Holden VR Commodore
|Holden VR Commodore|
|Manufacturer||Holden (General Motors)|
|Also called||Opel Calais
Toyota Lexcen (T3)
|Production||July 1993–April 1995|
|Assembly||Australia: Elizabeth, South Australia|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door utility
5-door station wagon
|Platform||FR layout GM V|
|Related||Holden VR Statesman/Caprice
Opel Omega A
L6 (Not available in Australia)
|Predecessor||Holden VP Commodore|
|Successor||Holden VS Commodore|
It came with an updated, sleeker and more modern design, as well as safety enhancements such as anti-lock brakes (ABS). From the side, the biggest change was the use of a round rear wheelarch, instead of a squared-off shape used on the previous VN and VP model Commodores. The VR Acclaim and Calais included a driver's side Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) air bag as standard, which was a first for an Australian car. They also had standard ABS brakes and independent rear suspension (IRS). The airbag, ABS brakes and IRS were also available across the range for both automatic transmission and manual transmission models. The rear-end treatment saw raised tail lamps, which were recessed high up on the boot lid for safety reasons. A new electronic version of the Turbo-Hydramatic 700R4 (TH700) automatic transmission was introduced, known as the GM 4L60-E. The VR Commodore was Wheels Car of the Year for 1993.
Commodore Executive opened up the VR lineup, although it was primarily projected at fleet customers. Power steering, electric side mirrors and four-wheel disc brakes were standard, with automatic transmission optional.
Only one limited edition model was offered in the VR range:
- Commodore Equipe: introduced in 1995, a Series II model in either sedan or wagon bodies was based on the Executive.
With the introduction of the VR Commodore, Holden added the Acclaim model to the Commodore range. Sitting one notch above the Executive, the Acclaim was based on an automatic transmission Executive with a safety pack that was aimed at families and featured ABS brakes, IRS, driver's side airbag and cruise control as standard.
Although the Acclaim came standard with automatic transmission, a buyer could, by taking an Executive with manual transmission, and adding the ABS brakes, IRS, and airbag options, have a Commodore that was almost a manual transmission Acclaim. Only cruise control was not available as an option.
The Commodore S was a sports option based on the Executive, retaining its 3.8&
SS models were similar to the S, except that they were fitted with Holden's 5.0 litre HEC 5000i V8. A unique-to-SS alloy wheel design was also featured. Also as an option they had the choice of a 185 kW (252 PS; 248 hp) engine
The Berlina was the first of the luxury-oriented variants. Alloy wheels, electric windows and automatic transmission were standard fitment.
The Calais topped the VR lineup with an automatic transmission, driver's airbag, IRS, and ABS as standard, as well as features, such as climate control and velour trim or optional leather, to differentiate it from the lesser Commodore models.
Toyota Lexcen (T3)
The United Australian Automobile Industries (UAAI) joint venture agreement with Toyota Australia first starting with the VN Commodore continued with the VP and VR. The VR Lexcen equivalent was known as the T3 series, and was introduced at or about the same time as the other VR models; featuring subtle styling differences, particularly, the front panels. While the VR badged as a Holden was either first or second in the monthly Australian automotive sales, the Toyota Lexcen sold substantially fewer, with some[who?] interpreting the Toyota Lexcen as Japan returning to its copycat roots. This was due to Toyota specifying styling that was in common with the then new "wide body" Camry, while retaining the original Commodore bodywork and interiors. Lexcen sales were still quite low, also another factor in this is Holden restricted Toyota in the number of Lexcens it was to provide to them. The number of technical service bulletins, recalls and customer service exercises on Holden-supplied Lexcens exceeds typical Toyota exercises on Toyota built vehicles in the era by more than five to one.
- Holden Owner's Handbook VR Series, General Motors - Holden's Automotive Ltd, 1993, page 8-2
- Holden Owner's Handbook VR Series, General Motors - Holden's Automotive Ltd, 1993, page 6-5
|Holden, a marque of General Motors, automobile timeline, 1948–present|
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† HQ–WB Statesmans not marketed under the "Holden" brand, but rather the separate "Statesman" brand.