Holden VE Commodore
VE Commodore - How did it win "Car Of The Year" ?
The sensational new 2006 VE Commodore has arrived as the pinnacle of the Commodore range since the VB commodore was launched over 28 years ago. Tony Hyde, Holden's design executive director stated, "We all wanted to do a BMW, there's no shame in that. We all wanted to do the stuff that the good German guys had done, but we knew that we had to sell it for $35,000, to make life a little difficult."
They call it the "Billion Dollar Baby" as that was the cost of producing this revolutionary family car from a clean sheet. Safety is one of the features that make this car so remarkable.
Holden spent $500,000 crashing prototypes which included 5,000 virtual crashes on computer, 403 tests of components and systems (using an air-powered sled, and a total of 79 crash tests with a whole car. The crash test costs up to $40,000 and that doesn't include the cost of the car!
What separated the VE Commodore from the rest of the pack? How did it win and deserve the title of "Car Of The Year" from Wheels Car Magazine? It may have something to do with:
1. Benchmarking BMW & Audi rather than Ford
2. $60 million spent on crash testing prototypes
3. New headlight light clusters that feature latest long-life bulbs and give whiter, broader spread
4. Stiffer front brake calipers and larger diameter discs for all models
5. Mirror & window controls are grouped beside hideaway handbrake
6. SS and SS V fitted with identical bootlid spoilers, 30 percent taller than SV6's
7. Two pairs of exhaust pipes for the V8
8. A massive wheel base increase
9 Wider front and rear track dimensions
10 Distinctive body-to-glass relationship
Superior interior, drivetrain and keeping the price under $40,000 also contributed to making this "re-birthing" of the Billion Dollar Bay a reality. No wonder it won car of the year.