Holden VF Commodore Evoke from under $35K

words - Marton Pettendy
Price cuts of up to $5000 in store for buyers of Holden's new-look 2013 Commodore

GM Holden is about to announce price cuts of up to $5000 for its heavily upgraded VF Commodore range ahead of the new-look sedan, wagon and ute’s release on June 1.

The outgoing VE Commodore line-up is currently in run-out priced from as low as $34,990 plus on-road costs for the Commodore Z-Series sedan, which is being offered with three years’ free servicing and a five-year warranty.

The same run-out deal applies to the SV6 Z-Series Ute, while the Z-Series SV6 sedan is on special for $35,990 plus ORCs and the Z-Series Sportwagon can be had for $37,990 plus ORCs – the same price as the Z-Series SS Ute.

However, Holden looks set to at least match those stellar run-out deals permanently with the new VF Commodore, pricing for which will rewind the clock to 2006 levels, when the VE sedan was launched with a base price of $34,490.

Pricing for both the Australian-made Cruze and Commodore will be crucial in Holden’s effort to stem worrying sales slides of 30 and 40 per cent respectively so far this year – on top of their 13.7 and 24.8 per cent sales declines in 2012.

Our sources say price cuts of up to $3500 recently announced for the 2014 Cruze small car will be eclipsed by the VF Commodore’s aggressive pricing.

While Holden’s official recommended retail pricing for the VE Commodore continues to start at $39,990 for the Omega sedan and $35,490 plus ORCs for the Omega Ute, expect the VF Commodore ‘Evoke’ models that will replace them to cost less than $35,000 and closer to $30,000 respectively.

Similarly, the 3.0-litre V6-powered VE Commodore Sportwagon Omega ($41,990 RRP) will be replaced by the VF Commodore Sportwagon Evoke costing as little as $36,990 plus on-roads.

Officially, Holden would not pre-empt any VF Commodore pricing ahead of an official announcement next month.

“The VF will represent exceptional value for money given the advanced technologies it will offer,” said GM Holden External Communications Director Craig Cheetham.

While some V8-powered versions of the seven-year-old VE Commodore are still being produced at Holden’s Elizabeth assembly plant, the first pre-production VF Commodores rolled off the South Australian production line last week in readiness for the first in a series of media events next week.

Holden unveiled ‘show car’ versions of both the VF Commodore Calais V and SS V sedan, wagon and ute in February just days before the Chevrolet SS-badged export version was revealed in the US and the NASCAR that imitates it debuted at the Daytona 500.

Holden has not revealed final production versions of any VF Commodore variant and the replacement for the entry-level VE Commodore Omega, which motoring.com.au sources confirm will revive the Evoke name used for an original VE Commodore paint colour, is yet to break cover in any form.

However, recent spy shots of a production-ready VF Commodore SS snapped driving in Melbourne’s east by vigilant motoring.com.au reader Mark Row show the showroom version of Holden’s V8 hero model will eschew the concept car’s subtle rear lip spoiler for the larger rear wing seen here.

Trademark Commodore V8 cues like dual twin exhaust outlets and big alloy wheels continue, while other spy shots confirm the SS will be available with a bold decal kit including racing stripes for the bonnet and boot, plus red highlights on the front bumper and grille.

A range of components from the outgoing VE SS Redline Edition should also be available, including Brembo brakes, while the carbon-ceramic brakes seen on Chevrolet’s Corvette and Camaro could also be offered.

Holden is yet to reveal powertrain details for the VF Commodore but the current line-up of 3.0- and 3.6-litre petrol V6, 3.6-litre LPG V6 and 6.0-litre petrol V8s matched with six-speed manual and automatic transmissions is expected to carry over with minor upgrades.

Combined with weight reductions realised by the use of aluminium bonnets and boots and improved aerodynamics, expect incremental efficiency gains for all models.

The VF Commodore SS will not be available with the TAPshift steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters fitted as standard to the Chevrolet SS.

However, Holden has confirmed that premium Commodore variants will be available with a range of new high-tech driver aids, including Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, colour head-up display and push-button starting.

Other new-for-VF features will include high intensity gas-discharge (HID) headlights, LED driving lights, a larger eight-inch colour in-dash touch-screen infotainment system including MyLink telematics, rain-sensing wipers and heated and ventilated front seats.

Touted as “the most advanced vehicle created in Australia”, all VF Commodores will come standard with electric power steering, the Automatic Park Assist self-parking system and an electric parking brake, while a reversing camera and driver’s knee airbag are also expected to join the list of new range-wide standard features.

Other improvements will include the relocation of the power window switches, door locks and boot release to the driver’s door, steering wheel-mounted cruise controls (rather than stalk-mounted), new front and rear seats in two designs, two smaller steering wheel designs and higher-quality perforated leather trim.

However, the aforementioned advanced safety aids, push-button starting, big-screen multimedia and telematics systems and LED running lights seen on premium VF variants will not grace the new entry-level Commodore Evoke, which replaces both the VE Omega and Berlina.

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Published : Wednesday, 17 April 2013
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