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2013 Holden VF Commodore protoype

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    Carsguide's take on the 2013 Commodore as imagined by our artist Stuart Gordon.

A $200 million new-generation Holden Commodore went live in Melbourne this week.

The first prototypes of the Holden VF Commodore coming in 2013 are under way and will soon be entering major test programs at Holden's Lang Lang proving ground.

They are the solid proof that the Commodore has a homegrown future until at least 2018, as the upcoming VF will have a four-year life expectancy when it takes over from today's VE in showrooms around the middle of 2013.

The prototype build program was confirmed yesterday by Holden's chairman and managing director, Mike Devereux, as he went public to counter claims that the locally-made Commodore had no future beyond 2014.

"The 2014 Commodore is designed and engineered here. It is being engineered right now. We started building prototype vehicles in Port Melbourne two days ago," Devereux said.

He was reacting to claims by The Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers Australia that its members face major job losses without an ongoing development program for the Commodore. Holden currently employs around 1000 engineers and designers at its headquarters in Fishermans Bend, at the proving ground and its manufacturing base in Adelaide.

However, Devereux and senior Holden executives avoided any answers about a Commodore to follow the VF, highlighting instead the need for research on future sales and technology trends in Australia and overseas - as well as the potential for financial assistance from the Federal government - before making decisions on the next major investment by the brand.

"No, we haven't made a decision on what we will build in Adelaide post our current range and post model-year 2014, I won't speculate on the timing," Devereux said. "What we are going to make hasn't been decided yet. It's still too early."

There is a widespread and well-founded belief that both Holden and Ford will eventually have to switch their local heroes - Commodore and Falcon - to a localised version of a strong selling global model.

Ford is expected to eventually confirm an engineering tie-up with the Taurus model sold in the USA while the history of the Commodore actually started with a General Motors Europe car, the Opel Rekord, which was widened, re-engined and hugely improved by local engineers to become the original VB model in 1978.

Work on the VF Commodore is being concentrated on weight cuts and efficiency gains, thanks in part to a $30 million grant from the defunct Green Car Innovation Fund, which was chopped by Canberra to fund rebuilding after this year's natural disasters in Queensland.

There are no firm ideas yet on styling for the VF Commodore, but Holden design director Tony Stolfo has previously hinted that it could take some cues from the Chevrolet Volt -- which will go on sale here with a Holden badge -- and also the compact Cruze.

The car will be built in Adelaide alongside the Cruze, which is already shaping as a major winner for the red lion brand. The Cruze has been selling strongly since it switched from Korean to Australian sourcing - with considerable local engineering and quality improvements - and is forecast to eventually overtake the Commodore as Holden's top selling model.

Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 48 comments

  • Philip Price of Woronora HTS, I cannot believe you are commenting on the ugly front end that the comgen in this article shows. I know, and I think everyone would have to agree, that this picture looks absolutely horrible. But hey, haven't you seen the actual VF yet? It has been released now. I think that you are the joke. And I think everyone would agree that the new VF looks very nice. Get with the times.

    Queen Elisabeth Posted on 27 June 2013 8:20am
  • Ugly front indeed is that the best they can come up with.Come on who designs this crap get your act together what a joke.

    Philip Price of Woronora HTS Posted on 26 June 2013 7:02pm
  • serve you all, bloody right you get a free ride to this country ,the best in the world ,get a job at a government subcidised factory job at one of our own car makers such as holden or ford,then you,all go and thank us all and bye a honda,fyvm?

    wayne stevens of perth wa Posted on 18 January 2013 8:16pm
  • That.... looks freaking... horrible! I hope hope hope it doesnt look like that. They cant send thier last commodore out looking horrid!

    Alex M of Brisbane Posted on 15 March 2012 3:37pm
  • Mr. Stuart Gordon photo shopped a Malibu on a VE Commodore! Do you really think they would use that? I sure hope not...

    S D Card of AUS Posted on 26 February 2012 10:16pm
  • Looks more like the Malibu from the rear and it doe's have a hint of prev Camry in it also the in detractors up in the top corners of the headlights with that protruding bulge to help with wind flow over the front looks odd.

    Bob down of Melbourne Posted on 25 February 2012 8:49pm
  • @in denial, you didn't need to put where you're from, because everyone can guess by the crap you spun in your post.

    not-a-pollie of not-canberra Posted on 08 December 2011 1:52pm
  • I hope the front doesn't look like that. Not the usual aggressive looking front I have grown to like on Holdens. That looks more like a previous generation Camry.

    Shane of vic Posted on 04 December 2011 10:25am
  • Looks like sh*t!

    Luke of canberra Posted on 22 November 2011 11:22am
  • It's the prototype...

    Luke Wyatt of Canberra Australia Posted on 22 November 2011 9:43am
  • Not cool unless if they have a V8. Holden Commodores have to look Australian, not American because they make crap cars over there. Sorry if I’m offending any Americans but Commodores are an Australian icon and always will be. Does anyone like this future Commodore anyway? It doesn't even look anything like a Commodore. It is the Malibu that is replacing the Epica.

    Luke Wyatt of Canberra, Australia Posted on 22 November 2011 9:40am
  • My God! Thats the Malibu that is going to replace the Epica late next year. All these stupid idiots don't know nothing! By the way, the Malibu is replacing the Epica next year because the Epica (Daewoo Tosca) is not going to be made anymore.

    David of Melbourne Posted on 20 November 2011 2:25pm
  • A 1.2lt city car? Never happen. Why? Because the vocal brigade will screech and cry and Holden listen. Never mind that the vocal brigade are bogans who will never buy a new car in their lifetime, and want to drive big thirsty cars because in their opinion, it epitomises manhood and all that is cool. Let’s face it, tis the same reason we never see anything but V8 supercars on TV, we can’t have multiple non-Australian brands of cars beating the Aussies can we? I’m not prejudiced against either, I’m considering buying a second hand Ford G6E Turbo, but after driving Subaru Liberty turbo’s for many years, I simply don’t think the Aussie big cars can compete. My Liberty can do anything they can do, better, cheaper, and more fun... Bogans... you still think the V8 is the performance king... did you know the G6 Turbo is faster than any V8 from Ford or Holden barring perhaps the new supercharged FPV? Mind you, a 4-cyl 2-lts Evo is quicker still...

    in denial of canberra Posted on 15 November 2011 11:58am
  • Ugliest car I have ever seen ...

    brent of somerville Posted on 13 November 2011 8:09pm
  • Who cares?!

    estella of GC Posted on 12 November 2011 8:19pm
  • For the life of me, I can't understand why Holden doesn't develop a city car. A little 1-l turbo diesel, 1200cc naturally aspirated or turbo petrol, or gas. Start with a cheap, sparse model and then just add on the tricks throughout the range.

    Ross Red Posted on 11 November 2011 7:29am
  • Your patriotism shines Norm. Its not like that at all, we admire all brands but we choose to buy Australian. The Australian product is designed and tested to perform in Australian conditions by Australian people. If you find that hard to swallow then by all means feel free to leave.

    Patriotic Aussie of Townsville Posted on 10 November 2011 10:16pm
  • Looks like a Holden Epica in drag! A great send off for what will probably be the last Commodore made. Yippee!

    Mr T of Brisbane Posted on 10 November 2011 8:17pm
  • Isn't that rendering basically the current VE with the Chevy Malibu front end grafted on?

    smartalec of Brisbane Posted on 10 November 2011 4:55pm
  • I love Ford and Holden fans. They're like obedient pets. They love cars - just as long as they're Fords or Holdens. They're like the hick barmaid in The Blue Brothers: "We have boths sorts of music, country and western."

    Norm Posted on 10 November 2011 12:32pm
  • i'm sick and tired of the Holden bashers out here. Ok it's not a bmw, merc, audi or some other euro hotshot, but then it isn't as unreliable either. just go and buy your dual clutch gearbox and watch as you have to replace it every 50,000km's. I have a ve sportswagon and it was brilliant on my trips to Adelaide and the Gold Coast this year. 1 tank up and 1 tank down to the coast (and that wasn't the DI motor) in magnificent comfort. The VF is not going to look anything at all like this at the front end and if you read wheels or motor magazine you would know this. This is just an epica put onto a Commodore and why would Holden do anything at all like that.

    Craig Simpson of liverpool, nsw Posted on 10 November 2011 6:40am
  • Ah the Neal! Sad reality, the forthcoming Malibu looks like an Epica. Oh Dear!

    herbert Posted on 10 November 2011 6:39am
  • @Comrad Neal of Cairns (AKA sumpguard and Jabba the hutt)go back to your Kia and Navara and take your anti Australian car comments elsewhere.

    The Truth Posted on 09 November 2011 9:26pm
  • You idiots. Really, That's the Malibu replacing the Epica in late 2012. Not the Commodore!

    David Posted on 09 November 2011 6:26pm
  • Ahh the haters! It looks like the forthcoming Malibu not the Epica you epic idiot! And given that is only a comgen it means nothing! Clowns.

    Neal of Cairns Posted on 09 November 2011 5:31pm
  • Still just a Holden ... yep, cheap and nasty!

    Phil Pollock of brisbane Posted on 09 November 2011 1:15pm
  • It's a Commodore with a Cruze front-end! Looks cheap and nasty

    John of Strahan Posted on 09 November 2011 1:10am
  • Epica anyone?

    Me The One I Am Posted on 08 November 2011 10:28pm
  • By the way, your artist didn't do a very good job in creating his impression of the 2013 Commodore, he has simply slapped another face onto the current VE sedan,you can even seecthe series two badge on the bottom and their is a colour difference between the front and the rest of the car.

    Charles of Swan Hill Posted on 08 November 2011 10:24pm
  • Needs to achieve 7.9l/100km to survive especially now we have the Federal Government leader Bob Brown's carbon tax (holding Julia Gillard, his dummy on his lap).

    Wayne Hobbs of Fleurieu Peninsula Posted on 08 November 2011 6:11pm
  • I don't know why people are saying that the picture of the red Commodore with a photoshopped front end treatment is a Volt. The Volt looks more like a Prius or Honda Insight and is a hatch not a sedan. And Geewizz - you can tell a car is FWD or RWD by the fact you cant see the diff. The diff is tucked up above the scrub line in the Commodore and Falcon … real great attention by people who claim to be experts. And for the record, I am no expert but can tell a Commodore from a Volt.

    Mark of Adelaide Posted on 08 November 2011 6:03pm
  • Smells like a Daewoo ... lol!

    homer Posted on 08 November 2011 5:23pm
  • God the Cruze look so ugly, they really did their market research and nailed the boganise demographic on the head with the hatchback. They have Opel Astra as their guide yet they stuffed it up and made the styling dated to late 1990s. Commodore wagon so stylishly resolved, why didnt the Cruze get that treatment?

    Phuong Posted on 08 November 2011 3:16pm
  • What would you know James, the 3.8 hasn't been around for a long time. Get with it.

    herberrt Posted on 08 November 2011 8:05am
  • The new Cruze is only slightly shorter than the original VB Commodore and the current VE makes the original Statesman look small, they are just too big, bring make the VB size Commodore with the current range of engines of 6.0L and 3.8l, now that would be a good car. The new trend of the double grille just looks like tasteless bling.

    james Posted on 07 November 2011 1:54pm
  • Looks like the Global GM strategy is to copy everyone else, lazy design engineers. This Volt looks like a Ford Taurus.

    Benji of Keilor Posted on 07 November 2011 12:07pm
  • I saw the impression of the VF in a magazine and I was not impressed. It's ugly.

    herbie Posted on 07 November 2011 11:56am
  • GM-H would not have to put the VE on weight loss program if they had not made it so big and ridiculous in the first place! Are the engineers in Port Melbourne not looking at world trends, as well as Australian car buying trends? It has been obvious for years that larger and larger and larger was not the way to go.

    Gordon of Adelaide Posted on 07 November 2011 9:39am
  • Good Lord! Can nobody but "The Elitist" read? The caption on the photo reads "The Volt could provide styling cues for the Holden VF Commodore". i.e The car in the photo is a Chevrolet Volt. If you look at the current issue of Wheels, they have an artist's impression of what the VF might look like. Basically it is a similar front end to Volt stuck on the current Commodore's body. If the real thing looks half as good it will be a total knock-out.

    MotorMouth of Sydney Posted on 04 November 2011 9:56pm
  • People! read the story and caption, this is not a picture of the 2013 Commodore its the Chevrolet Volt (yes FWD hybrid/electric), it is just saying that the new Commodore will take some design cues from the Volt (like the headlights) the rest will be just like the VE.

    Glen H of Melbourne Posted on 04 November 2011 7:36pm
  • This looks like this car came about 9 months after a Cadillac made sweet sweet love to a Prius

    Mick of Melb Posted on 04 November 2011 3:14pm
  • I wonder now if Holden will throw a few VF prototypes on the road to help put people at ease. Nothing like seeing a few masked cars getting around to show the engineers are keeping busy.

    Dave S Posted on 04 November 2011 2:58pm
  • Clever placement of that front left wheel (in the photo) hides whether there is a rear differential, looks like a Volt, and if weight cuts & efficiency are paramount, it is front wheel drive, with 4WD an option for towing.

    Harps of WA Posted on 04 November 2011 12:17pm
  • @Adam scary thing about you is that you cannot read - it's a photo of the volt. I guess education is not a high priority in TAS.

    The Elitist Posted on 04 November 2011 12:11pm
  • Reality is, people movers will be FWD and performance cars will be RWD.

    Tony M of Melbourne Posted on 04 November 2011 11:36am
  • Scary thing about that picture, is that it looks FWD.....

    Adam of Tas Posted on 04 November 2011 9:52am
  • Amazing how the Commodore can look like that and be one of the 'best selling' cars in Australia.

    James D Posted on 03 November 2011 7:44pm
  • I'm in no way or shape a Commodore fan and definitely not one of the Ford/Holden guys but I don't think the Commodore can come out looking like this without an uproar. It looks like a slightly modified Cruze and people into the whole V8 Holden thing will not like driving something that doesn't look as beefy as the VEs do, it's like taking a step back into the VT/VX/VU range but mixing some Japanese into it. I know that all cars need evolution but this made the Commodore go from small-big and beefy and will now go back to small. Hopefully a rethink on Holden's part.

    Cameron B of Mt Gravatt, QLD Posted on 03 November 2011 6:20pm
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