After months of speculation and anticipation Holden have today unveiled the all-new Commodore set to hit showrooms in mid-2013 and it’s packed with new technology such as auto part-assist, keyless entry, blind spot alert and more.
There’s a lot riding on the all new VF Commodore – sales of the big family car have been dropping over recent years as competition increases and our purchasing desires move toward the SUV or smaller car markets.
Holden had to dip into their global parent company General Motors stock of features and technologies to add some real value to the VF Commodore because there are plenty of imported models in the Aussie market with some impressive features as standard.
Across all VF models Holden is introducing “Auto Park Assist” which is basically self-parking where all you do is hit the pedals while the car guides itself into the spot. Importantly, and perhaps unique to our market, the system differentiates itself from many others by offering 90 Degree angle parking as well as the standard parallel parks.
While in the car park, you’ll also find a new feature called “Reverse Traffic Alert” which will keep an eye out and warn you of passing or approaching cars when you are reversing out of spaces.
Additionally some other features we’ve seen hit Australian shores through a host of imported European, Asian and American vehicles will be available in the VF Commodore range. Blind-Spot alert, Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning are all part of the advanced tech features in the new model.
Something that isn’t all that widespread, yet is certainly a simple and very useful safety feature is Head-Up Display. Seen on some GM models in the states this is a first for Holden – projecting simple vehicle information such as speed onto the windscreen right in front of the driver.
“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 – It seems they’ve certainly done that.
Like its predecessors the new VF will be made at the Elizabeth plant in South Australia.
With lighter panels making the overall weight lower, plus a more streamlined aerodynamic design, Fuel efficiency has improved in the VF in the hope that will not only keep Australian families buying the Commodore, but also Fleet and Government buyers too.
Inside the VF Commodore there is an all-new instrument panel and centre console (with 8 Inch touch screen MyLink entertainment system), new seat designs, new steering wheel, some versatile storage solutions and in what is clearly a response to owner feedback on the VE model – Holden have moved the window controls to the door arm-rests and the previously well-hidden boot-release control is now in the drivers door.
The hand-pinching park brake lever in the centre console of the VE which was much maligned at the launch of that model some seven years ago has been replaced by an electric park-brake button.
Outside you’ll find LED daytime running lights and fog lights around the lower air-intakes up front – all part of a completely new front and back end design clamped around a familiar cabin and door area.
All this, designed and engineered right here in Australia. Of course there is some fantastic technology transfers from the General Motors parent company in the US but Aussies get our own back with the VF spearheading a new export campaign into the USA as the Chevy SS Sports Sedan which is going to get a fantastic national exposure through the NASCAR series in 2013.
The VE Commodore was a revolution back in 2006. It’s undergone just one small cosmetic change in 2011 as a “Series II” and while it’s still a great car to drive and had the new Holden IQ entertainment system built in, there is a need for Holden to really take a leap forward with the VF and from what we’ve seen they’ve done just that.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.