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.
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.
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.