Selasa, 08 Juni 2010

New Holden Commodore Series 2

Exclusive spy picture of the interior of the new Holden Commodore Series 2. - EXCLUSIVE: Take a peek inside the updated Holden Commodore Series 2, which will come with a more user-friendly layout and high-tech touch screen.

Here's the picture Holden doesn't want you to see ... yet.

It's the first look at the interior of the facelifted Series 2 Commodore, which is due to be revealed in August before going on sale shortly afterwards, seen here in left-hand-drive form for its export markets.

While the exterior of the current VE model continues to enjoy widespread appeal, the styling of its interior has aged significantly against more recent offerings from rivals, including the Ford Falcon.

Holden has been working on an interior revamp to bring the interior up to date for the first major styling update of the billion-dollar VE since its 2006 introduction. In the 32 years Holden has been producing Commodores the VE has gone the longest without a significant visual update.

Drive understands that the facelifted model is likely to be called the Commodore Series 2, rather than the VF, as has been widely reported.

The new Commodore Series 2 will also be given an exterior styling update, although Holden is not saying anything of the top secret new model yet.

"We will be updating our Commodore range later in the year," said spokesman Jonathan Rose. "We're not in a position to discuss what that entails at this stage, other than to say that we think the changes will make a great car even better."

This is the second time in a row Drive has brought you pictures of what is believed to be the new Holden Commodores ahead of its official release, after we brought you photos of the then yet-to-be released pictures of the VE Commodore in 2006.

The most obvious change is the prominent pair of eyeball air vents protruding from the dash. And a multifunction LCD screen flanked by 10 push buttons, has been moved higher up on the console to address one of the major ergonomic failings of the VE: that the driver has to take their eyes of the road to fiddle with buttons that are presently set too low.

The display will be a touch screen, as the boss of Siemens VDO – which will supply the technology – recently let slip.

"Our new unit offers touch screen, more connectivity options with iPod and iPhone," CEO Zoran Angelkovski was reported as saying at the time, claiming Holden's new Commodore would have "features that are seen on some European cars".

Despite the touch screen functionality for the new Series 2 Commodore, the dials for the heating and air-conditioning are still set low, but are tizzied up with some chrome framing.

Whether the new, dark coloured interior shown here gets the nod from prospective customers remains to be seen; but there may be alternative colour schemes across the range.

Holden is expected to give varying Commodore models significantly different interior looks, something that was most prominent on the VE Commodore. The Commodore range comprises of entry-level Omega and Berlina models (each sharing a 3.0-litre V6), luxurious Calais, Calais V and sporty SV6 (with a 3.6-litre V6) as well as the 6.0-litre, V8-powered SS and SS V.

The centre console looks to protrude more from the dash structure than is presently the case, a move probably designed to lend a more cockpit-feel for the driver.

It also sees a reworking of the dash trim, in what appears like piano black here, to look more integrated and less like a stick-on afterthought than the VE's non-sporting variants that have a horizontal band tracing the width of the dash, along with an awkward join along a third of its length.

The automatic gear shift sports a new grip but retains the same basic design and the gate for manual shifts.

The steering wheel retains buttons on the spokes, though the car caught here has a Pontiac badge on the hub.

Two features our reviewers have persistently criticised have been retained in the makeover: the finger-pinching handbrake lever and the counter-intuitive placement of the electric window buttons on the centre console, which makes winding down a window for a car park boom gate and ticket processing a two-handed affair. The large A-pillars on either side of the windscreen – often citicised for creating a blind spot – also remain.

Of course the car seen here is in left-hand drive for export markets, but is expected to be a mirror image of cars built for Australia.

Interestingly, this is the third interior for the Commodore-based vehicles: there is an alternative interior for the long-wheelbase Statesman sold in China as the Buick Park Avenue. The Chinese-built car gets a higher placed centre console and electric window buttons where most car buyers would expect to find them: on the driver's door elbow rest.

The photograph here was snapped by an avid fan in Oakleigh recently. The car's exterior was in undisguised export Pontiac G8 form.

Holden's avid fan of Oakleigh heard a distinctive whistle from under the bonnet as he trailed the car from a car park onto the road, lending credence to rumours some variants will sport a turbo or twin-turbo engine.

Holden's V6 engine – available as a 3.0-litre 190kW version and a 210kW 3.6-litre – is based on a global design that's built in various capacities and guises.

The V6 is available as a twin-turbo overseas, something Holden is believed to have been looking at as a rival for the potent Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo.

And there are rumours that the Series 2 Commodore may come in for a revised suspension tune, adopting lessons Holden learned in engineering the reborn Chevrolet Camaro for the US.

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