Holden VX Commodore
|Manufacturer||Holden (General Motors)|
|Also called||Chevrolet Lumina
Holden VU Ute
Holden VX Berlina
Holden VX Calais
|Production||October 2000 – September 2002|
|Assembly||Australia: Elizabeth, South Australia|
|Predecessor||Holden VT Commodore|
|Successor||Holden VY Commodore|
|Body style||2-door coupé utility (VU Ute)
5-door station wagon
|Layout||Front engine, rear-wheel drive|
|Platform||GM V platform|
|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
|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 in)|
|Curb weight||1,519–1,648 kg (3,350–3,630 lb)
1,535 kg (3,380 lb) (utility)
Holden V2 Monaro
Holden VU Ute
Holden WH Statesman/Caprice
Opel Omega B
The Holden VX Commodore, Berlina and Calais 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.
History of development
Visually, the exterior features a revised headlamp design over the preceding VT among other changes. 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.
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.
Engine and mechanicals
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. 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. 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 (300 to 302 hp).
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.
|Colour range (expands)|
|Heron White (white)|
|Grey Storm (gunmetal grey with blue highlights)|
|Tungsten (light grey with beige highlights)|
|Dark Chestnut (medium brown – Series I)|
|Phantom Black (black with silver highlights)|
|Shanghai (light burgundy)|
|Cinnabar (dark red/burnt orange – Series I)|
|Tiger (bright orange – Series I)|
|Hyper (metallic yellow-gold – Series II)|
|Capricorn (dark green – Series I)|
|Laurel (dark green with gold highlights – Series II)|
|Botticelli (metallic aqua – Series II)|
|Delft (medium blue – Series II)|
|Genesis (dark royal blue – Series I)|
|Vespers (dark royal blue – Series II)|
|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)||
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. Along with all other variants, steering wheel audio controls, a CD player, and an electrically retracting power antenna were now standard. 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.
The second tier Acclaim was marketed as a family-oriented variation of the VX range, with a strong emphasis on safety. 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.
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, traction control, four airbags, 17-inch alloy wheels and the Supercharged Ecotec V6 were offered as options.
The SS continued on with the sporting trend of the Commodore S, but incorporated bumper-integrated foglamps, and more aggressively styled alloy wheels. 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.
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.
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.
The flagship Calais shares the prestige style exterior with the Berlina, but is distinguishable by its 16-inch alloy wheels and chrome outlined foglamps. 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. 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.
Before the VU, Holden had marketed their Commodore-based utility models under the Holden Utility (VG) and Holden Commodore utility (VP, VR, VS) names, although the term “Holden Ute” was also used in their official marketing literature. The VU Ute's successor was assigned the same model code as the sedan it is based on (VY).
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (October 2012)|
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.
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 Series
- Edgar, Julian (2002-04-02). "New Car Test – Holden Commodore VX Series II Wagon". AutoWeb. Web Publications. Retrieved 2007-07-02.
- Doak, Alastair (2001-03-15). "Styling edge tipped for new Commodore; Diesel on Holden's agenda". Drive. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
- 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."
- 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."
- Gable, Chris (2000-08-30). "Holden opens its VX files". Drive. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 2007-05-24.
- McCarthy, McKay, Newton, Robinson (2006), p. 158.
- "Holden VX Commodore". AutoTrader New Zealand. ACP Media. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
- Morely, David (2005-05-25). "Holden Commodore VX". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
- "Holden Commodore / Calais VX Series". Unofficial Holden Commodore Archive. 2003-10-26. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
- Davis, Kennedy, Kennedy (Part Three), p. 110–111.
- Holden Commodore VN Technical specifications Retrieved from www.uniquecarsandparts.com.au on 17 December 2008
- Holden VG Utility Retrieved from www.catalog.slsa.sa.gov.au on 17 December 2008
- ”HOLDEN V6/V8 UTILITY” sales brochure AD10433, August 1990
- The Holden Ute Series III sales brochure AD10682 of May 1998
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Holden VX Commodore|
- McCarthy, Mike; McKay, Peter; Newton, Bruce; Robinson, Peter (October 2006). "2006 Collector's Edition VE Commodore: The Full Story". Wheels magazine (ACP Magazines).
- VX Commodore information site
- Holden - New Cars - Large: Ute
- An Aussie Icon Turns 50 - The Holden Ute: 1951 - 2001
- History of the Holden Ute
|Holden, a marque of General Motors, automobile timeline, 1948–present|
|List of Holden vehicles
† HQ–WB Statesmans not marketed under the "Holden" brand, but rather the separate "Statesman" brand.