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FOR RELEASE: 2004-08-08

Upgraded 2004 Holdens Introduce More Power, Responsiveness And Refinement, Increased Fuel Economy, Advanced Active Safety Technology

VZ Commodore, Berlina and Calais
WL Caprice and Statesman

  • 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 Program, Electronic Brake Distribution, Brake Assist, Corner Brake Control, upgraded ABS and Traction control
  • Sharp, stand-out styling cues
  • Sports performance Commodore SV6 joins range

The launch of the significantly upgraded VZ Commodore and WL Caprice and Statesman model series reinforces Holden's reputation for 'driver's car' performance character, innovation in safety technology and unparalleled value for money.

The latest versions of Australia's most popular sedans, wagons and luxury long-wheelbase vehicles introduce Holden's new generation, high feature Alloytec V6 engines.

The advanced 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 noticeable increases in all-round driving refinement. Selected models bring advanced active safety features that electronically assist the driver to maintain vehicle control in emergency situations.

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 improvement.

The new VZ Commodores (now including a sporty new SV6 model), Holden 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 proven 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 Mooney said.

"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 Variants
The 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 Alloytec 190.

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 5460 rpm.

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 sports performance 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 Dynamics
The VZ and WL model series introduce a new era in Holden chassis control systems and active safety technology.

Electronic Stability Program (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 Program 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 corners.

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 required.

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 control.

Refinements to front suspensions deliver sharper, more direct steering response and all models receive high quality new lightweight power steering pumps.

Additional WL Caprice and Statesman Feature Highlights
Both long 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, sculpted appearance.

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 Acclaim models.

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 standard.

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 wheelbase selection.

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 standard.

VZ sedan and WL colours

Odyssey* -- dark mercury silver

Barbados -- light to mid-blue metallic (VZ only)

Impulse** -- bright chromatic brilliant blue (VZ SS and SV6 only)

Quicksilver -- sharp silver with brilliant highlights

Phantom -- metallic black with silver highlights

Martini -- pale olive green metallic

Vespers -- dark inky blue metallic

Heron -- solid white

Redhot -- highly chromatic solid red (VZ only)

*denotes new to range
** denotes new to Commodore

Recommended Retail Pricing
Holden VZ Commodore, Berlina, Calais

Holden WK Caprice and Statesman

Executive Sedan V6 Automatic $35,410*
Executive Wagon V6 Automatic $37,350*
        *includes air conditioning
Acclaim Sedan V6 Automatic $39,050
Acclaim Wagon V6 Automatic $40,990
SV6 Sedan V6 Manual             $38,990
SV6 Sedan V6 Automatic $38,990
SV8 Sedan V8 Manual             $41,990
SV8 Sedan V8 Automatic $41,990
SS Sedan V8 Manual             $50,990
SS Sedan V8 Automatic $50,990
Berlina Sedan V6 Automatic $42,990
Berlina Sedan V8 Automatic $47,500
Berlina Wagon V6 Automatic $45,830
Berlina Wagon V8 Automatic $50,430
Calais Sedan V6 Automatic $52,660
Calais Sedan V8 Automatic $57,360


Statesman Sedan V6 Automatic $55,990
Statesman Sedan V8 Automatic $60,790


Caprice Sedan V6 $69,650
Caprice Sedan V8 Automatic $74,390

Executive Air conditioning  $2,250
Executive Air conditioning, side impact airbags $2,770
SV8  Side impact airbags, four power windows $1,140
SV6 Side impact airbags, Anthracite leather trim $2,570

Leather trim in Anthracite, Red Hot or Bermuda, Single zone electronic climate control, Dash-mounted cupholders

Berlina Leather trim $2,050
Option Highlights    
Country pack   $330  
LPG (V6 auto Executive) 
    * plus HBD fitment cost (2,090)
Six stacker CD  $595  
Rear park assist (sedans only) $495  
Metallic paint  $315  
Level ride suspension (Statesman)  $495  

Holden By Design - Selected Options
Performance brakes
Roof mounted DVD player
Blue Tooth phone kit
Sports profiled leather-covered steering wheel
Leather-covered handbrake and auto/manual shifter
Lip spoiler
Lower body kits
Stainless steel sill plates
Alloy pedals
Satin chrome interior door handles
Wagon cargo safety barrier
Country roo bar

Wheels and Tyres    
Executive/Acclaim Range of 16x7, 17x8 and 18x8 alloys and tyres
SV8 Range of 17x8 and 18x8 alloys and tyres
SV6 Range of 17x8 and 18x8 alloys and tyres
SS 18x8 alloys and tyres
Berlina Range of 17x8 and 18x8 alloys and tyres
Calais Range of 17x8 and 18x8 alloys and tyres

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