02/15/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/14/2018 18:08
Put yourself in Rob Trubiani's shoes for a minute. Trubiani, Holden's Lead Dynamics Engineer, has been responsible for the way Commodores drive for the past 22 years. In fact, while most people were focusing on Cathy Freeman beating the world, Trubiani was focusing on perfecting the VY Commodore.
Now, Trubiani and Holden's talented engineering team have released their most recent masterpiece to Australia - the 2018 Holden Commodore - and this time making sure it felt like a Commodore was more critical than ever.
'We've been working with the GM team in Europe for a few years to make sure all of the elements of Commodores are present in this car but when it comes to how it feels, that's work we have to do here,' said Trubiani.
'Australians have different driving tastes to Europeans and Americans. Here we like cars to feel more connected to the road and more engaging to drive. It's all about road feel and steering.
'We've developed an Australian suspension tune that works unique Holden hardware in the shape of struts and shocks to make sure the new Commodore feels as planted as ever. Then, add in the adaptive AWD system and it feels so well-planted it could be running on tram tracks.'
Commodore employs three different suspension settings depending on the role of the vehicle. For luxury-focused models, including Calais-V Calais-V Tourer, a comfort-focused 'Tour' setting is used. Sports variants employ a slightly firmer 'Sports' set up, while the performance hero, VXR offers an additional 'Performance' tune. VXR also boasts a Continuous Damper Control system which gives occupants the best of both worlds, from comfort to outright performance.
But steering is where Trubiani shines most.
'We've also given the car the same linear steering feel that Commodores are renowned for, using technology to deliver an electric power steering solution that is not only engaging but inspires ultimate driver confidence.'
'We've developed three different Commodore steering tunes - Tour, Sports and Performance - each tailored to suit the car they feature in. We've also got switchable mode buttons on certain models to allow drivers to select how they want the car to feel in certain situations.'
Building on Commodore's extensive testing and tuning carried out at Holden's Lang Lang proving ground, Holden drivers have also driven an incredible 200,000km on local roads as part of the Captured Test Fleet (CTF) program, designed to evaluate everyday driving performance.
Commodore's CTF program consisted of over 30 pre-production vehicles with a wide range of Holden employees jumping at the chance to test the car.
'The CTF program is a great way for us to check those day-to-day issues that annoy us all. Things like poor radio reception, squeaks and rattles,' said Holden's Product Development Quality Manager, Paul Sbrissa.
'The new Commodore has a long list of high-tech features including 360-degree camera, adaptive LED lighting and head-up display. We need to make sure these all work smoothly to ensure that the 2018 Commodore fits in seamlessly with Australian drivers' lives.'
Commodore has long been known for exceptional product quality combined with exhilarating performance, and while the new Commodore is not the traditional rear-wheel-drive, its Adaptive AWD system delivers in spades.
Standard on all 3.6-litre V6 models, Commodore's adaptive AWD system provides Twinster state-of-the-art technology for more grip, especially in slippery conditions, as well as better compensation of oversteer and understeer.
Commodore's adaptive AWD system utilises Twinster's twin clutch concept, which uses one clutch to control torque to the right rear wheel independent of the clutch controlling torque to the left rear wheel - each with an individual clutch capacity of 1500Nm. The system monitors inputs from vehicle sensors up to 100 times per second. Torque split is between 100 : 0 and 50 : 50 Front : Rear. In short, Commodore drives whichever wheels it takes to produce the best performance possible - wet or dry.
Further innovation is found in all petrol Commodores, thanks to an all-new 9-speed automatic transmission. Finetuned through years of 4-speed, 5-speed and 6-speed transmission development, it's no fluke that the new 9-speed transmission is always in the right gear and ready to respond to driver demand.
With such an in-depth engineering involvement on the car, Trubiani has one message for those on the fence.
'The new Commodore will surprise people, the 3.6-litre V6 is a heap of fun and the 2.0-litre turbo is a dark horse. I'd encourage people to go check the car out for themselves. They won't be disappointed.'
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