HOLDEN is poised to wow new car buyers with world-class technology to get them to consider a Commodore one last time.
The new Commodore - due to be unveiled in Melbourne on Sunday ahead of its showroom debut in June, before bowing out in late 2016 - will be able to park itself, and warn the driver of an impending crash in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
News Limited can also exclusively reveal that drivers will be able to option the car with the internet music service Pandora. The humble handbrake has been replaced by an electronic button.
Such technology is becoming commonplace on luxury cars but the Commodore will mark their first appearance on an Australian-designed and engineered vehicle.
The new Commodore will use sensors in the front and rear bumpers to detect the size of a space before automatically steering the car into position. All the driver needs to do is select reverse and apply the brakes.
Self parking technology has been around since 2005, when it was unveiled on a $200,000 Lexus limousine, but it is now available on a $26,000 Volkswagen Golf, some Skoda models, the topline versions of the Toyota Prius hybrid and the new Ford Focus Titanium.
To date there are about 19,000 imported cars on Australian roads that can park themselves, but the Commodore could double this figure in its first year on sale.
Meanwhile, the new Commodore’s extensive use of lightweight aluminium – in the boot, bonnet and underbody components – has trimmed the car’s overall weight by about 40kg, said to cut fuel consumption by about 10 per cent.
Holden posted its lowest sales in 19 years and the Commodore posted its lowest sales in the 35-year history of the nameplate in last year’s record new-car market. But the company is vowing to fight back against the weight of imports with the new model.
At the recent announcement of Holden’s three-year NRL football sponsorship deal the boss of Holden Mike Devereux told reporters: “This sponsorship is the strongest indication yet that Holden is back, bigger and better than before. It’s exactly what the Holden brand needs to cement our success this year, and into the future.”
Holden will resurrect the Commodore’s export to the US later this year, where the car will be sold as a Chevrolet and used in the Nascar series there – putting it in front of one of the largest sporting TV audiences in the world.
Read more on the Herald Sun.