Holden Commodore (VX)

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For a complete overview of all Commodore models, see Holden Commodore.
Holden Commodore (VX)
2000-2001 Holden VX Commodore S sedan 01.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer Holden (General Motors)
Also called Chevrolet Lumina
Chevrolet Omega
Holden Ute
Holden Berlina
Holden Calais
Production October 2000 – September 2002
Assembly Australia: Elizabeth, South Australia
Body and chassis
Class Full-size car
Body style 2-door coupé utility (VU Ute)
4-door sedan
5-door station wagon
Layout Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Platform GM V platform
Related Cadillac Catera
Holden Monaro (V2)
Holden Statesman/Caprice (WH)
HSV VX
Opel Omega B
Powertrain
Engine 3.8 L Ecotec V6
3.8 L Supercharged Ecotec V6
5.7 L Gen III V8
Transmission 4-speed GM 4L60-E automatic
5-speed Getrag 260 manual
6-speed Borg-Warner T-56 manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,788 mm (109.8 in) (sedan)
2,938 mm (115.7 in) (wagon, utility)
Length 4,891 mm (192.6 in) (sedan)
5,046 mm (198.7 in) (wagon)
5,051 mm (198.9 in) (utility)
Width 1,842–1,847 mm (72.5–72.7 in)
Height 1,445–1,450 mm (56.9–57.1 in)
Curb weight 1,519–1,648 kg (3,349–3,633 lb)
1,535 kg (3,384 lb) (utility)
Chronology
Predecessor Holden Commodore (VT)
Successor Holden Commodore (VY)

The Holden Commodore, Berlina and Calais (VX), plus Ute (VU) range of full-size cars were the eleventh instalment of Holden Commodore, a model manufactured by Holden, the Australian subsidiary of General Motors (GM). Produced between October 2000 and September 2002, the VX served as minor update to the VT series from 1997 and premiered revised styling, greater model differentiation, along with gains in crash safety. An intermediate Series II was launched in August 2001, featuring a revised suspension system among other changes.[1]

History of development[edit]

The unique frontal styling of the Berlina and Calais (pictured) feature a headlamp and grille conglomerate, as opposed to the separate assemblages on lower luxury levels.
The full-width tail lamp panel featured on the Berlina and Calais (pictured) variants.

Design[edit]

Visually, the exterior features a revised headlamp design over the preceding VT among other changes.[2] These include the tail lamp panel now replaced by two separate individual light assemblies. The Berlina and Calais sedans however retain the full-width boot-lid panel incorporating the tail lamps and the registration plate.[3]

Safety[edit]

Safety played a substantial role in the development of the VX model. Bosch version 5.3 anti-lock brakes were made standard on all variants, a first for an Australian manufactured car; and traction control was made available on vehicles equipped with manual transmission. Extensive research was undertaken to reduce the effects from a side-impact collision through modification of the B-pillars. The risk presented by a side-impact collision in a VX fitted without side airbags is reduced by 50 percent when compared to a similarly specified VT model.[4]

Engine and mechanicals[edit]

The VX series introduced further mechanical upgrades to the 3.8-litre Ecotec V6 engine, which received changes to the engine management computer to bring power up to 152 kilowatts (204 hp). Fuel economy was also improved over the previous model by three to four percent.[5] The optional Supercharged Ecotec V6 extended its service to the Executive and Acclaim variants, with the 171-kilowatt (229 hp) output figure remaining unchanged from the VT.[6] As well as the supercharged six-cylinder, an even more powerful 5.7-litre Chevrolet-sourced Gen III V8 engine was offered. The powerplant received power increases from 220 to 225 kilowatts (295 to 302 hp).[7]

A modified front suspension setup received lower control arm pivot points. The Series II update featured the addition of a new rear cross member, revised rear control arm assemblies with new style bushing and toe-control links to the semi-trailing arm rear suspension to better maintain the toe settings during suspension movements, resulting in more predictable car handling, noticeably over uneven surfaces, and improved tyre wear.[5]

Engine Power Torque Transmission
3.791 L (3,791 cc) Ecotec V6 152 kW (204 hp) 305 N·m (225 lb·ft)
3.791 L (3,791 cc) Supercharged Ecotec V6 171 kW (229 hp) 375 N·m (277 lb·ft)
5.665 L (5,665 cc) Gen III V8 225 kW (302 hp) 460 N·m (340 lb·ft)


Specification levels[edit]

2000–2001 Holden Commodore (VX) Executive sedan.
2001–2002 Holden Commodore (VX II) Executive sedan.

Commodore Executive[edit]

The entry-level Executive was a popular choice amongst fleet buyers, and offered standard features such as anti-lock brakes, a driver's air bag, trip computer, and central locking.[8] Along with all other variants, steering wheel audio controls, a CD player, and an electrically retracting power antenna were now standard.[5] The naturally aspirated 3.8-litre Ecotec V6 came standard on the Executive, with the option of the Supercharged Ecotec V6 or Gen III V8 engine. V6 engines were coupled to a five-speed manual transmission, and V8s came with a six-speed manual. A four-speed automatic transmission was available as an optional extra, regardless of the engine choice.[9]

Commodore Acclaim[edit]

The second tier Acclaim was marketed as a family-oriented variation of the VX range, with a strong emphasis on safety.[8] Building on the equipment levels of the Executive, the Acclaim also featured four airbags, cruise control, traction control, air conditioning and power windows. A four-speed automatic transmission was the only transmission available, although buyers did have the opportunity to opt for the Supercharged Ecotec V6 engine.[9]

2000–2001 Holden Commodore (VX) S sedan
VX II Commodore SS interior with the satin dashboard veneer, sports-style upholstery and leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Commodore S[edit]

Offered as a sporty alternative to the Acclaim was the Commodore S. Based on the entry-level Executive, features came in the form of a sports body kit, electric windows, 16-inch alloy wheels, sports suspension, air conditioning, cruise control, and a leather steering wheel. However, leather upholstery,[10] traction control, four airbags, 17-inch alloy wheels and the Supercharged Ecotec V6 were offered as options.[9]

VX II Berlina interior displaying steering wheel command controls and a wood grain-faced transmission selection lever.

Commodore SS[edit]

The SS continued on with the sporting trend of the Commodore S, but incorporated bumper-integrated foglamps, and more aggressively styled alloy wheels.[7] Instead of the six-cylinder engine standard on the "S pack", a Gen III V8 engine and six-speed manual transmission came as standard. A more advanced suspension setup, traction control and a passenger's airbag were also standard, but side impact airbags and leather upholstery remained optional.[9][10]

Berlina[edit]

This model and the top-of-the-range Calais attributed a notably re-styled exterior, when compared to other trim levels. Both featured a full-width rectangular grille, which merged off together with the angled-off headlamps. The rear-end of the sedan is characterised by a boot panel housing the transparent taillights. Nine-spoke, 15-inch machine finished alloy wheels accentuated the prestige image.[7]

Building on the features the Acclaim featured the Berlina added climate control air conditioning, and adjustable seatbelt anchors. 17-inch alloy wheels, sports suspension (the same type found on the SS), limited slip differential and an eight-cylinder engine were all made available as optional extras.[9]

Calais[edit]

The flagship Calais shares the prestige style exterior with the Berlina, but is distinguishable by its 16-inch alloy wheels and chrome outlined foglamps.[7] An eight-speaker audio system, with a ten stack CD player and supercharged V6 engine were also standard. The Calais presented the same optional features as the Berlina, but allowed for the inclusion of leather upholstery.[10] With the Berlina, the centre console was finished with either the black or beige plastic panel depending on the interior colour scheme, however the Calais upped the ante with a wood grain-faced console, or a satin-finished façade for Series II variants.[9]

Ute (VU)[edit]

2000–2002 Holden Ute (VU) SS

Before the VU, Holden had marketed their Commodore-based utility models under the Holden Utility (VG) and Holden Commodore utility (VP, VR, VS) names,[11][12] although the term “Holden Ute” was also used in their official marketing literature.[13][14] The VU Ute's successor was assigned the same model code as the sedan it is based on (VY).

Models[edit]

The VU replaced the VS Utility. The VU's arrival was 36 months after the VT Commodore sedan, meaning it arrived in time for the launch of the VX Commodore. The VU utilises the same wheelbase as the VT Commodore station wagon and WH Statesman/Caprice, meaning a wheelbase increase of 116 mm (4.6 in). The Ute employs the same interior as the Commodore, while also picking up the VX's upgraded equipment lists and re-styled exterior design.

  • Base : Built up from the Commodore Executive's specification. Available with 3.8-litre 152 kW (204 hp) Ecotec V6 - 4sp auto, 5sp manual or 5.7-litre 225 kW (302 hp) Generation 3 V8 - 6sp manual or 4sp auto
  • S : Based on Commodore 'S' specification. Available with 3.8-litre 152 kW (204 hp) Ecotec V6 - 4sp auto, 5sp manual speed.
  • SS : Based on Commodore SS specification, minus side-impact airbags. Available with a 5.7-litre 225 kW (302 hp) Generation 3 V8 - 6sp manual or 4sp auto

The range received a minor refresh with the VX Series 2 models 12 months later, with the major upgrade being an additional 5 kW (7 hp) to Holden's Generation 3 V8's.

The VU was superseded by the VY ute in September 2002.

Special editions[edit]

In October 2001 a special edition "SS Fifty" model was released to mark the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the first “Holden Ute”, the Holden 50-2106 Coupe Utility. This model was limited to 500 units and were designed to become a collector's item; every SS 50 was identical in terms of color schemes, all 500 units were released with a black exterior and a partial leather interior that contained plenty of "hyper yellow" accents.

Other items that made the SS 50 different were the chrome sports bar on the back, unique black-and-yellow engine cover, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, handbrake cover and gear knob as well as a color-coded instrument cluster to match the leather bolsters on the sports seats.

HSV (VX)[edit]

VX II Clubsport

Holden's performance car partner Holden Special Vehicles produced a number of models based on the Holden VX Commodore, including the HSV VX Clubsport.

The VX Series II was released in 2001 and discontinued in 2002.[15]

Clubsport[edit]

VX II Clubsport R8

The VX Clubsport was launched in early 2000 and featured the same V8 engine as the Clubsport VT Series II, but with an increased power output, up by 5 kW (7 PS; 7 hp) to 255 kW (347 PS; 342 hp). During the development of the VX Clubsport HSV responded to many customers' complaints regarding how Clubsports were difficult to distinguish from standard Holden Commodores. The improvements due to this included a more flamboyant, unique bodykit and exclusive HSV interior features.[16]

GTS[edit]

  • Series 1 VX GTS — 112 produced
  • Series 2 VX SV300 (rebadged GTS)

Maloo[edit]

2001–2002 HSV Maloo (VU) R8

In September 2000, the long-lived VS series Maloo utility was finally replaced by an all-new VU series, based upon the existing VX series HSV sedans. The VU Maloo featured the same LS1 5.7 litre V8 engine as in the VX ClubSport with 255 kW (342 hp). Mirroring the sedan range, the HSV VU ute was now also available as Maloo R8, which featured standard 'Performance' brakes and a hard tonneau cover with raised rear wing. Overall, 301 examples were produced of the first series VU Maloo.[17]

HSV's VU Series 2 Maloo was introduced in October 2001 in concert with the VX Series 2 sedans, with minor cosmetic upgrades that included 'blackout' style headlights and additional Maloo range paint colours of Delft Blue and HSV Racing Green. This model upgrade also introduced new security measures in the form of 'HSV DNA', the micro 'DataDot' component identification system. Overall, 483 examples of VU Series 2 were produced, including in June 2002, 30 examples of a special HSV 15th Anniversary Edition Maloo ute.[17]

Senator[edit]

The 2000 VX Series brought a facelift with more angular styling with a distinctive 'egg-crate' grille while the VX Series II added toe-control links to the IRS (in line with the Series II update of the Holden Commodore), as well as Microdot technology to deter theft. Most of the main changes to the VX Senator are mostly exterior changes, with visual styling was again designed by former Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) designer Ian Callum. These changes included a chrome grille accent, crossed hatch lower grille, roof spoiler and a discreet boot mounted spoiler. Power increased by 5 kW (7 hp) for the now 255 kW (342 hp) LS1 V8. The VX Senator was partly based on the Holden Calais at the time. Electronic Traction Control comes as a standard option. Some features that come with the $72,881 Senator include 10-stacker CD player, two subwoofers with a premium sound system, four airbags, automatic climate control, cruise control, power mirrors and windows.

For the first time the Senator line up features rear parking sensors which beep when close to an object while reversing. An optional satellite navigation system and sunroof were available. The four speed automatic transmission is retained and for brakes there are two front ventilated discs and standard non-ventilated discs at the rear. Some of the dimensions are as follows: length is 4,964 mm (195.4 in), width 1,842 mm (72.5 in), height 1,450 mm (57.1 in) and the wheelbase dimension is 2,788 mm (109.8 in). The Senator weighs 1,710 kg (3,770 lb) and uses 18.1/100 km of fuel through the city, the fuel tank capacity is 75 litres. Once again the self leveling rear suspension featured and part of the entertainment package a 6 stacker CD player and 8-speaker sound system was added. ABS and traction control was added for extra safety. Throughout the cabin there is leather trim and dark wood grain on the dash board. Some extra options that were also available at extra cost was the premium brakes, Satellite navigation, leather-pewter and an upgraded entertainment sound system.

Senator 300[edit]

This car was released in 2001 with the VX, continuing on into the Y series. Some features that come standard are 10 stacker CD system, 8 way power controls for the front seats, woodgrain instruments, electric windows, automatic climate control, ABS and front and side airbags. This top of the range model cost $98,850. The Senator 300 was presented to the public at the Melbourne international motor show. Only 33 cars were built and 7 of the 33 built were to go on sale in New Zealand. The engine is a Callaway tuned V8 that produces 300 kW (402 hp) of power and is only available with a 6-speed manual gearbox. ABS and a cross-drilled premium brake system were fitted inside 10 spoke 18” chrome shadow wheels. 0–100 km/h (0–60 m/h) takes just 6.1 seconds and can reach 400 meters (1/4 mile) under 14.7 seconds.[18]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Edgar, Julian (2002-04-02). "New Car Test – Holden Commodore VX Series II Wagon". AutoWeb. Web Publications. Retrieved 2007-07-02. 
  2. ^ Doak, Alastair (2001-03-15). "Styling edge tipped for new Commodore; Diesel on Holden's agenda". Drive. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 2007-05-25. 
  3. ^ Lord (2000), p. 41. "Holden's taken a different tack with Berlina and Calais, separating these high line models from the pleb models with Magnaesque headlight and grille treatment. All VXs have new tail lights, but Berlina and Calais have a full width lens treatment while the rest have body coloured boots."
  4. ^ Lord (2000), p. 37. "The VXs biggest improvement is in passive safety, through minor but extremely effective changes based on extensive research into side impacts. Modifications to the B-pillar improve side impact protection across the board. If you have a side-on collision in a VX not fitted with side airbags, risk of injury is halved compared to a similarly equipped VT. The addition of anti-skid brakes to standard equipment lists of Executive and S models means the entire Commodore range now has Bosch version 5.3 ABS. As well, traction control is now available in combination with manual transmission for the first time."
  5. ^ a b c Gable, Chris (2000-08-30). "Holden opens its VX files". Drive. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 2007-05-24. 
  6. ^ McCarthy, McKay, Newton, Robinson (2006), p. 158.
  7. ^ a b c d "Holden VX Commodore". AutoTrader New Zealand. ACP Media. Retrieved 2007-05-25. 
  8. ^ a b Morely, David (2005-05-25). "Holden Commodore VX". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 2007-05-25. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f "Holden Commodore / Calais VX Series". Unofficial Holden Commodore Archive. 2003-10-26. Retrieved 2007-05-25. 
  10. ^ a b c Davis, Kennedy, Kennedy (Part Three), p. 110–111.
  11. ^ Holden Commodore VN Technical specifications Retrieved from www.uniquecarsandparts.com.au on 17 December 2008
  12. ^ Holden VG Utility Retrieved from www.catalog.slsa.sa.gov.au on 17 December 2008
  13. ^ ”HOLDEN V6/V8 UTILITY” sales brochure AD10433, August 1990
  14. ^ The Holden Ute Series III sales brochure AD10682 of May 1998
  15. ^ "HSV ClubSport (VXII ClubSport)". GoAuto.com.au. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  16. ^ "HSV ClubSport (VX ClubSport)". GoAuto.com.au. Retrieved 5 June 2011. 
  17. ^ a b "20th Anniversary Maloo R8 Brochure". HSV.com.au. Retrieved 11 April 2011. 
  18. ^ "HSV Press release". HSV. Retrieved 2007-01-25. 

References[edit]

  • McCarthy, Mike; McKay, Peter; Newton, Bruce; Robinson, Peter (October 2006). "2006 Collector's Edition VE Commodore: The Full Story". Wheels magazine (ACP Magazines). 

External links[edit]