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Space Shuttle - Holden Sportwagon

John Carey
1 September 2008
www.wheelsmag.com.au

After almost a year without one in its line-up, Holden has a new Commodore-based wagon poised for a spectacular re-entry.

Richard Ferlazzo is a self-confessed long-term wagon dag. For the past 20 years the GM Holden chief designer claims to have owned nothing else, but for a man whose skill with the felt-tips is considerable – he penned the 2005 Efijy concept coupe, a car of exceptional (and award-winning) beauty – those wagon-bound decades must have dragged.

“Wagons are second only to people-movers in lack of desirability,” says Ferlazzo, speaking with the unmistakable authority of someone with first-hand knowledge. But he’s also talking about the past, because Holden’s hearse-drawn wagon era is about to come to a very welcome end.

This isn’t exactly a surprise. Holden first revealed the VE Commodore Sportwagon at the Sydney motor show last October. From the moment the curtain went up it was obvious that the new wagon was a car in which pert proportions had equal billing with pragmatic considerations. Back then, hard information was scant. Now, with the arrival of the Sportwagon in Holden showrooms imminent, Ferlazzo’s the man chosen to deliver the background briefing on the newest VE variant’s design genesis.

The Sportwagon design basics, he says, were developed in parallel with the VE sedan in the early years of this decade. The key idea was simple; adopt compact proportions to create a cargo carrier with good looks and reasonable, if not vast, room inside. Length and height measurements for the Sportwagon would be within millimetres of the VE sedan.

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2008 Holden Commodore Berlina Sportwagon

Bruce Newton
30 August 2008
www.drive.com.au

The Sportwagon adds a 21st-century polish to a traditional concept.

Having dabbled in the soft-roader market unsuccessfully with the all-wheel-drive Adventra (remember that?), Holden opted for a more conservative tack when it came time to develop a wagon version of the VE Commodore.

Rather than add weight, driven wheels and height, Holden decided to stick with a traditional wagon concept, albeit given a polish for the 21st century. That means it becomes the Sportwagon and is pitched very much at a private buying audience, offering an alternative to pseudo soft-roaders and hatchback passenger cars.

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If this was wearing a Pontiac badge, sporting a manual transmission, and had one of GM's diesel motors in it...I'd be all over it. But its not, and apparently never will soooo....the Jetta Sportwagon looks to be the wagon for me in a couple years
 

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Thanks for the article JoeT, but is anything written about the sportwagon not stright from the press release, I think I've read the same article twenty times, written by twenty different people, that may just be my insatiable hunger for knowledge about these though!

I never get sick of the look of the SSV or Calais V, although so far all I've seen on the roads are white Omegas, so much for removing that rep mobile status!
 

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I never get sick of the look of the SSV or Calais V, although so far all I've seen on the roads are white Omegas, so much for removing that rep mobile status!
True, but if I had a rep job and had to choose a wagon - I would have an Omega over the Mazda 6 or Mondeo (and especially over the Falcon).

BTW - I own a last gen Mazda 6. The seats are crap over a long jouney.
I have driven an Omega sedan over a 400km journey and got out of the car feeling like I had not left home.
 

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I've seen the entire range on the road, except the Berlina and Calais. The Karma Calais V 6.0 I saw was awesome. The rear end with the quad pipes was delicious. Unfortunately, I couldn't get out the old camera phone in time, but I waved just incase it was RedVee8:D

As for the press release thing, yeah I get pretty bored with it too but as you would know, wheels publishes their articles on line a month after their magazine release: one of the reasons I rarely go to the website (+ something about taking the laptop to the throne room just doesn't feel quite right).
 

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The only other article I have read was in Top Gear magazine, and it was an embarrassingly bad article. The premise was to see how many Elvis's they could get in a Sportwagon (why ?) and for some reason they referred to it as the reincarnation of the Sandman :confused:?




I've seen plenty around Melbourne, and although most of them are Omegas, the chrome strip across the tailgate and standard 17" alloys (which seem to suit tha wagon better than the sedan) gives them a classier look than the sedan.

Or am I just biased...?
 

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The real question is: WHY WOULD YOU BRING OUT THE G8 ST instead of THIS????????

There is definitely a much larger market for this type of vehicle, especially if you dropped AWD into it. If everyone under the sun EXCEPT for GM are making wagons with AWD why are we not?
 

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Its sad. That is the car that I really want. I'm selling my Mustang right now but keeping the wife's HHR just because it is a wagon. I would go out right now and buy a G8 wagon if GM would just sell it...

oh, and MikMak, you're dead on.....
 

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Heck, I would rather have the wagon than G8 ST.

What a letdown. That's a really sweet wagon.

Well, I hope that Ed Welburn and Lutz have some tricks up their sleeves for Pontiac here soon.

I may offend some people by saying this: But Holdens that have been rebadged are not selling well over here. I think that they should sieze all connections with Holden for next gen stuff. The GTO and G8 are examples that a majority of buyers aren't willing to pay close to $30,000 for a Pontiac unless it's a Suped up coupe like a Firebird. It's just too expensive to bring Holdens over here, and it gets passed on to the customer.

Pontiac needs to focus more on the brand image it had...There had better be a Pontiac concept or something at NAIAS. The brand needs a change in direction, and quick.
 

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A couple years ago...a lot people wondered, "what was the point of Chrysler building the Dodge Magnum"? Now, it seems that Magnum competition was "in the works". Chrysler needs to be competing Dodge against Holden as much as it can.

Who else is going to show up with another full-size, 5 door wagon with strong engine options?
 

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I can't resist commenting every time there's an article on the Sportwagon. What a gorgeous machine! And I always hear the comparison to the Magnum (R.I.P.). The only thing I see similar between the two is the way the tailgate is hinged. It's sure not the styling! The Magnum probably had a limited following because of its' unusual looks. Otherwise, I think it has a lot more in common with the Pacifica (R.I.P.), even though it's technically an SUV/Crossover. I say bring the Sportwagon here with a dynamite advertising campaign and let's fill up our driveways with one hot Pontiac!!
 

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Heck, I would rather have the wagon than G8 ST.

What a letdown. That's a really sweet wagon.

Well, I hope that Ed Welburn and Lutz have some tricks up their sleeves for Pontiac here soon.

I may offend some people by saying this: But Holdens that have been rebadged are not selling well over here. I think that they should sieze all connections with Holden for next gen stuff. The GTO and G8 are examples that a majority of buyers aren't willing to pay close to $30,000 for a Pontiac unless it's a Suped up coupe like a Firebird. It's just too expensive to bring Holdens over here, and it gets passed on to the customer.

Pontiac needs to focus more on the brand image it had...There had better be a Pontiac concept or something at NAIAS. The brand needs a change in direction, and quick.
Offend away because what you speak is the truth and the truth hurts..... a lot.

NA is not ready for a Pontiac version of Holden, but BUICK on the other hand is.
 
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