Holden Special Vehicles recently debuted their enhanced and refreshed line of Commodore VF variants dubbed the “Gen-F” across the eight specialty models built to satisfy power-mad Australians’ thirst for large and fast rear-drive performance models. One highlight in the diverse range is the Clubsport R8 Tourer; a svelte but practical wagon that can be had with optional SV Enhanced power package, forged wheels and launch control to manage the 455-horsepower surge.
Much more than a facelift, the Gen-F series new nose touts the 2013 models’ significant performance enhancements, technology upgrades, and far better infotainment and cabin design on the inside. The big news is that HSV is getting real-time access to the latest GM innovations in a quest to reinvigorate the stalling Australian large-car market with top-end performance models.
Best known for donating its butch platform to the genetic scientists at GM, the Commodore has been used for Cadillacs, Pontiacs and Chevrolets with little commercial success but a big fan following. Until the brand closed in 2009, the Pontiac G8 GT filled an enthusiast gap in the GM lineup with its V-8 grunt, manual transmission and laugh-riot tire shredding – it even won its own re-birth as the current Chevrolet Caprice PPV.
Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) announced today the first details on the Gen-F lineup, which it has dubbed "the greatest performance production cars ever built in Australia." The new Gen-F lineup will include five different vehicles: Maloo, Clubsport /Clubsport Tourer, Senator Signature and the range-topping GTS.
The new Gen-F lineup received a more sophisticated, modern and integrated design, with the GTS version being distinguished by updated bumpers, a larger super-flow performance spoiler finished in body color with “Pitch Black” accenting and 20-inch forged-alloy wheels in Satin Graphite.
Holden is also offering an all-new premium interior with new seats and fabrics, instrument panel, cluster, gauges, center console, trims and finishes. The GTS version if offering tons of standard features, like its 9-speaker Bose premium audio system that includes: an 8-inch high-resolution, color touch-screen display; a USB input; single CD player with MP3 compatibility; hard-drive storage; and full iPod integration.
Click past the jump to read more about the HSV GTS.
We are finally going to see the production version of the Chevy SS this weekend at the Daytona International Speedway’s fan zone and today Holden has unveiled a new model that will give us a good idea of how the SS will look.
The new VF Commodore SS V comes just a few days after the standard VF Commodore was unveiled. The new SS V model is, in fact, just a performance version of the new VF Commodore sport luxury range.
However, unlike the new VF Commodore, the new SS V version will be distinguished by a more aggressive and wider body kit with a narrower grille and an aluminum hood with center crease. What we love is that custom Fantale orange metallic paint specially created by Holden for the show car. For the interior, Holden will be offering a combination of suede, galvano chrome, gloss black and perforated leather with accent stitching.
Hit the jump to read more about the Holden VF Commodore SS V.
A few days after Holden officially pulled the covers off of the new VF Commodore, the model’s race car version, the VF Commodore V8 Supercar was also introduced, providing fans of Australia’s V8 Supercar Series a glimpse of what the new model is going to look like before it hits the track this season.
This year, the V8 Supercar Series will race under new “Car of the Future” regulations, which were put into place to make cars more affordable to build and attract more manufacturers to compete in the series.
This particular racecar was built by Holden’s in-house racing team, Holden Racing Team, and carries a few styling cues used in the new VF Commodore, including the trapezoidal gaping front grille. More importantly, those bumpers in the racecar appear to be similar in design to what we’ve seen from the U.S.-bound Chevrolet SS, whose own debut has been scheduled for this coming weekend.
On the flip side, the race version of the VF Commodore will be fitted with a Chevrolet-sourced 5.0-liter V-8 engine that produces 650 horsepower and mates to a sequential gearbox with power sent to the rear wheels. That’s a lot more power than the rumored 350-horsepower, V-8 engine the production VF Commodore may feature.
In any case, the debut of the VF Commodore V8 Supercars Race Car does point to the excitement surrounding the opening of the 2013 season of the V8 Supercars Series at the end of the month.
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!"
In Europe, the high performance version of Opel models are sold under the OPC name, in Britain Vauxhall opted for VXR and, in Australia, they have Holden Special Vehicles. Their latest creation is a special edition GTS built to celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary. This special edition GTS will be limited to only 140 units: 125 for Australia and 15 for New Zealand.
The HSV GTS is powered by a 6.2 liter, LS3 V8 engine (same used in the standard GTS) that delivers a total of 435 HP, but it will be set apart by a series of special features. These include 20" forged alloy wheels with Satin Graphite finish, and unique ’Vector’ hood scoops and side vents.
The model will also be offered with standard equipment that includes magnetic ride control suspension, navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, blind-spot monitoring, and a bi-mode exhaust.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 HSV GTS 25th Anniversary Edition.
Australia’s V8 Supercars Series is one of the most unheralded, yet ultimately exciting, racing series in the world. Long being the turf of Ford and Holden, the 2013 season will see the invasion of international automakers like Nissan and Mercedes-Benz.
But if these two brands are to make an impression, they’re going to have to go past old guard Holden and its new Commodore V8 Car of The Future Race Car. Built and co-developed by Walkinshaw Racing, the new Commodore stands in the way as the old guard that’s ready to put the newbies in their rightful place.
The matte finish carbon fiber body with matching gold accents offer a study in intimidation akin to the colors of Lotus. Power, on the flip, comes from a Chevrolet sourced 5.0-liter V8 engine that produces north of 600 horsepower, enough kick to give new participants a rude awakening yet efficient enough to meet Car of the Future racing regulations.
Needless to say, the new Commodore V8 Car of the Future Race Car is a mighty contender to keep the title on Australian soil. Any of the new - and foreign - automakers will have to deal with this Australian powerhouse if it hopes to make a successful run at the V8 Supercar Series next year.
Holden has official re-released the Holden Thunder Ute, which we all assume will eventually makes its way to the U.S. as the resurrection of the El Camino. With its reintroduction, Holden needed a new advertising campaign. With an advertising campaign comes the need for a new slogan, and “The Ute, Americans are begging us to let ’em use it’” is just too long.
Well, Holden turned to its fans to come up with the new slogan, via everyone’s favorite medium, Facebook. Fortunately, those Aussie blokes are rather creative, as they came up with the slogan “No backseat drivers.” That makes perfect sense, as the Thunder Ute has only two seats and a truck bed. It would have been a little more difficult had GM chosen to go the Subaru Brat route and put two seats in the bed. Then, you technical would have backseat drivers. You can even see the new ad slogan in use in the above Thunder Ute commercial.
For a refresher, the Ute Thunder comes standard with a 280-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6 standard and has an optional 360-horsepowerpower 6.0-liter V-8. It also has a special charcoal-colored 19-inch rims and a slew of other standard features.
Now the only question remaining is when will GM officially start “leaking” information about the Thunder Ute coming to the U.S. as the El Camino? We are willing to put a dollar on it being here within five years. Then again, it was rumored to be returning with the previous Ute rendition, so we could be in for just a bunch of teasing and jealousy.
It’s not too often that us auto industry buffs get a chance to toot our own horns by calling our shots and being right. To be honest, most of the time we end up being wrong when we start calling our shots. But when we do smack that nail right on the head, we like to let you know about it ASAP…
On that note, remember the long trail of breadcrumbs that we have been following since 2011? If you don’t, allow us to refresh your memory:
April 20, 2012:TopSpeed reports that the “SS” moniker was officially trademarked by GM, after 51 years of using it on various models. Some other experts claim this was just to protect the “SS” trim levels, but we knew better.
Now we have real-life news on the Chevrolet SS front, as GM has officially released, FINALLY, something that we have all pretty much known for at least a few months. For the 2014 model year, Chevrolet will import the Holden Commodore and badge it as the Chevrolet SS – no “Performance” after it. Chevy will have the SS on showroom floors starting in late-2013.
Not only is the SS coming to showrooms, it will also run in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Its debut will occur at the 2013 Daytona 500 race.
Finally, we can put to bed the ongoing mystery of Chevy’s odd breadcrumb trail and start focusing on the next in line, the yet-to-be-announced Cadillac ELR.
Click past the jump to read GM’s official press release on the Chevy SS.
It seems like Chevy is so excited to release the SS model that it can barely keep a lid on the rumors and leaks. First, we had swirling rumors about the Holden-based SS model back in 2011. Next, there was the oddly timed registration of the SS moniker.
Some other experts have tried downplaying this by saying that the trademark mentions “SS” in a fanciful manner, meaning just the fancy SS badges. What these experts are overlooking is that all trademarks involving a sequence of letters almost always include “stylized” or “fanciful,” as you cannot just patent two letters.
Well, GM, or more appropriately OnStar, has dropped yet another breadcrumb and one Christopher Price – a Tech dude and OnStar subscriber – found it. As Price puts it, he was checking out his profile and decided to explore other OnStar features. He stumbled upon the list of compatible cars and oddly enough found 2014 models. He clicked on it and what happened to be positioned right between the Chevy Spark and Silverado? A non-existent model dubbed the “SS Performance.”
Does a strange computer glitch mean that the SS model is truly coming in 2014? We don’t really know. However, it is yet another brick that further solidifies the wall of rumors that began construction back in 2011. OnStar obviously caught onto the leak and quickly patched it up, as the 2014 model year is no longer on the site, but not before Price got a glimpse at another future name, the Cadillac ELR, which could point to an all-electric Caddy.
There is, of course, the outside chance that we are being tricked by a good Photoshop job, but our amateur eyes say it is the real deal. Then again, this could just be us getting our hopes up for a new muscle sedan from Chevy.