GM Holden’s upcoming VF Commodore will not be available with the gearshift paddles fitted as standard to its US export twin, the Chevrolet SS.
Instead, the convenient steering wheel-mounted shift buttons are likely to be offered by HSV’s facelifted F-Series line-up, which will continue to be powered by a version of the 6.2-litre LS3 V8 that powers the Chevy SS.
As we reported when the Chevy SS was revealed at Daytona last weekend, V8 versions of the VF Commodore will continue with a version of the current 6.0-litre engine.
GM Holden External Communications Director Craig Cheetham confirmed to motoring.com.au that no versions of Australia’s VF Commodore will be fitted with the shift paddles seen in the Chevy SS.
“The Chevrolet SS has a unique specification tailored specifically for the US market, where demand for the TAPshift steering wheel paddles was identified,” he said.
“But at this stage we have no plans to make paddle shifters available on any VF Commodore from launch.”
However, although our SS will miss out on the North American version’s bigger V8 and paddle shifters, unlike the auto-only Chevy SS the Commodore SS will continue to be available with a six-speed manual transmission.
Upstream Commodore variants are also likely to be available with the rest of the Chevrolet’s extensive equipment list.
Perhaps most significantly, that includes a driver’s knee airbag, which will bring to seven the number of airbags fitted as standard across the VF Commodore range.
Holden has revealed Calais V, V8 Supercar, SS V, Chevrolet SS and Ute and Sportwagon versions of the new VF Commodore.
In the lead up to its official launch in May and retail release in June, the VF Commodore will also be the subject of an extended pre-reveal campaign including separate design, powertrain, chassis, technology and safety briefings.
Holden has already confirmed that some (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, a reversing camera, colour head-up display, push-button starting, electric parking brake and, as standard in all VF Commodores, electric power steering and an automated parking function.
All of the above will come standard in the Chevrolet SS, the only option for which will be a sunroof in North America, where pricing is expected to be less than $US45,000 - about $10,000 lower than the equivalently specified Commodore.
A glance through the extensive Chevy SS specifications list reveals a range of other new features that should at least be available in the vital new VF line-up, although many will be off-limits to buyers of entry-level Commodores.
They include high intensity gas-discharge (HID) headlights, LED daytime driving lights and a larger eight-inch colour in-dash touch-screen (as seen in both the Calais V and SS V), plus the MyLink telematics system, rain-sensing wipers and heated and ventilated front seats.
Holden has confirmed the VF Commodore will also come with power window switches and door locks on the driver’s door armrest rather than the centre console, a remote boot release button on the driver’s door pocket instead of the glovebox, steering wheel- (rather than stalk-) mounted cruise controls, all-new front and rear seats in two designs, two smaller steering wheel designs and higher-quality perforated leather trim.
As we’ve reported, Holden will cut the number of dashboard designs in the VF from three to one, with differentiation between variants limited to colour and trim.
Like the Chevy SS, sports Commodore models including the SS will feature red information displays and a suede-like material on the dash, doors and seats, while luxury variants including the Calais will offer a two-tone dash treatment separated by a full-width faux-woodgrain trim strip instead of sports models’ ‘Galvano’ chrome highlights.
Both sports and luxury variants will be available with light and dark trim choices, but no details of the entry-level VF Commodore’s interior treatment have been revealed and there is still no split/foldinging rear seat.
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