display
* Bluetooth ® connectivity for compatible mobile phones
* Projector headlamps
* Six-disc in-dash CD player, MP3 compatible
* Six-way electric adjustment of driver's seat
* Dual zone electronic climate control
* 6.5-inch multi-function display screen
* Zone based Rear Park Assist

Calais V
Calais V has all Calais standard features and in addition:

* Four 18-inch alloy wheels
* Chrome finish body side mouldings
* Chrome highlights on exterior door handles
* Leather wrap sports profile steering wheel
* Zone based Front and Rear Park Assist
* Rain Sensing Wipers
* Rear overhead DVD
* Eight-way driver and front passenger seat
* Leather seat trim
* Memory settings for driver seat & exterior mirrors





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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I soooooo wanted a G8. Then the wagon came out. I wanted that even more. Then GM cancelled it. No wonder American automakers have declining sales. What are they afraid of. We have succumbed to all these "special interests" that now seem to dictate what we can drive (or not), instead of focusing on education and the poor. Americans have been known to drive what they want to no matter what gas prices are. It's a shame that this and other automoviles won't be coming over, sadly I know it won't be the last.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hey Paul, I think Japanese is probably a better bet for reliablility. Mine was a '96 model which had done 350,000km so I guess it was nearing its end anyway. I had been having a few little electrical gremlins so I booked it in to get checked on the monday. Tried to start it on Sunday and it just went up in flames. Nobody hurt and to be honest I am glad to see the end of it. You are right though that this new one will probably be the best ever. Will be interesting to see how it goes for longevity.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I really don't understand their decision to cancel this product for Pontiac's lineup. This would give Pontiac a product to sell that offers greater utility without abandoning their "Pontiac Is CAR!" position in the market. It wouldn't add an extraordinary amount of sales volume to Pontiac, but it would augment the division's sales performance with a minimum of investment. To me, this product makes a heck of a lot more since for Pontiac than rebadging and importing a Holden Ute trucklet.
      • 6 Years Ago
      http://www.familycar.com/RoadTests/MazdaProtege5/Images/LeftFront.jpg

      There are some good similarities (as with most wagons) except that the Holden looks grown up while the Mazda looks more cutesy with a bit of Subaru thrown in. Despite the similarities, the Holden design just blows the Mazda away looks-wise.

      Oh, and the Holden has a V8, RWD drivetrain, there's that too.
      • 6 Years Ago
      @ Almost Dr... It's at about $1.40 per litre at the moment. That doesn't really align with our love of big V8's but I guess there are still a few out there who are willing to pay that cost.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Holden reinvents the Protégé5.

      Wow...
      I mean, *yawn*.
      • 6 Years Ago
      @ Paul, why no holden ever again? I happen to share you view but I'm just curious. My commodore spontaneously combusted a couple of weeks back so I bought a camry.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hi Smeagle Hope your allright.
        Two of my Brothers had Commodore's with probs, My Mother inlaw had a VxII ss which was a complete lemon. At the moment i'm sticking to Mitsubishi's, on my third with no probs, By the way i travel around 250 km's a day. To be Fair though this new Commodore is proberbly the best holden product for along time.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Nice work Australia :D just a copy of an 6 years old Opel Vectra C (Caravan) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opel_Vectra and a front of the smaller Holden (also first Opel) Astra... Europeans seem to be the designers for Australian cars :D but nevertheless enjoy the "quality" of GM...greetings from Europe ;)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well, considering the fact that this is a large rear-drive car on the Zeta platform, it probably doesn't have a lot more in common with the Vectra than perhaps some switchgear and the fact that both have 4 wheels.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow! I had a major typo in my previous post.

      It should have read: "To me, this product makes a heck of a lot more SENSE for Pontiac than rebadging and importing a Holden Ute trucklet."

      Yikes!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm guessing the real reason GM decided not to sell this variant here is because Holden is only supplying 30,000 cars per year and even a small percentage of that in wagons would not have returned the investment in certifying it for US sale.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Its too bad we here in the US will never see one...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow...just wow!! This is a car I would absolutely purchase. I'd want it blue just like the pictures.

      GM...please bring this car over here. I will give you a deposit right now!!! Hell, I'll trade in my Vette on the car!!!
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