An Ultimate Guide to Holden Commodore – Model Making, Changes, and Specifications
The Holden Commodore is a sedan car manufactured since 1978 by Holden group General Motors in Australia, and before that in New Zealand.
Initially introduced only in the sedan version, in 1979 Holden included the Station Wagon version. From 1984, Holden began to mark Commodore, Holden Calais, Holden Berlina and Holden Ute as the primary model between 1988 and 2000. The rivalry came mainly in the locally built Ford Falcon. Then competition also came in at Toyota and Mitsubishi, with their midsize cars. Between 1989 and 1997, Toyota created the Toyota Lexcen based on the second-generation version of Commodore. With the introduction of three generations in 1997, Holden expanded plans by exporting Commodore. Since the 1990s, the Commodore model has been shipped abroad as Chevrolet Lumina, Chevrolet Omega and as Vauxhall VXR8. The other versions were also exported in the mid-1990s to Southeast Asia as the Opel Calais, and to North America between 2007 and 2009 as the Pontiac G8.
The Holden Commodore is a model of the middle class and upper-middle-class offered since 1978 by the Australian car manufacturer Holden. Holden is the Australian subsidiary of the US Company General Motors. The better-equipped variants are called Holden Calais and (from 1984) Holden Berlina. From 1990 to 1997 a Pickup under the name Holden Commodore Utility was offered based on the Commodore. From 2000 this pickup was called Ute.
From 1989, the Holden upper-class models Statesman and Caprice based on the platform of the then Commodore, and from 2001 to 2006 the Coupé Monaro.
In Japan, the Holden Commodore was presented as Toyota Lexcen, in the UK as Vauxhall VXR8. In the Middle East and South Africa, the model is available as the Chevrolet Lumina, in the United States as the Pontiac G8, in South American markets as the Chevrolet Omega. The in-house tuning company Holden Special Vehicles offers various sports versions of the Commodore. In Malaysia, the model was in the generations VR / VS as well as VX as Opel Calais been released.
Year by year Model Transformation
First Generation 1978-1988
In November 1978, Holden introduced the more compact Commodore VB as the successor to the nearly five-meter-long models of the HZ series (Holden Belmont / Kingswood / Premier). This corresponded mainly to the Opel Commodore C but possessed Holden-own engines and gear, which had already been used in the HZ. Specifically, these were 2.85 and 3.3-liter straight-six and 4.2 and 5.0-litre V8 motors; on the transmission side, four-speed gearboxes or a three-speed automatic transmission, these we called a Holden Trimatic.
The Commodore immediately won the title Car of the Year, awarded by the Australian journal Wheels. The car was considered progressive and signalled a departure from the traditional five-meter class cars that Holden, Ford and Chrysler had produced in Australia since the early 1970s. Available were the basic Commodore, the Commodore SL and the Commodore SL / E, each as a four-door sedan and five-door station wagon. From Commodore, VB was manufactured until March 1980 95,906 copies.
In March 1980, Holden presented the Commodore VC, which differed from the VB by cosmetic details and the introduction of electronic ignition. The basic model was now called Commodore L.
Also new in the program was a four-cylinder version of the Commodore, which sold itself only modestly in Australia. The 1.9-litre engine had nothing to do with the displacement same Opel four-cylinder but was a shortened by two cylinders version of the 2.85-litre six-cylinder.
The four-cylinder version was scolded for its lack of power, but was quite popular in some export markets and remained on sale until the end of the eighties.
The VC was released from September 1981 in 121,807 copies.
The Commodore VH appeared in late 1981 and received a significant facelift without technical changes. A new five-speed gearbox for models with four-cylinder and six-cylinder engines; also the equipment level SL / SLX, which was located between basic model SL and the top version SL / E. In the latter, cruise control and on-board computers became standard.
From the Commodore, VH were manufactured until March 1984 141,018 pieces.
Introduced in 1984, Commodore VK no longer had the body of the Opel Commodore C but corresponded to the Opel Senator A with six side windows in a revised form.
The drive sides were the four-cylinder, the 3.3-litre six-cylinder with carburettor or injection and the 5.0-litre V8 available.
The equipment levels were now called Executive, Berlina and Calais instead of SL, SL / X and SL / E. From the VK there were for the first time exclusive models under the designation Vacationer; a custom that Holden maintained until the 1990s.
The Commodore VK was built until February 1986 exactly 135,705 times.
Introduced in March 1986 Commodore VL was the UK with a comprehensive facelift and the last of the "compact" Commodore. The lines turned out to be more round than the predecessor, in the trunk lid was a small spoiler lip integrated. The Calais received folding headlights.
The base engine in the VL was a 155-HP, from Nissan- derived three-litre straight-six, as its six-cylinder engines could not switch to the now introduced in Australia, unleaded gasoline. Also, the electronically controlled four-speed automatic, which was available instead of the Holden five-speed gearbox, came from Nissan.
In the autumn of 1986, it also appeared a turbo version of the Nissan engine (type RB30ET) with liquid-cooled Garrett turbocharger. With new pistons, lower compression and modified camshaft, this engine produced 150 kW (204 HP). This version was up to 220 km / h fast and had stronger brakes with front Girlock callipers from the Chevrolet Corvette.
In October 1986, the VL followed with five-litre V8 and quadruple carburettor. The V8 was stronger than its predecessor and made 166 HP at 4400 / min and offered a maximum torque of 323 Nm.
The VL suffered from quality problems, especially the poor windshield seal led to the ingress of water and rust under the disc. The body quality was also not the best, and some parts of the interior seemed pretty cheap.
The Commodore VL produced a total of 151,801 copies.
Second Generation 1988-1997
The 1988 Commodore VN model was based on the extended platform of the Opel Omega A; its body came from the Opel Senator B. In size, the United Nations corresponded to the contemporary Ford Falcon, his biggest rival. As VG Commodore Holden offered from 1990 for the first time a Ute - Pick up on a model was based on the Commodore.
The Commodore VN was available in the equipment levels Executive, Berlina, Calais, S, and SS; for the authorities and fleet customers, there was also an SL version with slimmed-down equipment. The UN was the second Commodore to be named Car of the Year by Wheels. The top-of-the-range models Holden Caprice and Statesman were based on the longer wheelbase of the Commodore Combi and Ute models.
Exchange rate changes made it difficult for Holden to continue using the popular Nissan three-litre engine. Instead, the plant began producing its own, derived from a Buick engine 3.8-litre V6. The five-litre V8 remained in the program and was increased in performance to 224 HP. Both V6 and V8 had the multipoint injection. The V6 was not a manifestation of refinement but received good marks for its performance. For export markets, notably New Zealand and Singapore, the Commodore was still offered with a four-cylinder engine; this was now an injected two-litre from the Opel Vectra A.
A GM unit in the UN has replaced Jatco's four-speed automatic transmission; also, the T-5 five-speed gearbox was available from BorgWarner.
Toyota also sold the Commodore VN under the name Toyota Lexcen, named after the yacht designer Ben Lexcen; in return, Holden marketed for a while the Toyota Corolla and Camry as Holden Nova and Holden Apollo.
Furthermore, the Commodore VN was the last Commodore, which was also mounted in New Zealand. After the fall of customs, Holden closed the local assembly plant and imported the cars from Australia.
The Commodore VN produced a total of 215,180 pieces.
The manufactured model from 1991 Commodore VP was a facelift of the UN; the drive took over the well-known V6 and V8 engines but revised in terms of the smooth running. A trailing arm rear axle replaced the rigid rear axle in Commodore Calais and SS and was available for the remaining models at extra cost; As a result, road holding and handling were noticeably improved. The four-cylinder version has been cancelled. For the first time, ABS was available at extra cost.
By Commodore, VP created until July 1993 a total of 111,770 copies.
In July 1993, the visually modern-looking Commodore VR went into production. Distinguishing feature was, among other things, round (instead of the square as before) rear wheel arches and higher set taillights. The Calais was the first Australian car to receive a standard driver's airbag. ABS and the trailing arm rear axle were only available in conjunction with automatic transmission. This was now electronically controlled (type 4L60E). The VR was voted car of the year 1993 by Wheels.
New in the program was the Commodore Acclaim with safety-oriented features; ABS, semi-trailing axle, driver airbag, and cruise control were part of the series in the Acclaim.
One hundred sixty-five thousand two hundred sixty-two copies of the Commodore VR were built.
The Commodore VS launched in 1995 mainly corresponded the VR visually but received revised 3.8-litre V6 engines of the so-called ECOTEC series in suction and compressor version. The five-litre V8 remained unchanged compared to the VR. Maintaining bore and stroke dimensions, GM had designed a virtually all-new V6. The Ecotec V6 was 13% stronger than its predecessor but consumed 5% less. Measures such as increased compression, lighter pistons, revised cylinder heads, and larger valves boosted performance from 177 to 200 HP.
The VS was sold in Singapore and Malaysia as Opel Calais with 2.6-litre V6 and was the last Commodore, which was also available as Toyota Lexcen.
The Commodore VS produced 277,774 units in just over two years.
Third Generation 1997-2008
The Commodore VT, which was introduced in 1997 and built-in 2000 to 303,895 copies, was also based on the enlarged Opel Omega platform. As of VT, all Commodore models had the trailing arm rear axle as standard. However, excessive axle loads, such as in trailer operation, could cause it to disguise, causing increased tire wear.
In 1999, the Commodore VT underwent a slight revision in the form of the Series II; a US-originated 5.7-litre V8 replaced the Holden five-liter; initially, 220 kW (299 HP) made, later up to 250 kW (340 HP). From the Commodore Calais upwards were for the first time side airbags available at extra cost.
In 1997, the Commodore VT was awarded the title of Car of the Year by the magazine Wheels for the fourth time.
In October 2000, the Commodore VX went into production; the V6 made 152 kW (207 HP) thanks to modifications to the engine control system; in the Series II, of the VX (from 2001), the rear axle was modified to improve the tracking stability.
The Commodore VX was available in the equipment variants Executive, Acclaim, Berlina, Calais, S, and SS; Executive, Acclaim and Berlina were also available as a station wagon. By the fall of 2002, 211,125 Commodore VX were running off the tapes.
The Commodore VY was produced from September 2002 to August 2004, from August 2003 to VY Series II.
The VY was a fully redesigned VX with a modified front and rear end and renovated interior with a new dashboard, centre console and steering wheel and redesigned shift and hand-brake levers. In the more expensive variants were automatically on or off headlights, Blaupunkt radio, interval wipers, and passenger airbags standard.
The model program included Executive, Acclaim, Berlina, Calais, S, SV8, and SS; the first three were again available as a station wagon. Two hundred forty-one thousand nine hundred nine pieces were built in two years.
Introduced in August 2004, the Commodore VZ had, in addition to the unchanged 5.7-liter V8, completely new 3.6-liter Alloytec V6 engines with twin overhead camshafts and outputs from 175 kW (238 HP) to 190 kW (258 HP); Variants of this engine also worked in the Alfa Romeo 159 and, with turbocharger, in the Saab 9-3 Aero.
Also new was a GM five-speed automatic transmission (type 5L40E) and a six-speed manual transmission from Aisin for the sportier models.
In January 2006, the six-litre V8 (type L76) came into the Holden program; this engine relinquished the cylinder deactivation and the variable valve timing, which distinguished it in the US version.
The Commodore VZ was offered as Executive, Acclaim, Berlina, Calais, SV6, SV8, and SS; from the Executive, Berlina, and Acclaim there were again Kombiosionen.
While the sedans were replaced in August 2006 by the Commodore VE, the station wagons and pickups remained until the appearance of the successor in 2007 in production.
Fourth Generation 2006-2017
The Commodore VE debuted on 16 July 2006 in Melbourne and went into production in August 2006.
After the previous base, the German Opel Omega had been eliminated; this model generation was wholly developed in Australia. For this, there was a new platform, the GM Zeta platform.
The V6 versions received redesigned versions of the Alloytec engine that were quieter than before thanks to modified timing chains. The six-litre V8 in the VE made 10 kW more than in the predecessor; this new version called L98 came to 270 kW (367 HP).
On the transmission side, depending on the model, there is a choice between Aisin and Tremec six-speed transmissions and GM four-speed, five-speed or six-speed automatic transmissions.
In addition to the basic model Commodore Omega, the offer includes the lines Berlina, Calais, SV6, SS, and International.
The car was also exported but offered in some markets under different names. In the US, an adapted version (with left-hand drive) was initially sold as the Pontiac G8, after the end of the Pontiac brand then as Chevrolet SS. In the UK, it was (right-hand drive) as the Vauxhall VXR8. In continental Europe, however, this car was not available.
After 11 years of production, the last car of this series, a red Commodore V8, left the production line on 20 October 2017. At the same time, it was the previous car that was produced in Australia. In the future, Holden will only offer imported vehicles.
Fifth Generation 2018
Since 2017 a new model based on the smaller and front-wheel-drive Epsilon II platform as a sister model of the Buick Regal and Opel Insignia B offered. All three models are produced in Russelsheim.
Sep 15th, 2019
An Ultimate Guide to Holden Commodore – Model Making, Changes, and Specifications