The Week That Was: Holden VFII Commodore, Suzuki Vitara, Porsche 911 Photo:

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Trevor Collett | Sep, 13 2015 | 0 Comments

Holden’s final update for the locally-built Commodore has now been revealed in the form of the VFII, which will take the Aussie Commodore to its grave in 2017.

For its last hurrah, all VFII variants with eight-cylinder engines now get the 6.2 litre unit found in HSV models, packing 304kW and 570Nm.

Styling has been tweaked - especially for the Sportwagon and Calais models - but all LPG-powered models have been dropped for the updated model.

Suzuki re-launched the Vitara nameplate In Australia this week, adding an all-new small SUV to complement the existing Grand Vitara, S-Cross and Jimny in the Japanese automaker's crossover/4WD line-up.

Prices start at $21,990 for the base model RT-S five-speed manual, with the optional six-speed automatic attracting a $2000 premium. The flagship RT-X will be available with a 6-speed automatic only with an RRP of $31,990.

Suzuki said it expects its new Vitara to appeal to buyers transitioning from small hatches to small SUVs.

New-to-the-chair Holden MD, Mark Barnard, this week outlined Holden's plans for "transitioning" to an imported model range, ahead of the unveiling of the VFII Commodore.

Speaking to a select group of motoring media, he underscored GM Holden's commitment to the Australian market, and re-confirmed the company's plans to launch no less than 24 new products into the Australian market by the end of the decade.

Mr Barnard also said that with the closedown of Holden's manufacturing operations here, "we'll make sure we treat all of our employees with the dignity and respect they deserve".

In other news, BMW Australia announced full details of the 2016 3 Series range this week, with a new three-cylinder engine at the entry level.

Ford confirmed production for its Falcon and Territory models on home soil will end in October next year, at which point the Broadmeadows and Geelong plant sites will be sold.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Australia reacted to criticism from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and announced it will overhaul the way it handles customer enquiries and complaints.

Porsche’s 911 has gone twin-turbo for the 2016 model year, and details for the Carrera and Carrera S variants were revealed this week.

Peugeot announced a new 2.0 litre diesel engine for its range-topping 508 GT sedan and wagon, bringing a vast improvement in fuel economy but also a drop in power and torque.

Ford declared its new Mustang to be the world’s best-selling sports car, and announced that more than 3000 people in Australia have already put down a deposit.

Kia confirmed it will drop the diesel models from its Rondo people-mover range for 2016, while adding standard satellite navigation to the now two-variant line-up.

Honda announced a range of limited edition variants for its Australian customers, covering the Jazz, Civic sedan, HR-V and CR-V models.

TMR’s Tim O’Brien examined the ‘huge problem’ facing Holden and General Motors in Australia, as production of the locally-built Commodore draws ever-closer to its 2017 demise.

ANCAP awarded 5 stars for safety to the new Mazda2 and Mazda CX-3 models, but the Audi TT was awarded only 4-stars.



Among the visitors to the TMR Garages this week was the 2015 Kia Sorento SLi V6. We found it offered a comfortable middle ground in the Sorento range, with a hefty list of standard features and a silken engine.

We found the 2015 Hyundai Tucson Highlander Diesel was great to look at, great to drive and offered great value at $45,490 plus on-roads.

In case you missed it earlier, the 2016 Suzuki Vitara has arrived in Australia and we drove the new compact SUV this week. Check out our review.

We also drove Kia's boxy Soul, and Ford's new Ranger, the latter, a 4x2 HiRider dual-cab. We like the Soul, though the market is disinterested, and came away - again - very taken with the impressive new Ranger.

Finally, we drove the 'weapons-grade supercar, the 2015 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 and loved its unmatched style, sound and presence - everything a V12 Lamborghini should be.

And that’s… the week that was.

Filed under 2015 News the week that was
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