2014 Holden Commodore Calais - rear three-quarter studio viewHolden has unveiled its redesigned VF Commodore sedan in Australia, and it's making no secret of the fact that its prized rear-wheel-drive sedan will be exported to the USA as the long-awaited Chevrolet SS.

While the Australian arm of General Motors has held back on details concerning the car's mechanicals and engines, we at least get to gaze upon the new exterior shape and interior design. The trim level Holden went with for the debut is the luxurious, upscale Calais V model.

What we see is an evolution of the current Commodore, the design of which was already well-liked by most. The long, low and wide sedan shape is still there, but with a few more creases in the hood, new fender vents, LED daytime running lamps below projector lamp headlights, and a new rear end with an integrated lip spoiler in the deck lid. What we see is a design different enough from the current car that even if the SS looks exactly like this, we won't be getting something that looks like Pontiac G8 wearing a Bowtie (like the police cruiser Caprice does).

The interior of the new VF Commodore, however, is a much bigger leap forward for the car, upgraded with a slicker design that incorporates the latest infotainment technologies. We're talking a big nav screen (featuring the automaker's MyLink system), electronic parking brake, high-res Heads-Up display and, wait for it, power window switches moved to the doors!

The Commodore will also be available with a host of the latest driver tech, including Reverse Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Alert, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning and Auto Park Assist. The latter actually takes semi-automated parking a step forward by not only assisting with parking of the parallel variety, but also working with 90-degree angle parks, as well.

Check out the new VF Commodore in our gallery above, and gander at what official info Holden did provide in the press release below.
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Holden's New VF Commodore Breaks Cover
Australian Designed, Engineered and Manufactured – New Commodore Ushers in Technology Revolution

The most technologically-advanced car ever created in Australia has broken cover.

Unveiled at an exclusive event in Melbourne's stylish Docklands, Holden's new VF Commodore also spearheads a new export campaign to the USA in the form of the Chevrolet SS Sports Sedan. It brings in a host of new technologies that make it not only the best Commodore ever, but also one that is safer, more user-friendly and more fuel efficient.

It also brings new levels of luxury and refinement to the large car segment, with a sumptuous new interior to match its upmarket exterior.

"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."

The VF Commodore, which will be built at Holden Vehicle Operations in the Adelaide suburb of Elizabeth, South Australia, highlights Holden's advanced global design capability and promises a driving experience on a par with top-marque competitors.

It will also be more fuel efficient. Thanks in part to the Federal Government's grant of $39.8 million through the Green Car Innovation Fund, it features lightweight aluminium panels along with other fuel saving features such as electric power steering. It is also more aerodynamic than the VE Commodore it will replace.

Among its many new technology features are some significant safety and driver friendly elements.

Key convenience features include Auto Park Assist on all models, where the driver operates the pedals but the car effectively parks itself. Unlike many similar systems, it also allows drivers to choose between a parallel or 90 degree angle park. It also gets the latest version of Holden's innovative MyLink infotainment system and keyless entry and start.

Safety features include Reverse Traffic Alert, which warns of vehicles passing when reversing out of spaces, Blind Spot Alert, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning and a Head-Up Display, which projects vital safety information such as the car's speed directly onto the windscreen.

The new Calais V-Series sedan, on which the show car is based, will headline an extensively upgraded VF Commodore model range that goes on sale mid-year.

"Our aim with the new VF Commodore was to create a car that challenged some of the broader perceptions people have about the traditional Australian-made large car," said Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux.

"We have created a car that not only serves the loyal buyers who continue to make Commodore one of the most popular cars in Australia, but also a new breed of discerning customer who wants higher levels of luxury and technology in their car.

"When it goes on sale, it will offer levels of quality and sophistication to rival some of the best cars in the world."

The VF Commodore was designed and engineered at Holden's headquarters in Port Melbourne, Victoria.

Holden's Director of Design, Andrew Smith, said the VF exterior design was a precise, contemporary execution that held true to the dynamic poise of its predecessor.

"We've taken a powerful existing form and brought it up to another level, with the feeling now about projecting a real sense of quality and technological aptitude," he said.

"The styling is characterised by sculpted forms and richer detailing. There's more gleam and polish at every point and careful attention to detail everywhere you look, from the vibrant front fascias and projector headlamp treatments through to the all-new rear end graphics.

"And the key interior elements are entirely new: instrument panel, console, cockpit, seats, steering wheel, switches, shifters, textures, you name it, no detail has escaped attention.

"Our designers set out with deliberate intent to exceed expectations by creating a cabin with premium large car ambience – a wow factor, if you like – that's characterised by a fresh sense of luxury, comfort and convenience.

"It's a carefully cohesive design which echoes the detailed aesthetic of the exterior and places emphasis on rich, tactile materials and technical refinement. The ergonomic integration is excellent yet it retains a completely intuitive Holden feel".

"These vehicles reflect the truly international nature of our business and they can certainly hold their own anywhere in the world".

Holden's range-topping V-Series Calais spearheads a strategy aimed at extending its upmarket luxury car appeal to a broader band of buyers.

VF's polished good looks owe much to great bone structure. The brilliant silhouette and athletic, wide track stance that made the award-winning 2006 VE Commodore an automotive style icon now reinforce a street-smart new look that's fresher, more sophisticated and aerodynamically advanced.

The Calais V's streamlined exterior is also more aerodynamically efficient than the model it replaces. Given improved fuel economy as a major VF program target, Holden designers and engineers made extensive use of virtual modelling and wind tunnel technology to create a slippery new shape.

The cabin design was driven by the requirement to integrate a raft of advanced driver assistance and infotainment technologies and to meet demanding GM global benchmarks.

Given the opportunity to make extensive changes, the Holden interior design team went for it full-on. Their aim was to define new targets for perception of quality and interior harmony, using 'best of the best' benchmarking data.

The result is a significant step forward in terms of craftsmanship, custom-tailored materials, fit and finish, ergonomic layout and all-round driving comfort.

Interior themes

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 (goodbye handbrake lever).
Power window switches are relocated to the armrests, the boot release control to the driver's door

VF's evolutionary exterior design is a dynamic, mature execution – more sculptural and highly refined, with exceptional finishes, richer detailing, bright and jewelled accents.

Exterior themes

Up front: the higher, wider front end features complex hood surfacing with a subtle central power bulge; raking spears point focus at prominent signature trapezoidal grilles
Jewelled halogen projector headlamps incorporate a 'curved blade' park lamp effect
Lower air intakes are flanked by LED daytime running lamps and fog lamps
New front fenders complement the flared, aero-sculpted wheel arches
In profile: all potency and forward movement with an upper decklid line that kicks into a slim integrated spoiler; chrome fender vents, larger, multi-spoke, machine-faced wheels
At the rear: a wider, more planted stance. Streamlined, uncluttered graphics are dominated by intricately jewelled new tail lamps that extend into the decklid

About Holden Design

Holden's automotive design facility at company HQ in Port Melbourne, Victoria, is one of nine GM global design studios and the largest of its kind in Australia.

Holden Design is an innovative and creative contributor to major General Motors vehicle programs and its expertise in advanced and production design is tapped by GM affiliates worldwide.

It employs a multi-talented and multi-national team of more than 130 people, among them exterior and interior creative designers, colour and trim designers, advanced designers, clay modellers, fabricators, digital sculptors, visualisation and design quality specialists.

The creative team is led by Michael Simcoe, Executive Director, GMIO design and Andrew Smith, Design Director, GM Holden. It leverages leading edge technology – including Holden's multi-million dollar 3D visualisation studio – to deliver advanced automotive design solutions and drive future strategic opportunities for GM globally.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 150 Comments
      Hazdaz
      • 1 Year Ago
      The more I look at this car, the more I like it. It really is following German-like styling conventions in that the overall shape is sorta-kinda bland, not unlike a 5-series or E class, but its the details that really make these car historically look great. The stance is basically perfect for a large sedan. The rims are large, but not enormous. Its got really nice details in the grill and foglight area, as well as around back. There is a lot of subtle surfacing done on the hood, and yet the sides are very clean. None of it is flashy or out-and-out sexy, but its a very handsome shape that should look good even years from now. Still though, one thing that keeps on coming up is why isn't this a Buick? It actually LOOKS more like a Buick than a Chevy. Also Chevy already has its large Impala sedan, which even though its FWD, will probably be very close in size to this car. Sure Buick has a ton of sedans, but Buicks also tend to cost more, so they could keep more of that premium feel by stuffing it with more stuff if it was a Buick. I do wonder if Buick didn't get this sedan because it will be getting a coupe version of this car in a couple of years. If they used this platform to develop a next-gen Riviera concept-based car, then that would be a great plan.
      Jake
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's a handsome design. Some might find it not striking enough, but I can't find any problem with it.
      PiCASSO
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hot... very nice full-size sedan... looking forward to the Chevrolet version. Let's hope GM doesn't mess it up, as the Holden is hot from both front and back.
        PiCASSO
        • 1 Year Ago
        @PiCASSO
        I'm not sure why the AutoBlog pics not include the interior: http://www.netcarshow.com/holden/2013-vf_commodore_calais_v_concept/1600x1200/wallpaper_0a.htm http://www.netcarshow.com/holden/2013-vf_commodore_calais_v_concept/02.htm http://www.netcarshow.com/holden/2013-vf_commodore_calais_v_concept/02.htm
      bK
      • 1 Year Ago
      this car looks way better than the malibu
      mbukukanyau
      • 1 Year Ago
      In Typical Holden Fashion, its styled like a mandane saloon, but I am sure just like the G8 and the Caprice the cops are driving around, it looks nice in person, with the long hood and hunkered down stance. That said, it would seem the design team (Ed Welburn) tried to accommodate Holden, Chevrolet, Buick and Opel all in one. It would seem to me like its made for grill slapping on. Buick North America would be insane not to take advantage, especially given, they can get away with very modest tweaks.
        RamSport
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mbukukanyau
        My first thought was "this thing has Buick written all over it"
      Dwight Bynum Jr.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Meh.
      Koushiro Izumi
      • 1 Year Ago
      Beautiful car. I can't wait to see what the Chevy version looks like. It would have been nice if Chevrolet called this the Impala SS instead. The current and next generation "Impalas" should have been wearing the "Lumina" nameplates instead.
        Winnie Jenkems
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Koushiro Izumi
        I agree. The new Impala looks really good, but it should be a RWD high performance car if it deserves to wear that name.
      KAG
      • 1 Year Ago
      Looks good, the interior and rear reminds me of the new Buicks. To bad people want there SUV's instead of a nice sedan.
      artandcolour2010
      • 1 Year Ago
      Still very much the G8 to me. Not a bad thing, just not a very new thing. It's very handsome.
      THAY
      • 1 Year Ago
      09 G8 GT here. Awesome car!
        Jay-Zeus
        • 1 Year Ago
        @THAY
        09 G8 GT here as well - I really like this car and look forward to the SS variant. Hopefully they eventually offer a model priced around $30K. V8 or not I want a decent RWD sedan similar to the Charger but be a rental/cop special.
          Jay-Zeus
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jay-Zeus
          sigh... NOT be a rental/cop special...
      SetNick
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is what a global car should look like. They really out-did themselves this time.
      adam1keith1980
      • 1 Year Ago
      Now, imagine how awkward this car would look if it were transverse engine FWD. Aesthetic and handling is why a RWD-based platform is better than FWD.
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