Holden saves the best for last

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Cover Story -

winds back the clock by more than a decade— and re­flects the prices peo­ple have re­ally been pay­ing for years. The more trans­par­ent price list is a gam­ble Holden hopes will bring more buy­ers back into show­rooms to con­sider the Com­modore one last time.

Im­por­tantly, the new Com­modore is not a bare­bones propo­si­tion. Rather, the con­trary is true. To com­pete in the most over-crowded new- car mar­ket in the de­vel­oped world Holden has loaded ev­ery model with self-park­ing tech­nol­ogy, rear-view cam­era and touch-screen dis­play that can re­ply to text mes­sages at the press of a but­ton or on voice com­mand.

The new Com­modore is with­out a doubt the most hitech car de­signed, de­vel­oped and en­gi­neered in Aus­tralia— but in many ways it’s also the Com­modore that Holden had to have. The doors, roof and glass carry over from the pre­vi­ous model but there are big changes un­der the skin that re­duce weight, save fuel, im­prove safety and make it qui­eter and more re­fined.

Holden con­firmed ear­lier this year that the VF Com­modore is due to bow out in 2016. We now know this will be about the same time as the arch ri­val Ford Fal­con reaches the end of the line.

But the dif­fer­ence, for now, is that Holden plans to re­place the iconic Com­modore with a glob­ally de­vel­oped fron­twheel-drive four-cylin­der sedan that it says will wear a Com­modore badge. Given that ev­ery main­stream Holden has been rear-drive since the first model in 1948, this VF Com­modore re­ally does mark the end of an era.

With­out the small but sig­nif­i­cant US ex­port re­vival of the Com­modore, which starts later this year, the VF model would not have any­where near the tech­nol­ogy it’s been given.

Holden boss Mike Dev­ereux, who spent most of his work­ing life in Detroit be­fore run­ning GM­op­er­a­tions in Dubai and now Aus­tralia, made sure the Com­modore lived up to their ex­pec­ta­tions.

Holden doesn’t like talk­ing about it much but build qual­ity has been a con­cern for


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