VF Commodore SS-V breaks cover

TOBY HAGON
Last updated 07:55 15/02/2013
Holden VF Commodore SS-V.
Revealed: A show car with one-off metallic orange paint shows off the look of the new Holden VF Commodore SS-V.
Holden reveals new VF Commodore.
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Holden reveals new VF Commodore.

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Holden has revealed its sports-focused, V8-powered new VF Commodore SS-V – but it's expected to have no more power than the model VE model it replaces.


Click photo for more views of the new VF Commodore SS-V.


Based on the new VF Commodore that was revealed last week, the SS-V version has a more restrained look than the winged, race-inspired machines tghat have typified the breed from Holden.

It's all part of Holden's ''two sides of the same coin'' approach to design, where the basic and luxury models get a ''luxury sport'' focus and the enduringly popular sports models get less of the overt sportiness but a new ''sport luxury'' focus.

Key changes to the new VF Commodore SS-V include:

  •     More restrained design
  •     Small lower lip spoiler and optional larger spoiler
  •     Three-model range; SS, SS-V and SS-V Redline
  •     More formal, upmarket interior
  •     Largely unchanged engines
  •     Performance and fuel economy gains from 40kg weight saving
  •     More aerodynamically efficient sedan body
  •     Unique styling tweaks with more black finishes
  •     Minor price increases on some models

The new VF Commodore sports models are expected to be offered in three trim levels; entry-level Commodore SS will be the most affordable but still get the same V8 performance of others; the SS-V gets more design tweaks and extra features such as leather trim; the flagship SS-V Redline will get a larger rear spoiler and extras such as more powerful Brembo brakes.

Despite the new look the 6.0-litre V8 engine is unchanged – it has 270kW and 530Nm as a manual and 260kW and 517Nm as an automatic – but there are mild performance gains due to weight savings of about 40kg; like the rest of the VF Commodore range, the SS and SS-V use an aluminium bonnet and bootlid.

Those weight savings and the slipperier VF Commodore body shape (it's the most aerodynamically efficient Commodore ever) lead to fuel economy improvements of about 10 per cent.

From a design perspective Holden has further differentiated the SS and SS-V versions of the new VF Commodore with from the regular and luxury models with a unique front bumper that houses a larger lower grille finished in black rather than the blingy chrome of the Calais V.

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The lower bumper of the new VF Commodore SS-V also has a unique lower fascia with a race car-inspired diffuser and blacked out number plate space (it's body coloured on the Calais).

The SS-V misses out on much of the shiny chrome-look finishes of the Calais V; there's no lower chrome door strip, for example, and the door handles are body coloured rather than chrome tinged.  

While there's still elements of chrome on the new SS-V the more prominent black exterior finishes give the car a more sinister look.

Gone is the large rear wing and in its place a small lip spoiler. There will also be a larger spoiler expected to be offered as an option on the SS and SS-V.

As for the metallic orange paint job of the VF Commodore SS-V show car, it's a one off for now. But Holden says if there is a strong enough reaction and enough demand they could put the distinctive colour into production.

The new Commodore SS will run on the same diameter 18-inch wheels as the VE Commodore it replaces, but the wheels are a fresh design.

For the first time the SS-V will get 20-inch wheels as standard, giving the car a distinctive and sporty look.

Inside, the SS versions of the new VF Commodore get similar upgrades to other models.

The optional red plastic dash and jet fighter afterburner-inspired instruments of the VE Commodore SS have been ditched in preference of a more formal appearance.

There's still red lighting highlights in the instruments and central screen (contrasting the blue highlights of the VF Calais) but they're more restrained and combine with things such as the fake carbon fibre strip separating upper and lower parts of the dash to give a more technical appearance.

As with the exterior design, though, there are unique elements to the SS appearance.

The leather sports seats on the SS-V get a new pattern, including a prominent design strip running from top to bottom.

The Alcantara suede-look trim on the dash can be had in two tones; a lighter finish comes with red stitching designed to add flair, while those wanting something less lairy can choose the darker finish with light stitching.

As with other VF Commodores the SS and SS-V will come loaded with technology, including a colour touchscreen with internet radio apps built in, reversing camera, self-parking system, electronic handbrake and head-up display for the SS-V.

The new sports-look for the VF Commodore will be available in three models.

The SV6 and SS – one is powered by the 3.6-litre V6 engine, the other by a 6.0-litre V8 – will share similar equipment levels, including 18-inch alloy wheels.

Step up to the SS-V and it is expected to add features such as the head-up display (which projects speedo and other instrumentation on to the windscreen), leather trim and 20-inch alloy wheels.

Each is expected to come with the small rear lip spoiler as standard, with the option of a larger one for those who want.

Holden is also expected to offer a Redline version of the VF Commodore – to be called SS-V Redline – which will get the larger rear wing and bigger, more powerful Brembo brakes. 

As for pricing, expect some increases, more likely for the SS-V and SS-V Redline; the current SS-V sells from $55,290, plus on-road and dealer costs.

-Fairfax News Australia

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