Holden's VF Calais V Show Car
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10th February, 2013
Holden has today previewed the design direction of its upcoming VF
Commodore range by revealing of the 2013 Calais V luxury sports concept.
To be launched mid-year, Holden’s new VF range is intended to change perceptions of Australian-made cars.
The new-look flagship Calais V-Series sedan headlines Holden’s VF design strategy and introduces a premium upgrade to
the vehicle interior and exterior.
Designed to capture the attention of Australian car buyers in an increasingly competitive marketplace, the Calais V
signals a major evolutionary change to Commodore, with world-class interior design, premium fit and finish and the
application of advanced technologies.
Holden Calais V presents a range of technology firsts for a local vehicle, including Auto Park Assist, Head-up Display
and Reverse Traffic Alert. The new features make VF Commodore the most advanced vehicle to be designed, engineered and
built in Australia.
In addition, the Calais V-Series luxury sports concept reveals fresh exterior design treatments and a sculpted,
'muscular' form that boosts aerodynamic efficiency.
While a new, detailed and luxurious approach to the interior design has resulted in a tailored, refined and harmonious
blend of quality materials, integrated themes and thoughtful ergonomics.
Holden Design Director Andrew Smith said the design team’s vision was to provide a new interior environment with a
richer, more cohesive feel.
“We set out to over-deliver. Consequently, there’s a level of refinement you’d expect of a high-end European
product,” he boasted.
“There’s a sense of being invited in, of well executed and custom-tailored detail wherever you look.”
“The VF will introduce cutting edge driver technologies and we’ve ramped up every facet of the interior lay out to
“The big new infotainment touch-screen is a prime example. It’s a great graphic interface to functions that drivers
will find simple to operate, minimising distraction and maximising connection to the rest of their lives.”
“We’ve re-designed everything from the instrument panel, instrument cluster graphics, binnacle hood, centre stack
and flow-on console lay outs to the steering wheel, seats, storage and lighting. Controls are in better places, functions
are clearly defined.”
“The design team selected premium quality materials in light titanium and jet black tonings to create a layered,
textured surface feel that the Calais V-Series shows off to great effect.”
“Accents such as precision stitching and perforated inserts on the soft leather seat trim are reflected elsewhere
in the cabin – there’s a careful attention to detail apparent everywhere you look”.
Holden's VF Calais V’s symmetrical, ergonomically advanced interior design was driven by high-level global research
into consumer expectations and preferences.
It delivers systems that are easy to use and understand and which minimise the steps required to perform a particular
task. There are fewer buttons to navigate, many controls are relocated to more convenient positions and all switches have
Power window and mirror controls are now situated on the door armrests, door locks have moved to the front door and
the boot release is on the driver’s door. Cruise control joins other fingertip functions on the steering wheel.
On the new centre stack, infotainment system and climate controls (now with illuminated dual temperature readouts),
are entirely separated and clearly designated.
The reconfigured centre console features a covered compartment, versatile new cup holders, more small item storage,
recessed electric park brake control and an easily accessible mobile phone rest and power outlet located forward of the
new auto shifter. In night mode, this area and door pull recesses are illuminated by ice-blue ambient lighting.
The VF Calais V-Series also offers class-leading new seat structures with curved comfort profiles developed by GM to
ensure global best practice integration, detail execution and quality standards. Driver and front passenger seats combine
snug sports back and bolster support with superior cushioning.
The show car is upholstered in a modern combination of fine-grained light titanium leather with suede and perforated
leather inserts, accent stitching and a central jet black strip detail.
A neutral timber-grained finish follows the full-width curvilinear form of the instrument panel. High chrome finishes
on the tactile new steering wheel and elsewhere are complemented by subtle galvano silver chrome elements.
The overall result is harmonious, first-class and refined in every aspect.
Richard Ferlazzo (Holden's Chief Designer)
Richard Ferlazzo Holden Chief Designer – Creative Design, said the VF’s handsome new silhouette holds true to
“However, this time we’ve raised the bar. We’ve taken a great existing form and brought it up to another
level,” he said.
“The surfacing is more flamboyant and contemporary, way more sophisticated. We’ve succeeded in putting in more
action and detail.”
“One of our main goals was to improve aerodynamic performance and as a result many visual elements are much
bolder. There’s also more embellishment in terms of chrome highlights. Headlamp and tail lamp treatments are layered,
complex and intricately detailed.”
“You’ll notice that the hood (NOTE: hood is an American expression for bonnet - Editor) is more prominent, with a
centre crease that emphasises performance potential and two raking spears sweeping in from the A-pillars. They point
focus at the elegant new Calais V front fascia with its slim LED daylight running lamps and signature trapezoidal
“The new vertical fender (NOTE: fender is an American expression for mudguard - Editor) vents highlight the long
dash-to-axle proportion that’s very much part of the design DNA.”
“The flowing side detailing, the upper line that incorporates the decklid (NOTE: decklid is an American expression
for boot lid - Editor) into the C-pillar, the upswept ducktail aero effect – they exemplify the sculpted approach we’ve
taken to exterior surfacing.”
“Of course the twenty-inch, double ten-spoke show car alloys make their own statement.”
“The rear graphic is distinctively different, more streamlined. With the brilliant new integrated tail lamps and
the licence plate (NOTE: licence plate is an American expression for number plate - Editor) moved to the lower fascia,
it’s a wider, cleaner look.”
“Aerodynamically, this vehicle has been tuned to the nth degree. Even the fine vertical style crease that runs
through the tail lamps has a purpose beyond good looks”.
Colour and Trim
The opulence of the newly designed VF interior is reflected through Holden Design’s modern and luxurious colour and
The 2013 Calais V interior environment has been enhanced with a strong focus on custom-tailored detail, with finishes
like perforated materials, suedes and chrome carefully selected to reflect the luxury sport design theme. Additional
accents of wood and chrome also give the interior an air of modern sophistication.
Two interior images were designed – a dark image with light titanium accents and more technical decoration strategy –
and a lighter interior environment, which points to the ultimate in luxury styling.
Both styles place a strong emphasis on decoration, with a carefully considered layering of materials, more jewelled
decoration and stitching detail. Materials are repeated across different elements in the interior such as the seats and
instrument panel, to augment the sense of luxury.
Bright décor also helps to emphasise the luxuriousness of the interior space.
Chief Designer – Colour and Trim Design Sharon Gauci said designing VF gave the team the opportunity to decorate more
elements in the car, with the aim of achieving a sense of richness through all of the materials.
“The new VF interior environment is designed to go above and beyond traditional customer expectations,” she
“With VF, we aimed to create the ultimate interior for the price point with a harmonious and cohesive approach to
our colour and trim strategy.”
“The VF Calais V show car presents a very connected interior environment and we’re satisfied we have met the brief
for a technical, modern and luxurious interior.”
Exterior feature highlights
The Holden Calais V lower front fascia features black honeycomb mesh insert detail on a chrome-laced central air
intake. Outboard ports sport chrome over-riders and an LED daylight running lamp/park lamp combination, integrated by a
stand-out chrome ribbon.
The deep, trapezoidal grille has a bright chrome surround, header and horizontal bars; prominent Holden branding
against a gloss black textured mesh background.
Fluid, sculptural halogen projector headlamps are strikingly shaped and jewelled, with intricate internal layers, a
light guide ‘eyebrow’, a hooded flash detail that runs down and over the projector and black bezel detailing.
The fascia is flanked by prominent front mudguards and flared, aero-modified wheel arches.
The Calais V show car’s deep-dished twenty-inch double ten-spoke machine-faced alloy wheels feature radial triangular
Slim vertical front mudguard vents with a chrome surround incorporate repeater lamps.
Door handle surrounds, belt line and door frame mouldings are finished in bright chrome, while the Prussian Steel
Concept exterior colour echoes the luxury styling of the bright chrome exterior finishes.
Replicating the fluid headlamp design, the integrated tail lamps extend into the boot lid. They incorporate complex
jewellery detailing and chrome rings surround instantly identifiable red-lit ‘hotspots’.
Further features include a V-Series boot lid badge, new reflectors in the lower valance and dual circular chrome