2012 Holden Commodore updated with new features and colours

September 12th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Holden’s engineering team is busy developing the next-generation Commodore dubbed VF, but with this new model still two to three years away, there’s plenty of time for more tweaking of the current VE model.

For the 2012 model year, the Commodore will receive two new colours, modest exterior and interior enhancements, plus the inclsion of the track-inspired FE3 sports suspension on Redline variants.

Selected models receive chrome accents to highlight the Series II front fascia, while Omega is fitted with new 16-inch seven-spoke alloy wheels. A new lip spoiler enhances the styling of the luxury focused Calais V. The SS V-Series Redline Edition gets new forged and polished 19-inch alloy wheels plus painted rear brake calipers.

In the cabin, there’s silver stitching on the optional Onyx and Razor leather interior trim while the Redhot trim also receives some treatment. The iQ multimedia system has been updated to be compatible with the latest smartphones.

Holden’s colour and trim team has introduced two new exterior colors named Perfect Blue and Chlorophyll. The new blue hue pays homage to Australian motorsport icon Peter Brock and his famous Formula Blue HDT Group A VK SS Commodore that was launched back in 1985. Continue reading “2012 Holden Commodore updated with new features and colours” »

Bio-ethanol E85 fuel launched in NZ through Gull

April 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Holden New Zealand and Gull service stations has just announced that E85 bio-fuel will go on sale in New Zealand for the first time.

Gull will open its first pump, selling as Gull Force Pro, in Hamilton today (14 April) and is expected to increase the number of sites throughout the country as demand grows.

Holden’s Energy and Environment Director Richard Marshall said the ethanol-blend fuel, also known as E85, would be suitable for 3.0 litre V6 and V8 models in the latest Holden Commodore VE Series II range.

The E85 fuel will be sold at Gull with an opening price of $2.26 per litre with a 5 cents per litre opening special. Early adopters of this eco-fuel can expect a increase in power from its higher octane rating but also an increase in fuel usage due to it containing less energy than conventional petrol.

“In a major step towards creating a cleaner New Zealand fuel landscape, VE Series II customers who purchase models powered by 3.0 Litre SIDI V6 or 6.0 Litre V8 engines will be able to run their cars on this high ethanol blend fuel, which can reduce vehicle CO emissions by between 35-50 per cent when compared to petrol*,” Mr Marshall said.

Gull Force Pro is a fuel blend of 85 per cent ethanol with 15 per cent petrol. While flex-fuel vehicles in the Series II range are capable of running on this fuel, they can also run on E10, unleaded, premium or any combination. Continue reading “Bio-ethanol E85 fuel launched in NZ through Gull” »

Holden reveals new Commodore VE Series II range

September 1st, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Holden Australia has just revealed its new Commodore VE Series II vehicle range which comes with various improvements, including an added E85 bio-fuel capability. It’s the first major update to the fourth-generation VE Commodore since its launch back in 2006.

The VE Series II introduces a new flex-fuel capability on its 3.0-litre V6 engine and  6.0-litre V8 mill which allows both to run on E85 bio-ethanol. Aside from the flex-fuel capability the mechanical package remains mostly unchanged. However, the Series II promises to offer improved fuel economy and reduced CO2 emissions across the range.

There are a range of interior and exterior styling updates and a new 6.5-inch full colour touch-screen infotainment system called Holden-iQ. This new control system will be standard in all Commodore models (except Ute) and will include Bluetooth connectivity.

In terms of exterior design, it’s a subtle facelift with all models featuring various new front fascias, grilles and headlamps. There’s also an integrated aerodynamic lip and new wheel options.

Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux said that the Series II VE Commodore reflects Holden’s focus on ongoing improvements for the top-selling model.

“Our customers have been telling us they want to see our models refreshed with greater functionality from Omega to Caprice,” Devereux said. “We have listened and responded in a way that continues to position Commodore as the smart choice for Australian motorists.”

Holden will reveal full pricing and availability for the 2011 VE Series Holden Commodore on September 10, when the model officially launches.

For more information on the Commodore Series II range, check out the detailed official press release below, and more images in the gallery. Continue reading “Holden reveals new Commodore VE Series II range” »

Holden recalling VE Commodore Utes in Australia

July 13th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Over the ditch Holden has just begun a recall of its Commodore Ute range, because of a faulty latch that can lead to the tailgate opening if impacted outwards with sufficient strength.

A official statement issued by Holden reads:

“A condition can occur under specific operating conditions where the tailgate may unlatch when impacted rearwards with sufficient energy by unsecured objects placed in the rear cargo tray.”

The recall comes after Holden received two separate reports of latch failures and it will affect 34,432 utes in the VE range.

In Australia Holden has confirmed that the process of contacting owners is already underway, and it recommends that, for now, all loads should be firmly secured within the tray, away from the tailgate.

Replacing the faulty latches is a half hour job, although repair times are subject to parts availability.

The recall affects all utes in the following ISOVIN range:

6G1E#42###L100048 – 6G1E#42###L458251
6G1E#42###L923162 – 6G1E#42###L983869

Check back for information on how the recall may affect VE Commodore Utes in New Zealand.

Holden to limit Commodore production before 2011 update

April 26th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Holden confirmed last week that it will limit production of the current-generation VE Commodore, in anticipation of an update to the range scheduled for later this year.

In July and August of this year, Holden’s Elizabeth plant in South Australia will shut down operations for 13 days, allowing Holden to reduce existing stock at dealers and holding yards.

Speaking at a recent press event, a spokesperson for Holden  said that a new agreement with the Australian car industry union have allowed Holden to slow production and schedule run-out sales on its current Commodore line.

“Ahead of updating our locally produced Commodore range later this year, we need to prepare for a smooth run-out of the current model within the plant,” the spokesperson said. “To do this, we have been working with the union to balance short-term manufacturing plans that will allow us to taper production of the current range, before ramping up with the new model.”

The announcement comes after last month’s news that strong international demand has seen Holden actually boost production of its 3.0 litre V6 petrol engine.

Holden Commodore Omega 2010 Review

February 26th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The Commodore Omega has long been seen as the budget base model brother to the rest of the range. A true fleet special used by sales reps and the Police to help make sales calls or collar crooks. Being used in this capacity probably won’t change for the Omega but what has changed is the addition of a new engine and gearbox for the 2010 model year. Is this update enough to push the Omega further into the consciousness of the private car buyer? Car and SUV spent a week searching for evidence with the upgraded Holden Omega.

The 2010 updates to the Commodore range are all about the new powertrains and the Omega has benefitted from a new six-cylinder engine. Codenamed LF1 the new motor has a 3.0-litre capacity and a 210kW power output with 290Nm of torque. It’s a modern bent-six and is equipped with Holden’s fancy Spark Ignition Direct Injection (SIDI) system that directly injects fuel into the combustion chamber. The result is more power from less fuel.

Compared to the outgoing engine there is a power increase of 10kW but a 20Nm drop in torque because of the new units smaller capacity. Anyone who thinks this will make evading the Police easier is mistaken because the new engine has some pace and accelerates the Omega smoothly and with strength. It’s also very flexible, remaining well mannered in stop start traffic but still capable of decent mid-range grunt making for confident overtaking at open road speeds.

Continue reading “Holden Commodore Omega 2010 Review” »

Holden VE Ute “Evolution”

December 21st, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

The all new Holden UTE, evolved through time. Directed by Mark Toia

Holden Ute – first NZ ute to get 5-Star safety

October 20th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Holden VE Ute fq

Holden’s VE Ute range has become the first utility in New Zealand to receive a maximum five star safety rating from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) or the Euro New Car Assessment Program (EuroNCAP).

This follows the announcement last month that Holden achieved another New Zealand safety first by launching the first utility vehicle to offer six airbags as standard across the range.

The latest result means Holden’s entire Australian manufactured vehicle range now carries a five star safety rating from ANCAP.

The ANCAP result reflects the long list of safety features found standard across the VE Ute range including side impact airbags, curtain airbags and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) which incorporates Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Electronic Brake Assist (EBA) and Traction Control System (TCS).

Holden Vehicle Structure & Safety Integration Manager, Steve Curtis said Holden had a long and proud history of delivering safety firsts.

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