The high-performance star of the new VF Commodore range is the SS-V Redline – and doesn’t it look the part?

The word ‘redline’ in motorsport refers to an engine spinning at its maximum revs, or drivers pushing themselves and their machines to the limit. Holden has used the Redline tag before, but never in a car like the track-ready VF Commodore SS-V Redline.

Though a 6.0-litre V8 engine capable of delivering up to 270 kilowatts of power and 530 Newton metres of torque is the first thing enthusiasts want to talk about, the really clever things in this car are the suspension and steering, not to forget trick electronics that further improve the driving experience.

Holden Commodore Redline Ute

Holden Commodore Redline Ute

For those who want to get really serious and take their cars to the track the VF Commodore Redline has a Competitive Mode. This has selectable settings that adjust the power steering and electronic stability control (ESC) calibration to optimise performance. Redlines with manual transmission gain launch control, to maximise take-off when Competitive Mode is selected.

The Holden SS-V Redline engineering team gained valuable knowledge working on the Chevrolet Camaro program. That car has a new design of Holden’s high-op FE3 suspension set-up that uses some lightweight aluminium.

In true race-car fashion the Commodore Redline has wider wheels and tyres at the rear than at the front. These carry Ultra High Performance Bridgestone tyres; 275/35 R19 rear and 245/40 R19 front.

Holden Commodore Redline range

Holden Commodore Redline range

High-performance Brembo front brakes with four-piston, two-piece silver gloss aluminium calipers and 355 mm front rotors assist in providing huge stopping power.

There’s a steering calibration that’s unique to this model, as well as track tune to enhance feedback during high lateral cornering. The chassis set-up includes new spring and damper tunes, front and rear; larger stabiliser bars and stiffened bushes. Larger front and rear stabiliser bars are fitted to reduce roll angles.

The default Sport steering calibration is optimised for increased vehicle feedback, while steering is more sensitive when Competitive Mode is selected.

While aimed at the sporting driver, the all-new VF Commodore Redline has many safety features aimed at road driving. These include Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning and Reverse Traffic Alert. Hopefully, everyone who owns a car like this knows how to set up their mirrors correctly, but for the dills who don’t Holden even supplies the so-called Blind Spot Alert system.

Keen car followers will already have seen a Holden Redline Ute on one of toughest testing areas on the planet. At the Nurburgring it set a new lap record for its class of 8 minutes 19 seconds.

While driving to the track, be it in Germany or Australia, you can entertain yourself with a high quality 220-Watt Bose audio system that’s standard on the Redline sedan.

Pricing of the complete VF Commodore range is stunningly good. The new Redline SS-V sedan is priced at $51,490 with a manual gearbox and $53,490 with automatic transmission. Sportwagon is $55,490 and ute starts from $48,990 for the manual.

Holden builds the SS-V Redline in all three body styles; sedan, station wagon and utility; being well aware that high-performance Aussie drivers like to be able to drive hard and fast in anything they get into.

With a starting price of just $51,490 for the SS-V Redline sedan this Commodore is an outrageous bargain, costing about a third of the price of the high-performance versions of the big name Germans.

We wish the big Aussie high-performance car every success in the sales race.

The complete Holden Commodore SS-V Redline range is:
SS-V Redline sedan: $51,490 (manual), $53,690 (automatic)
SS-V Redline Sportwagon: $55,690 (automatic)
SS-V Redline ute: $48,990 (manual), $50,690 (automatic)

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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