Over in Australia, the Holden Commodore is considered a national treasure, a model that has been around since the 1970’s and is considered as one of the most popular models down under.
So you can imagine why the recent debut of the 2013 VF Commodore, particularly the upscale Calais V trim, is a big deal in the land of the Aussies. Our mates over there love this car and everything it represents as a high-powered luxury sedan with some hints of muscle attached to it.
Unfortunately, it’s rumored to be headed to the trash can in a few years - unlike its American twin, the Chevrolet SS - so the debut of the 2013 VF Commodore is even more special than normal because, well, this could very well be the last version of the almighty Commodore to grace Australia before it’s discontinued.
Let’s all hope that the model has a life left in it, but for now, we’re here to rejoice in the present. And the present says, "Welcome to the world, 2013 Holden VF Commodore!"
Find out more after the jump
We’ve seen some hints on what the exterior look of the Holden VF Commodore was going to look like because of numerous times that its American twin, the Chevrolet SS, has been spotted in the wild. Heck, even that Nascar SS already gave us a pretty clear indication of what to expect with the Australia-only VF Commodore.
Having said that, we still were a little underwhelmed with what the final design looks like. Granted, the new VF Commodore is leaps and bounds better looking than its predecessors, but with the car being pegged as a four-door version of the Camaro, we expected it to be a little more dynamically designed.
There are some elements to it that look pretty neat, particularly the outboard ports that feature the sport chrome over-riders and a combination of an LED daytime running lamp and a park lamp that has been integrated to a stand-out chrome ribbon. That’s a pretty slick and distinguishable design that adds a sportiness and attitude to the VF Commodore’s profile.
The wheel arches also do their part to give the VF Commodore a more aggressive stance and improved aerodynamic capabilities. You can’t go wrong with a good body design that also has its functional purpose.
Admittedly, the rear end design doesn’t do much to tickle our fancy. Holden opted to jazz it up with the inclusion of complex jewelry detailing and chrome rings surround, but the setup, when taken as a whole, is a disappointing relative to the sportier expectations we set for it. Put it this way: when you look at the Holden VF Commodore from the back, it won’t distinguish itself from the rest of the cars in the parking lot.
- 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
- Jeweled 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
If Holden intended to give the interior of the new VF Commodore a sleeker and more refined finish, then they did a pretty good job at it. Unlike the past models, which had interior designs that didn’t do much to give you a feeling of comfort and luxury, the new Commodore’s cabin has a certain feel of refinement to it.
One of the biggest leaps is the instrument panel and the console layouts, which now have a more synchronized feel to them. The buttons are neatly situated with the functions more clearly defined. Even the material used — light titanium and jet black toning — both sound like they’d be more accustomed to be used in luxury cars. Add that with accents, like precision stitching and perforated inserts on the soft leather seat trim, and you can definitely surmise that Holden really did a yeoman’s job in paying careful attention to detail to give the VF Commodore’s interior a plusher and more refined ambience to it.
Oh, and speaking of refined, how about that neutral timber-grained finish that you notice when you examine the full-width curvilinear form of the instrument panel? Heck, anytime a car’s interior has a "neutral timber-grained finish,” to go with high chrome finishes on the weel and sublet galvano silver chrome elements throughout the interior definitely has a special place in our hearts.
- All-new instrument panel with integrated center 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 center 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
Holden has yet to release mechanical details of the VF Commodore. But even if no formal numbers have been dished out, we can pretty much piece together a few clues and put forth our best Sherlock Holmes impersonation. See, the dirty little secret - well, it’s not a secret anymore - about the VF Commodore is that it’s going to head to the US as the Chevrolet SS. Clear enough, right?
Well, certain rumors surrounding the SS seem to suggest that the car will be powered by a V-8 engine that will produce at least 350 horsepower and a peak torque of 381 pound-feet. This powerplant will link up to a rear-wheel-drive setup.
Those numbers are unconfirmed, but hey, we think it’s right inside the ballpark, maybe even in the same section.
|Engine||6.2-liter V-8 (Est.)|
|Transmission||Six-speed automated manual (Est.)|
|Drive Style||Rear-wheel drive|
|Accelerator (0-60)||4.7 seconds (Est.)|
|Top Speed||165 mph (Est.)|
Another undisclosed number, but given that past models retail north of $40,000 AUD in its native land down under, we’d venture a guess that the new VF Commodore will be about the same.
It seems appropriate that the Holden VF Commodore and its competitor, the Ford Falcon, are rumored to be at the tail end of their lives and that both iterations are the last of their kind before they hit that proverbial parking garage in the sky.
It seems a little unfair that the VF Commodore gets a fresh upgrade before it closes shop in 2016 while the Falcon has yet to get its refresh with seemingly no plans by Ford to do anything about it. The Falcon’s advantage is the multitude of trims it can offer to a customer compared to the Commodore. You’re going to have to pay a bigger premium to the tune of about $70,000 AUD, but if you got the money for it, you can opt for the Falcon Boss 335 GT and its 450-horsepower, 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 engine.
Gallery Ford Boss 335 GT
If we lived in Australia and were given a choice between the new VF Commodore and the Falcon and all its trims, we’ll give the edge to the former. It’s newer and even if the exterior design is a tad underwhelming for our liking, that fancy pants interior and the expected powertrain more than makes up for it.
- Interior is luxurious
- Should be affordable
- We’ll see the Chevrolet SS here
- Rear end design looks bland
- Only in Australia