IT’S the fastest, most powerful Holden Commodore ever built. The ‘lets go out with a massive bang’ farewell edition you might say, and probably the best put together performance car to ever come out of a Holden factory.
Beefy is the best way to describe the sound of the thumping 6.2L LS3 V8 engine that punches out 304kW of power and 570Nm of torque through a six speed auto box. It’s rear wheel drive (and yes it is awesome when you hang the rear-end out), as you would expect and fitted with a factory limited slip diff.
We took it out for a decent spin, heading over the hill from our Umina Beach office to Patonga, up and down the windy roads of Mount Ettalong, as well as giving it some quality hard-time on the (old) Pacific Hwy at Brooklyn, and not only did it leave us grinning from ear-to-ear, but the car seemed to genuinely enjoy it too.
It gets the power down very nicely and pulls a respectable 5.29 seconds for 0-100km/h, and has a claimed fuel economy of 12.9L/100km but we couldn’t even get close to that. The best we could manage was a 14.1L/100km thanks to the lack of SIDI technology, which means it drinks fuel like you drink water (or in my case coffee).
There’s a bi-modal exhaust to make it sound good, and it really does sound good, along with a little kicker Holden calls the mechanical sound enhancer, which basically feeds a beefier sound to the cabin so you too can enjoy the sweet note of grunt. FE3 suspension completes the car’s mechanical package and gives a solid chassis feel.
This car is solid physically too. The doors shut properly. Everything seems to be screwed in properly and fitted well. There’s no little squeaks or rattles that you expect from a Commodore, not here in the SS-V. While we know it’s the top of the line, it’s a Commodore, and we’ve become accustomed to rattles in Holden and Ford models.
Externally the VFII is a nice looking Commodore, and is instantly recognisable as a Holden product. It’s just got that look. The Redline, with 19-inch black wheels and a double layer rear spoiler, along with the glass panel roof, looks as good as you would expect – staunch and aggressive.
Inside, on the user technology front, you’ll find a colour head-up display (HUD) and MyLink – Holden’s standard SatNav infotainment system (with Pandora and Stitcher), which we not only don’t like but we struggled to even get it to work properly – let’s just say Bluetooth phone link-ups and MyLink are simply not friends (more to the point we couldn’t delete any phones).
Fitted with a leather appointed interior that’s pretty easy on the eye for styling, the SS-V Redline comes with paddle shifters, electric sunroof, key-less entry and push button staff, rain sensing wipers, and ISOFIX rear seat child restraints. Big Brembo brakes will stop you when you need them to, and there’s also an electric park brake.
Aside from the thirsty engine and the MyLink issues, other down sides for the big V8 include the lack of 60:40 split-fold rear seats, the entry of road noise into the cabin, and low clearance levels in some terrains (as you would expect with a lowered performance car).
Safety wise you’ll find forward collision alert, lane departure warning, blind spot alert, and automatic parking assist – which like its significantly more expensive rear-wheel drive V8 rival (the Lexus GS F) will not only parallel park for you, it will guide you into even the tightest right angle parking spaces.
Our test vehicle came to us in the seriously cool Some Like It Hot Red, but the SS-V Redline is also available in Heron White, Nitrate Silver, Prussian Steel Grey, Jungle Green, Red Hot, Slipstream Blue and Phantom Black.
For your money, just over $61,000 drive away (if you include the swanky rear wing), you’ll also get a three-year 100,000km warranty, a year of roadside assist, lifetime capped priced servicing, and a car that comfortably met the ANCAP 5-star safety rating.
Our test vehicle was provided by Holden Australia. To find out more about the 2016 Holden Commodore VFII SS-V Redline, contact your local Holden dealer. 2016 Holden Commodore VFII SS-V Redline photographed by Tim Brand, Tim Brand Photography.