Upgraded Holdens Introduce More Power, Responsiveness
Increased Fuel Economy, Advanced Active Safety Technology
9th August, 2004
VZ Commodore, Berlina and Calais
WL Caprice and
- New generation Alloytec V6 engines, more high-output V8 power
- All-new 5-speed Active Select automatic and 6-speed manual transmissions,
upgraded 4-speed automatic
- Electronic Stability Programme, Electronic Brake Distribution, Brake
Assist, Corner Brake Control, upgraded ABS and Traction control
- Sharper styling cues
- Commodore SV6 replaces Commodore S
The launch of the upgraded VZ Commodore and WL
Statesman/Caprice models reinforces Holden's reputation for 'driver's car'
performance character, innovation in safety technology and unparalleled value
The latest versions of Australia's most popular sedans, wagons and luxury
long-wheelbase vehicles introduce Holden's new generation, high feature Alloytec
The 3.6 litre Alloytec engines are more powerful, responsive and
fuel-efficient than the outgoing ECOTEC V6. Matched to all-new and upgraded
transmissions they deliver increases in all-round driving
refinement. Selected models bring advanced active safety features that
electronically assist the driver to maintain vehicle control in emergency
High-output 5.7 litre Gen III V8 engines specified on Commodore SS, SV8 and
the WL Caprice increase in power to 250kW and all V8-powered models benefit from
evolutionary engine management system improvements.
The new VZ Commodores, Berlina
and Calais are identified by sharper-accented styling and individual models are
clearly defined by differing treatments. More subtle design changes to the WL
Holden Caprice and Statesman enhance their prestige appeal.
Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Denny Mooney, said the improvements
made to the 2004 VZ sedan and WL model series at a total development cost of
$189 million represented the most substantial upgrade since the VT Commodore in
1997. The new Alloytec V6 powertrains were major contributors and they brought
many associated modifications.
"The six-cylinder engine has been the heartbeat of the Holden brand for more
than 50 years, and the launch of a new generation Holden six has always been a
great catalyst for change.
"Apart from the direct benefits of increased power and mid-range torque
responsiveness, Alloytec VZ and WL models also bring new electronic systems that
offer even more confidence-inspiring driver control and greater safety," Mr
"They are the culmination of years of intensive development by Holden
engineers who are quite rightly recognised within the GM organisation as
world-class in rear wheel drive powertrain application.
"The high-feature Alloytec V6 will help us maintain the momentum we need to
remain competitive in domestic and export markets and reactive to our customers'
needs," Mr Mooney concluded.
Two Alloytec V6 Engine VariantsThe lightweight, all-aluminium 3.6
litre Alloytec is a 60-degree V6 belonging to a new family of GM Global V6
engines that incorporate state-of-the-art features and premium performance
characteristics. It is locally produced at Holden's $400 million Global V6
plant in Port Melbourne, Victoria, and comes in two variants: Alloytec and
The Alloytec engines operate with advanced double overhead camshafts and four
valves per cylinder. A combination of high feature technologies allows them to
extract more power from less fuel, with fewer emissions. They deliver more peak
power and considerably more torque across the rev range than the outgoing 3.8
litre 152kW ECOTEC V6.
The 3.6 litre Alloytec engine is specified on VZ Commodore Executive, Acclaim
and Berlina models. It produces 175 kW of power at 6000 rpm and 320 Nm of
torque at 2800 rpm. Ninety per cent of the torque is available between 1630 and
The high-performance 3.6 litre Alloytec 190 engine is standard specification
on the new-to-the-range VZ Commodore SV6 (replacing Commodore S), the Calais and
the long-wheelbase WL Holden Statesman. It produces 190kW of power at 6500 rpm
and 340Nm of torque at 3200 rpm. Ninety per cent of the torque is produced
between 1570 and 5870 rpm, which is a 38 per cent wider rev range than the
previous 171kW Supercharged V6 engine. This wide 90 per cent torque range is a
performance attribute normally associated with V8 engines.
Consistent with Holden's commitment to improving fuel economy, increases in
engine power and torque do not bring fuel consumption penalties. Official ADR
8/10 fuel standards show that the most popular Commodores - Executive, Acclaim
and Berlina sedans with automatic transmission - use two per cent less fuel than
their ECOTEC V6 predecessors.
Corresponding wagon models deliver a fuel economy improvement of close to
four per cent. Alloytec 190-powered Commodore SV6 and Calais use considerably
less fuel than outgoing Supercharged V6 models.
Alloytec feature highlights include continuously variable cam phasing for
outstanding operational flexibility, a powerful micro-hybrid engine control unit
that facilitates extremely fast data flow, electronic throttle control, variable
intake manifold (Alloytec 190), coil-on-plug ignition, forged steel crankshaft
and piston cooling jets. Long-life new exhaust systems have cast-iron manifolds
and dual close-coupled catalytic converters.
Matching the Alloytec V6 is a broader range of
powertrain combinations. VZ and WL models powered by the Alloytec 190 offer a
world-class new five-speed automatic transmission with 'Active Select'
paddle-shifters on the steering wheel. A new, premium application six-speed
manual transmission is available as an option on the Commodore SV6.
VZ models powered by the 175kW Alloytec engine offer a comprehensively
upgraded four-speed automatic transmission that provides smoother shifts under
all operating conditions.
More V8 Power
Improvements to throttle control, engine calibration,
induction and exhaust bring increased power and torque outputs for Commodore SS,
SV8 and Caprice, which now produce 250kW of power at 5600 rpm (a rise of 5kW)
and 470Nm of torque at 4800 rpm (a rise of 5 Nm). The Statesman V8 increases
peak figures to 245kW (a rise of 10kW) and 465Nm and V8 Calais and Berlina
figures are unchanged at 235kW and 460 Nm.
Active Safety Technology and Chassis DynamicsThe VZ and WL model
series introduce a new era in Holden chassis control systems and active safety
Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), widely regarded as one of the most
significant automotive safety systems ever to come on the market, is offered for
the first time on an Australian-manufactured sedan.
ESP greatly improves vehicle safety performance in situations where the
driver takes emergency action to avoid a collision. It does this by
electronically correcting vehicle paths through brake application to individual
wheels and engine torque management. The system operates so smoothly that in
most situations the driver will not be aware it has been activated.
According to international research findings, ESP can reduce the incidence of
single vehicle accidents by more than 30 per cent and in adverse situations it
helps a similarly large percentage of drivers to maintain vehicle control.
The Electronic Stability Programme is specified as standard on VZ Commodore
Acclaim, Calais and Alloytec-powered WL Caprice and Statesman.
All Alloytec models with ESP feature Corner Brake Control, which helps
to maintain optimum vehicle stability during heavy braking on curves and
The latest generation Bosch ABS system, which optimises stopping
distance with faster, surer braking, is specified on all Alloytec models. As
another advancement, Electronic Brake Assist comes standard on all
ESP-equipped VZ and WL sedans. Commodore Executive, Berlina and wagon models
have a Brake Assist feature. Both systems can sense how hard and fast a
driver hits the brake pedal and they give extra braking assistance if it is
Alloytec-powered sedans and wagons have an Electronic Brakeforce
Distribution (EBD) feature that optimises control of rear brake pressure on
all road surfaces and under all vehicle loading conditions.
Complementing these advances, all VZ and WL models have upgraded braking
systems with a new brake booster/master cylinder combination that invokes a
very fast brake pressure response and increases safety margins by reducing
stopping distances by approximately four per cent. All models are equipped with
a new traction control system for smoother, more flexible brake pressure
Refinements to front suspensions deliver sharper, more direct steering
response and all models receive high quality new lightweight power steering
Additional WL Caprice and Statesman Feature Highlights
wheelbase models introduce LED tail lamp technology, a first for
Australian-made vehicles. Each tail lamp features five rows of LEDs which
operate at low intensity during normal driving and become high intensity with
brake application. Faster response times give following cars more time to
react, which at 100km/h amounts to an estimated five metres more 'warning
distance' than normal tail lamps.
Exclusively, Caprice now offers the benefits of a tyre pressure monitoring
system and ultrasonic Front Park Assist.
VZ Commodores, Berlina and Calais
VZ models are distinguished by sharper design themes and significantly
stronger graphics that emphasise width across the front.
The bolder road presence is accentuated by new facias, new radiator grilles
with a single sports bar and larger Holden Lion symbol, larger air intake
openings, the use of textured mesh inserts, a more compact new headlamp design
and a powerful new bonnet form with twin spears which gives a more pronounced,
A new exterior finish called Odyssey, a dark mercury silver,
complements the eight other VZ colours and five other WL colours in the range.
Buyers of the new Commodore SV6 and Commodore SS can choose the brilliant
chromatic Impulse blue that was introduced on Series III Monaro.
The sporty nature of the new Commodore SV6 is emphasised by a deep front
facia, a large front air dam with hexagonal mesh insert, black bezel headlamps,
fog lamps, new circular tail lamps with bright chrome highlights, rear spoiler
with a black insert and an oval exhaust tip. The SS is set apart by striking
chrome fender vents, projector headlamps and the same circular tail lamps.
New 'technical spoke' wheels are introduced across the range, Calais, Berlina
and Commodore SS have an innovative 'optic fibre' parking lamp design and there
are significant refinements to rear end graphics, particularly on Executive and
Subtle interior fine tuning includes new trim fabrics and patterns, a revised
centre stack design with storage compartment (Berlina and Calais) and a new
tonal beige background for Calais, which now comes with luxury leather trim as
WL Statesman and Caprice
The new Caprice and
Statesman are designed to build on the success of these luxury nameplates with
subtle enhancements and sophisticated features that underline their position as
the flagships of the Holden range.
Design treatments emphasise differences in positioning between the sports
luxury Caprice and more traditional Statesman. New LED technology tail lamps
are distinguished by silver highlights and chrome surrounds. The new dark
mercury silver exterior finish, Odyssey, joins the six-colour long
Caprice has a new front facia with enlarged lower intake and dominant
hexagonal mesh insert, new rocker skirts and bolder new rear facia.
Statesman has a new grille with vertical chrome highlights, new-design
technical spoke alloy wheels and is now specified with luxury leather trim as
The new VZ series Holden Commodore Executive
Recommended Retail Pricing (E&OE)
Holden VZ Commodore,
Holden WK Caprice and