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All-new Holden Spark Engineered For Adventure



holden spark

All-new Holden Spark Engineered For Adventure. Three weeks after Holden revealed specifications and pricing of the all-new Spark, Australia’s motoring media have put the class-leading new micro-car to the test at Holden’s top-secret Lang Lang proving ground

apple carplay holden sparkHaving already confirmed Spark’s advanced technology features including a seven-inch colour touch screen and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto as standard, Holden has now revealed the under-the-skin secrets that ensure Spark seamlessly integrates into the lifestyles of modern Australians.

Holden’s Director of Vehicle Performance, Ian Butler, said that Spark was developed with a laser-like focus on the customer, not just from a connectivity perspective but also in the drivability and performance of Holden’s most compact car.

“Holden engineers have been heavily involved in the development of Spark from the outset, to make sure Australian customer needs are satisfied,” said Mr. Butler.

“We know that Spark drivers are more adventurous and will likely experience a variety of roads, including part-sealed bitumen and gravel on trips camping, to the beach or just down to the shops.”

Working closely with their international counterparts, Holden engineers travelled to South Korea on multiple occasions at the start of the Spark program to define suitable powertrain combinations and important content to aid noise and vibration improvements.

“We’ve been working as part of a global GM team to help develop the CVT transmission available on Spark for the Australian market, and when combined with its all-new 1.4-litre engine, we have been able to deliver a 16 per cent increase in power and up to a 20 per cent increase in torque,” said Mr. Butler.

“Defining effective powertrain combinations was a key first step in allowing the Holden team to be able to tune the car to suit Australian lifestyles and usages.”

Australian specific tuning and calibration

Utilising the wide array of facilities available at Holden’s top secret Lang Lang proving ground, Australian engineers were able to perform critical tuning work to develop the character of Spark and ensure it drives as a Holden should.

Holden’s Vehicle Dynamics Engineer, Rob Trubiani, said there were three major pieces of engineering work carried out by the Holden team and suppliers at Lang Lang and on the public roads of Gippsland; suspension tune, steering calibration and chassis controls tune.

“Key to Spark’s unmistakable Holden DNA is its Australian-specific suspension tune, developed after hundreds of hours and thousands of kilometres at Lang Lang,” said Mr Trubiani.

“We have introduced alternative dampers and tuned them specifically to improve road holding and increase body control. This gives the driver an improved ride balance especially over some of the more challenging road surfaces we see outside the cities.

Another important piece of engineering work was a unique Holden steering calibration, developed in collaboration with the supplier at Lang Lang.

“The steering calibration required extensive drive testing and numerous setting modifications to provide the feel we understand our customers need; zippy and nimble in the city whilst being engaging to drive on country roads,” said Mr. Trubiani.

“We know customers aren’t chasing racing performance but this improved steering will provide more on-centre feel, crisper response and a linear effort build up, which will give control and confidence to all drivers.

The final step in the local development process was the optimisation of chassis controls, working with Bosch on Holden’s gravel road testing circuit to test features including hill start assist, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control (TC) and ABS.

“Our optimisation of chassis controls further adds to the confidence this vehicle delivers. Spark is more than capable on challenging gravel-road surfaces with the aid of key features like ESC and Traction Control,” said Mr. Trubiani.

“It was important to us to be able to deliver a car that inspires confidence in the driver whilst being fun to drive, both on bitumen and gravel. This may be a micro car, but it’s big on driving appeal and sophistication.”

“Overall, Spark offers a mature and cultured feel that, when combined with its exceptional feature list and attractive design, will set a new benchmark in the micro-car segment.”

Australian Test Fleet

Following many hours and kilometres of tuning and calibration work, Holden engineers selected a range of seven Sparks to utilise in a ‘Captive Test Fleet’, allowing them to understand how the car performs in everyday life.

Continuing Holden’s focus on developing young talent and keeping the target customer front of mind, engineers handpicked 29 young employees and student interns to continuously test two of the Captive Test Fleet cars over a three-month period.

“Testing the car using a combination of experienced engineers and young employees was a real eye-opener for us,” said Mr. Butler.

“As you would expect, our engineers were able to ensure the car handles and performs smoothly over a variety of road surfaces, whilst our target market employees tended to be more focused on how the connectivity and convenience features integrated with their everyday lives.”

“We have a great Co-operative Student Program that gives approximately 70 university students a year the opportunity to experience a 12-month placement in the industry whilst studying for their degree. It has been incredibly beneficial to be able to lean on the opinions of our student employees and make sure we deliver a car that meets their needs.”

Complementing its sophisticated and mature performance is a range of feature technology ensuring Holden’s most affordable vehicle is designed to integrate seamlessly with customer’s lives.

Spark boasts a seven-inch colour touchscreen with the latest Holden MyLink infotainment system, and the innovative Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto technology* available across the range as standard. Siri Eyes Free and voice recognition software also allow drivers to give verbal commands ensuring their hands never have to leave the wheel, and their Spark becomes an integrated part of their lifestyle.

The all-new Holden Spark will go on sale at Holden dealerships across Australia from April 2016.

*compatible with iPhone 5 / Android 5.0 (Lollipop or higher)

Holden Spark Range and Feature Highlights

LS highlights:

1.4-litre engine
5-speed manual transmission
CVT transmission (optional)
Electronic Stability Control
ABS & Traction Control System
Remote Central Locking
14-inch steel wheels (4) with covers
Electric Power Steering (EPS)
Hill Start Assist
60/40 rear folding seats
Driver information cluster
Steering wheel audio controls
Holden MyLink Infotainment System with 7-inch colour touch screen
Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto mobile phone projection
Siri Eyes Free and Smartphone Voice Recognition Pass-Through
USB input

LT highlights over LS:

CVT transmission
15-inch alloy wheels (4)
Keyless entry
Push button start
Leather wrapped steering wheel
Jet Black Sportec seat trim
Interior trim – Mirotic White highlights
Rear Park Assist
Rear view camera
Cruise control
Driver Assistance Pack (LS)*

Rear Park Assist
Rear view camera
Cruise control
* available June 2016

Spark Exterior Colours

Carbon Flash Black*
Summit White
Nitrate silver*
Splash metallic blue*
Mystic Violet*
Solar Red
Fresh Lime Green*
* prestige paint is a $550 option

Holden Spark Recommended Retail Pricing

Spark LS – manual transmission $13,990
Spark LS – automatic transmission $15,690
Spark LT – automatic transmission $18,990

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The New Holden Commodore

The new Holden Commodore Breaks Cover with the release of first pictures and video.




The New Holden Commodore Breaks Cover

Holden has today revealed first images and more details of the all-new Commodore ahead of its Australian launch early in 2018.

The next-gen Commodore takes cutting-edge safety, driving and infotainment technology and makes it available for today’s Australians, everywhere. The new Holden Commodore is swimming in technology.

Now with images of the next Commodore breaking cover, Australia gets its first look at the sleek and sophisticated design that will be hitting Australian roads in 2018.

Designed in Germany by the Opel team with input from GM Holden’s team, the new Commodore takes the best of Europe and makes it great for Australia.

Building on information released last month regarding the next-generation Commodore, Holden has today confirmed a raft of premium technologies will make Commodore the most technologically-advanced Holden ever. From potentially life-saving safety technology features through to active driving technology and seamless infotainment, the all-new Commodore will make driving safer, easier, more involving and more connected than ever before for Australian customers.

“Customers are expecting more of their vehicles than ever before,” said Holden’s Executive Director of Sales, Peter Keley. “The all-new 2018 Commodore redefines the level of technology people can expect, and how tech can help our customers be safer, more involved and more connected than ever before. The Commodore combines technology across a number of areas in a way that you would usually only find in high-end prestige vehicles and makes it available for everyday Australians. Combined with the howling V6, world-first all-wheel-drive system and all the on-road performance you expect from the Commodore, this is a car that ticks all the boxes and more,” said Mr Keley.

Going on sale in Australia early in 2018, the new Commodore range will be headlined by the V6 flagship model, the first ever imported Commodore will honour the iconic nameplate by being the most technologically-advanced Holden ever.

With a cutting-edge all-wheel-drive system channeling 230 kilowatts and 370 Newton metres to the road, combined with adaptive suspension technology, and a company-first nine-speed automatic transmission with torque vectoring all-wheel drive, the next-generation Commodore will continue to cement Holden’s reputation for class-leading driving dynamics and on-road refinement.

Jeremy Tassone, Holden’s Engineering Group Manager for Vehicle Development, said the technical underpinnings of the next Commodore also represents Holden’s commitment to bringing the best vehicles from around the word to Australian customers.

“From its cutting-edge all-wheel-drive system to nine-speed transmission and adaptive suspension, this is a true driver’s car in the way Commodore has always been. We’re taking the best of Europe and making it even better for our Australian customers. I can’t wait for our customers to get behind the wheel”

In addition to the Commodore’s unique all-wheel-drive system, further details surrounding the ‘FlexRide’ suspension system have also been confirmed. The continuously adaptable FlexRide chassis electro-hydraulically adapts the dampers to the road and the driving conditions 500 times per second or 30,000 times per minutes.

Additionally, the driver can save personal preferences for the steering characteristics, throttle response and dampers via the ‘Sport’ button.

  • ‘Standard’: The automatic control selects the best set-up based on the information collected by the vehicle sensors.
  • ‘Tour’: Comfortable chassis configuration, and throttle response for best fuel consumption and most relaxed touring. The right mode for relaxing long-distance drives.
  • ‘Sport’: Brake dive is reduced, flat and responsive chassis control at high speeds and the throttle and steering provide more direct feedback.

The new central ‘Drive Mode Control’ software is the heart and soul of the adaptive chassis. It continuously analyses the information provided by the sensors and setting and recognizes the individual driving style. The individual systems are then optimized for the best traction and road position.

Exterior Design:

The design of the next Commodore is based on the ‘Monza’ Concept car, created by the Opel Design team in Germany. The prominent front grille and the slim-line headlamps are directly inspired by the Monza Concept enhance the wide horizontal gesture of the front end and provide it with a bold appearance. The grille sits lower than on the outgoing model and further emphasises the solid stance.

The side window graphics feature with an upper chrome strip, rather than a full-chrome treatment, and the coupé-like roofline to graphically lower the car and emphasize its stretched appearance. The ‘blade’ light catcher in the lower doors pulls attention rearwards. The new Commodore is as sleek as it looks: it has an exemplary drag factor of 0.26 making it one of the most aerodynamic vehicles in its class.

At the rear, clear and simple lines combined with the slim, precise double-wing LED signature also give the car a wider appearance. The newly designed center high-mounted LED stop lamp has been integrated into the roofline. It helps to give the rear end a more high-tech look typical of premium brands’ vehicles.

Interior Design:

The attention to the smallest detail is also evident inside the Commodore. The cockpit is organized along horizontal lines, enhancing the feeling of elegant lightness and of space. The cockpit is orientated to the driver for a sportier feeling. The generous center console that further embraces the driver provides the feeling of sitting in a much larger class of vehicle. Clean lines, modern surfaces and first-class craftsmanship with soft-feel materials at all touch points contribute to a feeling of elegance and grace.

Infotainment system design:

Equal attention has been paid to the controls and the infotainment interface. The frameless touchscreen of the infotainment system exudes a sophisticated and technical charm. Many functions are controlled via the touchscreen in order to simplify the interface, while three clusters of buttons have been designed to allow quick and intuitive operations: the upper ones for the major functions of the infotainment system, the central ones for climate and heating controls, the lower ones for driver assistant controls. This very clear set-up avoids drivers and passengers having to dive into sub-menus on the touchscreen to find most essential functions.


  • Cutting-edge driver assistance systems and technology:
    • Autonomous Emergency Braking
    • Adaptive Cruise Control
    • Speed Limit Cruise Control
    • Lane Departure Warning
    • Lane Keep Assist
    • Forward Collision Alert
    • Side Blind-Zone Alert
    • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
    • 360-degree Camera
  • Next-generation comfort and convenience technologies:
    • Massage Seats
    • Rear one-touch folding seats
    • Heated Front and Rear seats
    • Ventilated Front seats
    • Express up/down all windows
    • Wagon power lift-gate
    • Active Noise Cancellation

Program overview:

  • Next-generation Commodore built in Germany on all-new, global E2 architecture shared with Opel Insignia
  • Lightweight construction methods result in approximately 200kg weight savings compared to current Commodore
  • Flagship model offers V6 AWD drivetrain with Holden-first 9-speed transmission
  • V6 engine delivers 230kW / 370Nm while being incredibly efficient thanks to Stop-Start technology and Active Fuel Management
  • 2.0T petrol and 2.0T diesel front-wheel drive models also coming to Australia
  • Liftback and Sportwagon body-styles
  • Cutting-edge, adaptive all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring and twin-clutch (‘Twinster’) rear differential system
  • Adaptive ‘Flexride’ suspension system offers three settings: ‘Tour’, ‘Standard’ and ‘Sport’
  • Next-generation matrix lighting system
  • Infotainment includes:
    • Apple Car Play and Android Auto
    • 8-inch configurable LCD instrument display,
    • next-gen head-up display

Additional details and information to be confirmed closer to launch.

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Next-Generation Holden Commodore is Coming




The next-generation Commodore materializes

Holden has revealed first details of the all-new, next-generation Commodore ahead of its Australian launch in early 2018.

Australia’s first look under the bonnet of the cutting-edge new Commodore reveals a car that will set new benchmarks in its segment for technology, style, practicality and driving dynamics.

Headlined by the V6 flagship model, the first ever imported Commodore will honour the legendary nameplate by being the most technologically-advanced Holden ever. With a cutting-edge all-wheel-drive system channeling 230 kilowatts and 370 Newton metres to the road, combined with adaptive suspension technology, a company-first nine-speed automatic transmission, and torque-vectoring all-wheel drive, the next-generation Commodore is set to cement the iconic nameplate’s reputation for class-leading driving dynamics and on-road refinement.

Based on General Motor’s new ‘E2’ global architecture, engineered in Germany and shared with the Opel Insignia, the new Commodore has also been co-developed under the expert and watchful eye of Holden’s Australian engineers to ensure the all-new Commodore continues a four-decade tradition of setting new benchmarks.

“Holden has been engaged in this program from the outset to ensure the next-generation Commodore lives up to its legendary nameplate,” said Jeremy Tassone, Holden’s Engineering Group Manager for Vehicle Development.

“We know the first imported Commodore will come under a lot of scrutiny and we know we have a lot to live up to – this car delivers in spades”

“Although we are in the early stages of the Holden development process, this is an absolutely world-class car. We’ve taken a precision-engineered German car and endowed it with Holden DNA. It drives like a Commodore should.

“We’ve had our Holden engineers engaged in this global program from the outset and we’re continuing to do extensive tuning and development, racking up thousands of kilometers, at our Lang Lang proving ground in Victoria to ensure it’s got that Holden magic.

“Of course, it helps that the underlying platform is absolutely world class! This global vehicle program, led by Opel in Germany, has produced a phenomenal base for us to work from. The genuinely cutting-edge all-wheel-drive system using active torque vectoring provides incredible traction and handling finesse. The key is what is dubbed the ‘Twinster’ rear drive module. Essentially, the traditional rear differential has been replaced with two individual clutches that not only save weight and improve packaging but provides virtually instantaneous active distribution of torque to the required wheel.

“The overall system monitors inputs from vehicle sensors 100 times per second and constantly adjusts accordingly, it’s extraordinary.”

The V6 engine with the all-wheel-drive system is a combination that the Holden team drove into the global vehicle program because we know our customers and this performance option is important to them. While it may not be built here, we’ll deliver a Commodore that our customers will love in 2018,” said Mr Tassone.

Commodore’s evolution reflects the transformation of the Holden brand and company as it moves to full-line importer of vehicles. But just like Commodore, Holden will remain a powerhouse of the industry and of the local motoring landscape.

“The next-generation Commodore will reset benchmarks in its class, as has every Commodore since 1978,” said Holden’s Executive Director of Sales, Peter Keley.

“What Commodore will also continue to do is carry the family in space and comfort. Commodore will also race in Supercars from 2018 and continue to be on the road as police cars.

“This next-generation vehicle is changing and bringing incredible technology and refinement with it but will continue to offer customers that quintessential Commodore experience they have loved for nearly four decades.

“With the first-ever imported Commodore, we’re delivering our customers an absolutely world-beating vehicle, with the space, practicality, technology and driving pleasure that Commodore has always provided. This is a different kind of Commodore to what has come before but lives up to the nameplate in every respect and will carry our heritage with pride.”


  • Next-generation Commodore built in Germany on all-new, global E2 architecture shared with Opel Insignia
  • Lightweight construction methods result in 200kg – 300kg weight savings compared to current Commodore
  • Flagship model offers V6 AWD drivetrain with Holden-first 9-speed transmission
  • V6 engine delivers 230kW / 370Nm while being incredibly efficient thanks to Stop-Start technology and Active Fuel Management
  • 2.0T petrol and 2.0T diesel front-wheel drive models also coming to Australia
  • Liftback and Sportwagon body-styles
  • Cutting-edge, adaptive all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring and twin-clutch (‘Twinster’) rear differential system
  • Adaptive suspension
  • Next-generation matrix lighting system
  • Infotainment includes:
    • Apple Car Play and Android Auto
    • 8-inch configurable LCD instrument display,
    • next-gen head-up display


Pricing, specification, full details of driver, safety and additional infotainment technology to be confirmed closer to launch.

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New High-Tech Holden Colorado Engineered for Australia



  • Redesigned Holden Colorado co-developed by Holden engineers in collaboration with international colleagues
  • New Colorado boasts car-like refinement and improved driveability
  • New levels of active safety including forward-facing camera with Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning**
  • Final vehicle development ride in Australia with international attendance

Holden’s Australian engineers have steered significant engineering and development changes on the new and improved, high-tech 2017 Colorado.

Fresh from its recent public reveal, the 2017 Holden Colorado is set to go on sale from early September, with Holden engineers confident the new vehicle will more than handle Australia’s distinctive driving conditions and customer requirements.

“The variety of roads in Australia and the variety of ways in which Australians use trucks means the 2017 Colorado has to be versatile enough to handle everything thrown at it,” said Holden’s Lead Development Engineer, Amelinda Watt.

“We know customers like to drive their Colorado off-road or on unsealed roads, but we also know they spend a lot of time on the bitumen.

“We’ve focused on improving refinement and driveability with a range of chassis changes, including electric power steering as well as engine and transmission noise and vibration refinements.

“We’ve also had the benefit of international experience, as the Colorado program was a co-development project between GM Brazil, GM Thailand and Holden – a great example of the type of engineering work Holden will be responsible for in the future.”

International Engineering Collaboration

With significant input and involvement from the outset of the 2017 Colorado program, Holden engineers were able to drive change into the popular truck, based on Australian customer feedback and expectations.

In collaboration with Colorado’s GM Brazil Homeroom and GM Thailand Manufacturing facility, Holden engineers shared their expertise with international colleagues throughout the development of the product.

Holden engineers participated in numerous development activities and drive events in Brazil in addition to completing critical local testing at Holden’s Lang Lang Proving Ground and on public roads around Victoria.

The final development drive for the Colorado program, known internally as the ‘100% Buy-off ride’, was managed by Holden in Australia and tackled a variety of terrain.  Combined with an extensive Captured Test Fleet program, local testing accumulated more than 100,000 km on inner-city and suburban roads, rural country roads and 4×4 tracks in state forests.

“Being involved from the start of Colorado’s development has given us the opportunity to ensure we have been able to address customer feedback,” Ms. Watt said.

“It’s also been beneficial to hold the final development drive in Australia and have colleagues from Brazil ,Thailand, India, USA and Europe visit and see first-hand the type of terrain our customers drive on.”

Improved Driveability (Chassis Changes)

As the 4×4 Crew Cab truck segment continues to increase each year (doubled since 2006), it’s clear customers are using their Colorado for much more than simply hauling the tools to work. They need their truck to be versatile and easy enough to drive every day.

Co-developed with the GM Brazil team, Colorado’s Electric Power Steering (EPS) delivers a more responsive feel, giving the driver increased confidence.  A revised, steering calibration in combination with a faster steering rack (going from 41mm/rev to 48mm/rev), and the number of turns lock-to-lock lowered (3.9 to 3.29) delivers a car-like feel and a more precise response.

Major changes to Colorado’s suspension, co-developed by Holden with GM Brazil, delivers improved body control and ride isolation.  The changes include the introduction of digressive front and rear shocks, an increase in size of the front stabiliser bar (29/31mm to 34mm) and revised spring rates.

Other key developments in Colorado’s chassis include a revised set of engine, transmission and body mounts to provide a more refined and composed ride, in addition to a new final drive ratio (only in Australia) on manual transmission Colorado which will improve drive quality, particularly while towing.

Car-like refinement

The key to Holden engineers achieving improvements to powertrain noise and vibration in the 2017 Colorado is the introduction of a Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber (CPA) torque converter.

Ms Watt said: “CPA torque converters are more commonly found in premium diesel passenger cars, its introduction is a first for the truck segment in Australia which is exciting.

“The CPA torque converter helps reduce engine noise and vibration by cancelling out torsional vibrations in the driveline normally felt in the cabin.

“The added benefit to the CPA is the ability to apply a revised transmission calibration strategy with results in driveability and fuel economy improvements.”

Additionally, Colorado’s relocated balance shaft, along with a new engine acoustic pack and wind noise package, ensures a quieter and more comfortable driving environment.

Active and passive safety

The 2017 Colorado has been developed to the highest safety standards with additional active and passive safety features ensuring Colorado is not only one of the most high-tech vehicles in Australia, but also one of the safest.

For slow speed reversing manoeuvres, a rear-view camera is available as standard across the range*.  Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning accompany Front and Rear Park Assist and Tyre Pressure Monitoring System to provide a comprehensive active safety package**.

An upgrade in passive safety features includes key structural improvements in addition to a new driver’s knee airbag, which takes Colorado’s total airbag count to seven.

Notable engineering features on the 2017 Colorado include:

2.8L Duramax Diesel Engine

  • Iron cylinder block and aluminium DOHC cylinder head
  • 147kW power and 500Nm torque (auto) / 440Nm torque (manual)


  • New MyLink infotainment system with Apple CarPlay® and Android® Auto
  • New 7” and 8” colour touchscreens with Bluetooth streaming, voice recognition (via Apple CarPlay® or Android® Auto) and Digital (DAB+) radio as standard
  • Embedded Satellite Navigation and Voice Recognition**

Key Chassis Changes

  • Electric Power Steering (EPS)
  • All new chassis tune
  • Revised Traction and Stability Control, including Hill Descent Control
  • All-new engine and transmission mounts
  • Introduction of shear body mounts
  • New tyres
  • New final drive ratio on Manual Transmission

Key Noise and Vibration Changes

  • Centrifugal Pendulum Absorber (CPA) torque converter
  • Balance shaft relocation
  • Engine acoustic pack
    • Injector Insulator
    • Metal timing cover
    • Oil pan insulator
  • Wind noise package

* All pickup body styles.  Rear view camera is available as an accessory option on cab chassis models.
** On selected models Apple CarPlay is a registered trade mark of Apple Inc. Android is a registered trade mark of Google Inc.

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