Hold’n you in my Holden (Trax), at least until you drive it.

Holden Trax LTZ  gaycarboys (1)

 

Yes Yes Yes oh Yes: great infotainment system

Oh dear me no: everything else

Remember that old ad? No nor do I but I’ve seen it many times on the electric television. Here it is

GM, Holden’s owner, bought Daewoo to manufacture their cars cheaper and this is one of the plants manufacturing Trax. GM is trying to flog Trax in many countries under a few different names, Here in Australia we have been slow to take small SUVs despite over 30% of all vehicles sold being SUVs. It seems Australians aren’t hold’n anyone in their Holden as sales slip further and further. And if they keep flogging us stuff like this no one will be surprised.

Outside:

 

Holden Trax LTZ  gaycarboys (2)

Trax is a bit cheeky, even cute in a funny kind of way. The 5 door design is pert and upright giving easy access to the cabin. The front end is chunky in a Tonka toy kind of way and is one you either like or don’t. The rear is high, very high and the overall affect almost muscular. For me, it is mostly OK, but for the front to be a success it either needs to be chunkier, or sleeker. At the moment it is just a bit too like a slab of meat. The LTZ has 18” wheels which look very smart. Overall, OK but nothing exciting.

Inside:

“Neat” is my word dujour. Most of the surfaces and materials feel a bit cheap but this is an entry level car Holden Trax LTZ  gaycarboys (3)isn’t it? Yes, but not with an entry level price.

The range is priced from $23,990 for the LS (special offer, drive away in NSW) to $32,479 for the LTZ. The problem is that at 32 grand an astute buyer will have many choices which are preferable in every way. And all of those choices will have better quality. It’s an entry level car but the price? Not so much.

For example in this price range you can have:

Subaru’s laudable Forrester, Kia’s excellent Sportage or Mazda’s fabulous CX3 or CX5, Honda’s HRV and CRV, the Hyundai IX30, Jeep’s Compass, Peugeot’s 2008 and 4008, Nissan’s QUASHQAI, the Skoda YETI and Renault’s Captur to name but a few. Who in their right mind would buy a Trax over any of these? All are bigger and everything you see and touch feels better quality. You could even buy Holden’s own Captiva coming from the same factory but it also suffers from the Trax’s feeling of cheapness. It’s as if these cars were built by accountants.

Holden Trax LTZ  gaycarboys (6)

The buyer will compare all the brands at a price point which why I suspect that despite this segment increasing in sales by 30.6% this year, Trax has decreased by 15.3%. In fact Holden sales are down by 9.6% over all. Except for Colorardo 7 which is up by 62.9%, all other Holden models are down. Not surprisingly the awful Malibu is down over 40% and wonderful Volt is a huge 62% down and is being discontinued when the new model is released in the USA. The Malibu is just a mess of a car and its weak sales have gone further south just like the Epica it replaced. How many Malibus do you ever see on the road? The Volt suffered from an outrageous price of $65,000 and that’s a shame because Volt is a great car that could have worked wonders. That must be worrying GM no end.

Although the interior is well laid out and reasonably well equipped, buyers are preferring other brands. The top model has partial leather seats with heating. The My Link infotainment system is brilliant. It’s easy to use and very intuitive. You can pair your phone by voice prompts in a few seconds. The sound is acceptable and the LCD has a reverse camera across both models. But none of it is worth the money. This is a sub 20k car at best.

The interior does not come up to snuff when compared to the opposition. The 20-30 grand range is hotly contested and many are worthy and indeed a pleasure to behold.

The Drive:

This is where my confusion intensified. There are 2 engines and both are 4 cylinders of 103 kw. The Holden Trax LTZ  gaycarboys (4)103kw/200nw 1.4 L turbo is available on both LS and LTZ and only with the 6 speed auto. The 103kw/175Nm 1.8L petrol is only available on the LS but can be had with a 5 speed manual if desired. But why would you want a 5 speed when most manuals are now 6 speed, and why would you choose the 1.8 if it has the same power and less torque than the 1.4turbo? Holden’s website is a bit confusing on this point. The specs show only a 1.8L on both models unless you look carefully at the specs for the LTZ where it shows a 1.4L turbo as an option in very tiny writing. The 1.4L engine is by far the better engine but both feel “buzzy”. Neither feel cutting edge like Ford’s amazing Eco Sport. So see if you can figure it out.

Both take 91ron unleaded so less dosh spent on fuel which is the only saving grace. The handling is acceptable for a 14 grand car but not crazy great on something costing from 23k. Anyone who likes a good drive will find Trax disappointing. There is a bit of torque steer so when you put your foot down at lights, the Holden Trax LTZ  gaycarboys (5)steering wheel pulls a little. You can live with it because most front wheel drives have the same problem.

So far, not so good.

The brakes deserve a special mention. They feel quite soggy and you’ve got to really give them a shove in order to get any kind of affect from them. The steering feels fairly vague too and both are way behind others in this price range. It makes less and less sense. Drive a Ford Eco Sport and you’ll feel like you’re in a little brilliant handling hot hatch. It isn’t that it is super quick but it is a delight in every way. You can throw it into corners in exactly the same way the Trax can’t be.

The drive was barely adequate for a 1999 hatch, and at $23, 990 but much better options are available.

Conclusion:

Holden sales are way down, even the fabulous Commodore is doing a Titanic and sinking beneath the waves. In order to make any headway the top price would need to be cut substantially and even then, the Yeti is a much better buy. It is fun to drive and has a quality cabin with great steering and fabulous brakes. By comparison Trax feels old and tired saved only by some of the gadgets. In fact comparing any of the models listed above sees Trax at the bottom. The last Holden I disliked this much was the Malibu and its dismal sales proved first impressions were spot on. This time last year 1,525 people had bought a Malibu but this year only 1,292 examples have found a home. Yes this is Korean, but it is old Korean. Kia and Hyundai now feel brilliant to drive and have classy interiors loaded with gear. Trax feels like old cash-strapped Daewoo languishing somewhere at the end of last century

I don’t know what’s going on in Detroit but it is not doing Australia’s Holden any favours. Whilst Commodore and Volt are brilliant and dare I say innovative, the rest of the range is not. Hopes hold that Astra and Cascada might see an improvement in sales figures. They are from GM’s Opel division in Germany and are light years ahead of Malibu, Cruze and Trax. Perhaps it is for that reason Holden are only importing the top spec models. I reviewed the Astras when Opel did its one year stint in Australia, and they were fabulous. The Opels always should have been sold here as Holdens like the old Astras were. Maybe it wouldn’t have been such a disaster.

Holden and Ford combined sell fewer cars than Toyota and if Holden doesn’t do something soon they will be in deep strife. Once Commodore is gone in a few years’ time their range will be just plain sad. GM is bringing in a few US models but since Malibu was such a disappointment I don’t hold out much hope. To put it in perspective, Holden has sold 27,419 vehicles this year. Ford is even worse off with only 20,128 sales. Toyota, the brand people seem to buy by default, has sold 48,986.

The Australian market is a tough one and our buyers have much perspicacity and are not fooled by gimmicks. They want value and quality. They don’t want cheap and nasty and that’s why the Chinese brands have failed miserably. Trax may have done better were it $10,000 cheaper but it can’t compete in the $20,000 – $30,000 range, it just can’t.

Would I buy one? Not on your Nellie. I’d buy any of the models list above. All of them are better drives, look better, are better quality and are better value. This is one of the biggest disappointments in years.

Holden SSV Ute: The last of the Australian Built hairy chested Two Door V8’s

Holden VF ute and sedan gaycarboys (8)

 

For this argument, all prices are drive away, in NSW.

You can get a V8 ute for as little as $39,990 drive away in Holden’s special “Please buy us PLLEEEEEEASE” campaign. The normal price for the SS is $43,757 That’s still insane for a V8. Can anyone show me another V8 sports coupe for that money? I say sports coupe because that’s what most of them are used as. Most tradfies won’t take their babies onto a muddy rock-strewn building site. The SSV Redline is the top model for $53,863 so you could get 3 top model V8 Utes for the same price as an M3 or AMG or S, or if you’re feeling like Japanese, RC-F. Let’s think about that for a bit, while all those letters are digested.

Holden VF ute and sedan gaycarboys (7)

Many will have dropped their gin and tonics at the thought of a tradies vehicle gracing their upper middle class gravel drives. They prefer the badge engineered hard-on that comes with a German and it’s big throbber up front. Of course the cabins are nicer and the build quality probably better but none of them can carry a new mattress home from the Mr Snooze “I’m always on sale” sale. None of them can carry camping gear, and they’d look silly towing a skiing boat to Lake Macquarie for a weekend’s water sports. No, Holden have been very clever, and a bit dumb. They’ve not cashed in on the fact that their V8 tray-back coupe is flexible, desirable, useable and way under the luxury car tax limit. For that, you get 260kw in the auto, 270kw in the manual, and a huge 530Nm of torque. Once upon a time the Victorians thought 15MPH might rip a person’s face off so I’m not sure what they would make of 0-100 in under 6 seconds.

Holden VF ute and sedan gaycarboys (5)

It isn’t until you’re behind the wheel that you really appreciate the fun which can be had at the expense of the environment. Sinking the boot in sees the fuel spit out the back in vast unused clouds as you rocket the road at an Olympic pace. Going around corners is fun too. With little weight over the back wheels, the tail is Holden VF ute and sedan gaycarboys (4)as happy as a Liberal pollie at a taxpayer funded wedding. The stability control gives the driver and amazing amount of leeway before it sends its nannies in to wrap you over the knuckles. It feels like good old fashioned driving, the way Peter Brock loved it. It is thrilling in the real sense of the word. The manual is the best. A sports exhaust makes the lion roar but you’ll have to sort it out yourself if you want more noise. As they come from Holden, you feel way more than you hear unless your foot is permanently welded to the floor. Only when the flood gates are fully open does the magnificence of a million push-rods make their presence felt. If you have the auto, you can shift gear via the steering wheel. The top model gets a Heads Up Display which is utterly brilliant because you can decide what is on it. It even tells you what directions to go in once the Satnav is programmed.

The interiors are shared across the Commodore range. The ute scores a couple of neat bins behind the seats for secreting  big butch tools and other such things public eyes must not view.

Holden VF ute and sedan gaycarboys (3)Holden VF ute and sedan gaycarboys (9)

The good thing about it is with the hard cover on the back, you can secure your groceries in a couple of milk crates not knicked from Coles. There are a couple of fastening points inside the tray for straps. If you don’t fix them in place, your groceries will be sliced and diced by the time you get home. If you don’t opt for the hard cover you have to make do with the soft cover which takes quite some time to master, and can’t be locked. The last thing you want is someone rooting through your privates while you’re at the boozer. After you leave the boozer, with your not-trollied mate at the wheel, you appreciate the Brembo brakes helping to give your ute a 5 star safety rating. It’s probably the only time it will occur to you.

Holden VF ute and sedan gaycarboys (2)Holden VF ute and sedan gaycarboys (6)

The top models get the same gadgets as the Calais. Huge 19” wheels, blind spot warning, lane departure, automated parking both end in and parallel, plus the brilliant My Link infotainment system. You can use Siri to do your evil work while you keep your hands on the steering wheel. The rest of the gadgets make sure you don’t hurt yourself or your car when you’re distracted by a pretty face walking along the pavement. It is about as perfect as it can be, so why the hell are GM closing down their plants here.

Gone will be the Commodore and the little lamented Cruze. Ford will lose their Falcon and Territory, and Toyota will no longer build the electric Camry here. This is what happens when a government favours whom they support or not. Had Ford, Holden and Toyota been coal diggers, money would have been thrown at them with gay abandon. However, since they employ fay more people than mining and have many associated suppliers, clearly the government thinks they shouldn’t support the auto industry as they do mining and fossil fuels. If you think that thinking is a bit eggy you are not alone. Clearly the auto makers didn’t throw enough brown paper bags and bottles of Grange at the MPs concerned. It’s a great shame as the previous government had supported the auto workers and therefore the Australian made cars.

Holden VF ute and sedan gaycarboys (1)

What this means is you have less than two years to snag a bit of Aussie Hairy-chested brawn. After that, who knows what will becomes of us? I suspect the rear wheel drive brigade will shrink to the size of a LNP MPs moral guide book and we will all be in Front Wheel Drive performance hatches. Their torque steer will try and kill us and the lack of space will cause mass deep vein thrombosis.

Would I buy one? HELL YES! These things are crammed full of kit, a heap of fun to drive, very practical, and with only two seats, prevent unwanted hangers-on.

European Invasion: Holden Astra and Cascada Launch

 

 

Holden Astra VXR gaycarboys (3)Holden Astra VXR gaycarboys (4)

Holden Astra VXR gaycarboys (5)Holden Astra VXR, Insignia VXR, and Cascada gaycarboys

Holden astra VXR gaycarboys (1)Holden astra VXR gaycarboys (2)

Top: Astra VXR, Above: Astra GTC

Below: Cascada Convertible

Holden Cascada convertible gaycarboys (3)

Holden Cascada convertible gaycarboys (1)Holden Cascada convertible gaycarboys (2)

 

After the ill fated Opel experiment, Holden rebadges the Opel Astra as a Holden. The Euro sourced Astra will bolster Holden’s ailing Korean based small car range.

  • Holden launches European-sourced Astra GTC, Astra VXR and Cascada convertible
  • Astra available in performance focused 1.6L turbo and 2.0L turbo engines
  • Cascada convertible introduced with a Special Launch Edition

Holden’s introduction of the stylish and sporty Astra alongside the elegant Cascada convertible marks the beginning of an exciting product onslaught by Holden, promising to deliver 24 major vehicle launches and 36 powertrain combinations in the next five years.

The European manufactured Astra and Cascada are both designed and engineered in Germany, at Opel’s Russelsheim base, and exhibit the exceptional build quality and refinement synonymous with European cars.

Engineering integrity and the promise of outstanding road performance is ensured after long, demanding validation testing – 10,000kms of which for VXR was completed at the iconic mecca for all driving enthusiasts; the Nurburgring Nordschliefe track.

Holden’s Executive Director – Sales, Peter Keley, said Astra and Cascada would act as aspirational, halo vehicles to Holden, and Holden Dealers were excited to finally take delivery of the cars.

“Astra and Cascada exhibit all the hallmarks of premium European manufactured cars.  Both are visually stunning with great road presence and exceptional build quality.” Mr Keley said.

“We are confident these are the right cars for Australia, giving buyers a vehicle to aspire to own and this is something echoed by our Dealers.

“Dealers nationwide have expressed interest and excitement in Astra and Cascada and are looking forward to getting their hands on them.”

ASTRA

The Holden Astra nameplate became a firm favourite with Australian drivers and resonated with those looking for European performance when it was first launched in 1996.  The refreshed 2015 Holden Astra is introduced in GTC and GTC Sport trim levels in addition to the ultra-sporty VXR, exuding exceptional road presence and a stylish, unmistakably European design.

ASTRA GTC AND GTC SPORT

Astra GTC and GTC Sport are stylish, progressive looking sports hatches that effortlessly blend drive comfort with a sports look and feel.  Both come equipped with a lively 1.6 litre turbocharged engine coupled with a responsive six-speed manual or automatic transmission. 

The automatic transmission is accompanied by active select and when combined with the 1.6 litre turbo engine provides 125kW power and 260Nm torque, ensuring an exciting and engaging driving experience.  In the even sportier, manual transmission, Astra offers an increased 147kW power and 280Nm torque, targeted at those wanting a more dynamic drive.

The European engineered Astra comes with a high-tech HiPerStrut front suspension to offer improved handling characteristics and direct steering response.  With a shortened spindle length and reduced kingpin inclination, Astra’s HiPerStrut helps prevent the torque steer so often seen in powerful front-wheel-drive cars.

Inside Astra GTC and GTC Sport the European design and engineering excels with Sportec bolster sports seat (leather appointed in GTC Sport) and the award winning Holden MyLink infotainment system taking centre stage.  The MyLink system comes with a seven-inch colour screen display, integrated Pandora®, Stitcher™ and TuneIn Radio apps as well as satellite navigation.

In addition to the impressive list of features already available on Astra GTC, GTC Sport adds 19-inch alloy wheels, alloy sports pedals, leather sports seats and a sports body kit to earn the ‘Sport’ name it proudly bares.

ASTRA VXR

Sitting at the top of the Astra model range, Astra VXR is the ultimate ‘hot hatch’, boasting a 2.0 litre turbocharged engine which is able to unleash 206kW of power and a staggering 400Nm of torque.  Brembo front brakes provide a security net to accompany the Astra VXR’s unbridled power, in addition to electro-hydraulic steering for a direct, engaging steering feel, allowing drivers to put the car precisely where they want it.

Astra VXR is a ‘no holds barred’ sports hatch that is as at home on track as in the city.  Key to its versatility is the acclaimed FlexRide tuning system which allows drivers to choose from three pre-configured ride settings according to their environment: 

  • Standard – all-round performance with comfort
  • Sport – stiffer chassis, improved agility and more direct steering
  • VXR – more direct steering, more responsive throttle, and tuned for maximum performance

Supporting Astra VXR’s impressive dynamic setup is its unmistakable appearance and superior road presence.  VXR wears 20-inch alloy wheels, coupled with VXR sports body kit, alloy sports pedals and VXR steering wheel.

Like its calmer siblings, VXR is well equipped inside too.  As well as offering the same MyLink infotainment system as GTC and GTC Sport, it also shows off eight-way adjustable VXR leather appointed sports seats with power bolsters and lumbar support for both driver and passenger. 

CASCADA

Setting a new benchmark in attainable luxury, Cascada is an elegant, yet responsive, full size four-seat convertible designed for beachside cruising and the open road.

Formally known as Astra Convertible, Cascada has established a name in its own right with its ability to appeal to a completely different type of buyer.

Cascada will be available in two guises from launch; Cascada and a special Cascada Launch Edition, of which only 50 units will be available.

CASCADA

Cascada comes with a versatile 1.6 litre turbo engine, which when coupled with its smooth six-speed automatic transmission, delivers an easy and enjoyable driving experience, on urban and regional roads.

Dynamically, Cascada has been engineered with strength and rigidity in mind, ensuring drivers get the perfect balance between solid cornering performance and the freedom associated with driving a convertible.

Stunning exterior design is complimented with 18-inch alloy wheels and a secure, triple-layered acoustic power hood able to be retracted in just 17 seconds whilst on the move at speeds of up to 50kph.

Cascada’s perforated leather appointed seats and intuitive MyLink infotainment system provide a luxurious touch on a flexible, four seat interior design.

CASCADA LAUNCH EDITION

A limited number of just 50 special, Cascada Launch Edition vehicles will be available to celebrate the return of the convertible body style to the Holden range.

Cascada Launch Edition dials up the luxury even more by adding premium Nappa leather appointed and ventilated front seats and a leather sports steering wheel.  There is also significant differentiation on the car’s exterior with 20-inch alloy wheels, Adaptive Forward Lighting and Bi-Xenon headlamps with LED DRL’s (Daylight Running Lamps).

SERVICE

Holden’s commitment to delivering excellent customer value extends beyond the purchase of Astra and Cascada, with the recently launched and ground-breaking Holden Lifetime Capped Price Servicing (CPS) program.

And with Holden’s extensive dealer network offering Australia’s largest CPS program Astra and Cascada buyers get peace of mind with transparent service pricing for life.

Astra and Cascada will go on sale 4 May 2015 and are available in a wide range of exterior colour choices to suit a range of personalities.

PRICING

Recommended retail prices, excluding dealer delivery and government charges are as follows:

  • Astra GTC, manual                                                     $26,990
  • Astra GTC, automatic                                                 $29,190
  • Astra GTC Sport, manual                                           $29,990
  • Astra GTC Sport, automatic                                       $32,190
  • Astra VXR, manual                                                     $39,990
  • Cascada, automatic                                                    $41,990
  • Cascada Launch Edition, automatic                           $44,990

PRODUCT DETAILS

ASTRA

Astra GTC and GTC Sport colours

  • Summit White
  • Power Red
  • Carbon Flash Black*
  • Sunny Melon Yellow
  • Buzz Blue*
  • Silver Lake*

Astra VXR colours

  • Summit White
  • Power Red
  • Carbon Flash Black*
  • Sunny Melon Yellow
  • Arden Blue*

*Prestige paint at $550 premium

GTC

  • 1.6 litre SIDI turbo engine
  • Six-speed manual / six-speed automatic transmission
  • Dual front, side and curtain airbags
  • ESC and ABS
  • Hill start assist
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • 17-inch steel space saver spare wheel
  • Cloth Morrocana sports seats with Sportec bolsters
  • Satellite Navigation
  • Air conditioning with particle filter
  • Electric Power Steering (EPS)
  • Front and Rear Park Assist
  • ISOFIX child seat anchorage system (two positions)
  • Auto headlamps
  • Projector headlamps (halogen)
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Start/stop (MT only)
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Enhanced multi-function display (one colour) with:
  • Vehicle information menu
  • Trip information menu
  • Fuel economy menu
  • Warning/messages
  • Holden MyLink Infotainment System with seven-inch colour screen display
  • Integrated apps
    • Pandora
    • Stitcher
    • Tune In Radio
  • DAB digital radio
  • Single CD player with MP3 capability
  • Universal hands free with Bluetooth phone
  • Bluetooth® audio streaming, USB and auxiliary input jack

GTC Sport (above GTC)

  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • LED tail lamps
  • Perforated leather appointed Mondial trim
  • Eight-way adjustable driver seat with power lumbar control
  • Heated front seats
  • Alloy sports pedals
  • Dual zone climate control
  • Leather sports steering wheel
  • Sports body kit (front bumper lower spoiler edge, rear bumper lower spoiler edge, rocker moulding)
  • Electric park brake

Astra VXR

  • 2.0 litre turbo engine
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Dual front, side and curtain airbags
  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Performance brakes – Brembo front calipers, front and rear cross drilled rotors
  • Alloy sports pedals
  • FlexRide with continuous damping control
  • Electro-hydraulic power steering
  • Start/stop
  • Rear park assist
  • ISOFIX child seat anchorage system (two positions)
  • Sports performance chassis
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • ESC and ABS
  • Auto headlamps
  • LED tail lamps
  • VXR roof spoiler
  • VXR sports seats
  • Perforated leather appointed Nappa trim
  • Eight-way adjustable heated driver and front passenger seat
  • Power bolsters and power lumbar – driver and passenger seats
  • Satellite navigation
  • VXR Leather steering wheel
  • VXR floor mats
  • Dual zone climate control
  • Enhanced multi-function display with:
  • Vehicle information menu
  • Trip information menu
  • Fuel economy menu
  • Warning/messages
  • Holden MyLink Infotainment System with 7” colour screen display
  • Integrated apps
    • Pandora
    • Stitcher
    • Tune In Radio
  • DAB digital radio
  • Single CD player with MP3 capability
  • Universal hands free with Bluetooth phone
  • Bluetooth® audio streaming, USB and auxiliary input jack

CASCADA

Cascada colours

  • Summit White
  • Carbon Flash Black*
  • Phantom Grey*
  • Deep Sky Blue*
  • Nitrate Silver*

*Prestige paint at $550 premium

Cascada

  • 1.6 litre SIDI turbo engine
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • Dual front and side airbags
  • ESC and ABS
  • Hill start assist
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • 17-inch steel space saver spare wheel
  • Electric folding acoustically insulated roof
  • Sports suspension
  • Electric park brake
  • Heated power outside mirrors
  • Heated front sports seats
  • Leather appointed trim perforated Siena seats
  • Alloy sports pedals
  • Satellite navigation
  • Cruise control
  • Rear view camera
  • Dual zone air conditioning
  • Electric Power Steering (EPS)
  • Front and Rear Park Assist
  • ISOFIX child seat anchorage system (two positions)
  • Auto projector headlamps (halogen), DRL’s and front fog lamps
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Heated leather steering wheel
  • Enhanced multi-function display (one colour) with:
  • Vehicle information menu
  • Trip information menu
  • Fuel economy menu
  • Warning/messages
  • Holden MyLink Infotainment System with 7” colour screen display
  • Integrated apps
  • Pandora
  • Stitcher
  • Tune In Radio
  • DAB digital radio
  • Single CD player with MP3 capability
  • Universal hands free with Bluetooth
  • Bluetooth® audio streaming, USB and auxiliary input jack

Cascada Launch Edition (50 units)

  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Premium nappa leather appointed sports seats
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Leather sports steering wheel
  • Adaptive Forward Lighting and Bi-Xenon headlamps with LED DRL’s
  • Holden launches European-sourced Astra GTC, Astra VXR and Cascada convertible
  • Astra available in performance focused 1.6L turbo and 2.0L turbo engines
  • Cascada convertible introduced with a Special Launch Edition

Holden’s introduction of the stylish and sporty Astra alongside the elegant Cascada convertible marks the beginning of an exciting product onslaught by Holden, promising to deliver 24 major vehicle launches and 36 powertrain combinations in the next five years.

The European manufactured Astra and Cascada are both designed and engineered in Germany, at Opel’s Russelsheim base, and exhibit the exceptional build quality and refinement synonymous with European cars.

Engineering integrity and the promise of outstanding road performance is ensured after long, demanding validation testing – 10,000kms of which for VXR was completed at the iconic mecca for all driving enthusiasts; the Nurburgring Nordschliefe track.

Holden’s Executive Director – Sales, Peter Keley, said Astra and Cascada would act as aspirational, halo vehicles to Holden, and Holden Dealers were excited to finally take delivery of the cars.

“Astra and Cascada exhibit all the hallmarks of premium European manufactured cars.  Both are visually stunning with great road presence and exceptional build quality.” Mr Keley said.

“We are confident these are the right cars for Australia, giving buyers a vehicle to aspire to own and this is something echoed by our Dealers.

“Dealers nationwide have expressed interest and excitement in Astra and Cascada and are looking forward to getting their hands on them.”

ASTRA

The Holden Astra nameplate became a firm favourite with Australian drivers and resonated with those looking for European performance when it was first launched in 1996.  The refreshed 2015 Holden Astra is introduced in GTC and GTC Sport trim levels in addition to the ultra-sporty VXR, exuding exceptional road presence and a stylish, unmistakably European design.

ASTRA GTC AND GTC SPORT

Astra GTC and GTC Sport are stylish, progressive looking sports hatches that effortlessly blend drive comfort with a sports look and feel.  Both come equipped with a lively 1.6 litre turbocharged engine coupled with a responsive six-speed manual or automatic transmission. 

The automatic transmission is accompanied by active select and when combined with the 1.6 litre turbo engine provides 125kW power and 260Nm torque, ensuring an exciting and engaging driving experience.  In the even sportier, manual transmission, Astra offers an increased 147kW power and 280Nm torque, targeted at those wanting a more dynamic drive.

The European engineered Astra comes with a high-tech HiPerStrut front suspension to offer improved handling characteristics and direct steering response.  With a shortened spindle length and reduced kingpin inclination, Astra’s HiPerStrut helps prevent the torque steer so often seen in powerful front-wheel-drive cars.

Inside Astra GTC and GTC Sport the European design and engineering excels with Sportec bolster sports seat (leather appointed in GTC Sport) and the award winning Holden MyLink infotainment system taking centre stage.  The MyLink system comes with a seven-inch colour screen display, integrated Pandora®, Stitcher™ and TuneIn Radio apps as well as satellite navigation.

In addition to the impressive list of features already available on Astra GTC, GTC Sport adds 19-inch alloy wheels, alloy sports pedals, leather sports seats and a sports body kit to earn the ‘Sport’ name it proudly bares.

ASTRA VXR

Sitting at the top of the Astra model range, Astra VXR is the ultimate ‘hot hatch’, boasting a 2.0 litre turbocharged engine which is able to unleash 206kW of power and a staggering 400Nm of torque.  Brembo front brakes provide a security net to accompany the Astra VXR’s unbridled power, in addition to electro-hydraulic steering for a direct, engaging steering feel, allowing drivers to put the car precisely where they want it.

Astra VXR is a ‘no holds barred’ sports hatch that is as at home on track as in the city.  Key to its versatility is the acclaimed FlexRide tuning system which allows drivers to choose from three pre-configured ride settings according to their environment: 

  • Standard – all-round performance with comfort
  • Sport – stiffer chassis, improved agility and more direct steering
  • VXR – more direct steering, more responsive throttle, and tuned for maximum performance

Supporting Astra VXR’s impressive dynamic setup is its unmistakable appearance and superior road presence.  VXR wears 20-inch alloy wheels, coupled with VXR sports body kit, alloy sports pedals and VXR steering wheel.

Like its calmer siblings, VXR is well equipped inside too.  As well as offering the same MyLink infotainment system as GTC and GTC Sport, it also shows off eight-way adjustable VXR leather appointed sports seats with power bolsters and lumbar support for both driver and passenger. 

CASCADA

Setting a new benchmark in attainable luxury, Cascada is an elegant, yet responsive, full size four-seat convertible designed for beachside cruising and the open road.

Formally known as Astra Convertible, Cascada has established a name in its own right with its ability to appeal to a completely different type of buyer.

Cascada will be available in two guises from launch; Cascada and a special Cascada Launch Edition, of which only 50 units will be available.

CASCADA

Cascada comes with a versatile 1.6 litre turbo engine, which when coupled with its smooth six-speed automatic transmission, delivers an easy and enjoyable driving experience, on urban and regional roads.

Dynamically, Cascada has been engineered with strength and rigidity in mind, ensuring drivers get the perfect balance between solid cornering performance and the freedom associated with driving a convertible.

Stunning exterior design is complimented with 18-inch alloy wheels and a secure, triple-layered acoustic power hood able to be retracted in just 17 seconds whilst on the move at speeds of up to 50kph.

Cascada’s perforated leather appointed seats and intuitive MyLink infotainment system provide a luxurious touch on a flexible, four seat interior design.

CASCADA LAUNCH EDITION

A limited number of just 50 special, Cascada Launch Edition vehicles will be available to celebrate the return of the convertible body style to the Holden range.

Cascada Launch Edition dials up the luxury even more by adding premium Nappa leather appointed and ventilated front seats and a leather sports steering wheel.  There is also significant differentiation on the car’s exterior with 20-inch alloy wheels, Adaptive Forward Lighting and Bi-Xenon headlamps with LED DRL’s (Daylight Running Lamps).

SERVICE

Holden’s commitment to delivering excellent customer value extends beyond the purchase of Astra and Cascada, with the recently launched and ground-breaking Holden Lifetime Capped Price Servicing (CPS) program.

And with Holden’s extensive dealer network offering Australia’s largest CPS program Astra and Cascada buyers get peace of mind with transparent service pricing for life.

Astra and Cascada will go on sale 4 May 2015 and are available in a wide range of exterior colour choices to suit a range of personalities.

PRICING

Recommended retail prices, excluding dealer delivery and government charges are as follows:

  • Astra GTC, manual                                                     $26,990
  • Astra GTC, automatic                                                 $29,190
  • Astra GTC Sport, manual                                           $29,990
  • Astra GTC Sport, automatic                                       $32,190
  • Astra VXR, manual                                                     $39,990
  • Cascada, automatic                                                    $41,990
  • Cascada Launch Edition, automatic                           $44,990

PRODUCT DETAILS

ASTRA

Astra GTC and GTC Sport colours

  • Summit White
  • Power Red
  • Carbon Flash Black*
  • Sunny Melon Yellow
  • Buzz Blue*
  • Silver Lake*

Astra VXR colours

  • Summit White
  • Power Red
  • Carbon Flash Black*
  • Sunny Melon Yellow
  • Arden Blue*

*Prestige paint at $550 premium

GTC

  • 1.6 litre SIDI turbo engine
  • Six-speed manual / six-speed automatic transmission
  • Dual front, side and curtain airbags
  • ESC and ABS
  • Hill start assist
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • 17-inch steel space saver spare wheel
  • Cloth Morrocana sports seats with Sportec bolsters
  • Satellite Navigation
  • Air conditioning with particle filter
  • Electric Power Steering (EPS)
  • Front and Rear Park Assist
  • ISOFIX child seat anchorage system (two positions)
  • Auto headlamps
  • Projector headlamps (halogen)
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Start/stop (MT only)
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Enhanced multi-function display (one colour) with:
  • Vehicle information menu
  • Trip information menu
  • Fuel economy menu
  • Warning/messages
  • Holden MyLink Infotainment System with seven-inch colour screen display
  • Integrated apps
    • Pandora
    • Stitcher
    • Tune In Radio
  • DAB digital radio
  • Single CD player with MP3 capability
  • Universal hands free with Bluetooth phone
  • Bluetooth® audio streaming, USB and auxiliary input jack

GTC Sport (above GTC)

  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • LED tail lamps
  • Perforated leather appointed Mondial trim
  • Eight-way adjustable driver seat with power lumbar control
  • Heated front seats
  • Alloy sports pedals
  • Dual zone climate control
  • Leather sports steering wheel
  • Sports body kit (front bumper lower spoiler edge, rear bumper lower spoiler edge, rocker moulding)
  • Electric park brake

Astra VXR

  • 2.0 litre turbo engine
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Dual front, side and curtain airbags
  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Performance brakes – Brembo front calipers, front and rear cross drilled rotors
  • Alloy sports pedals
  • FlexRide with continuous damping control
  • Electro-hydraulic power steering
  • Start/stop
  • Rear park assist
  • ISOFIX child seat anchorage system (two positions)
  • Sports performance chassis
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • ESC and ABS
  • Auto headlamps
  • LED tail lamps
  • VXR roof spoiler
  • VXR sports seats
  • Perforated leather appointed Nappa trim
  • Eight-way adjustable heated driver and front passenger seat
  • Power bolsters and power lumbar – driver and passenger seats
  • Satellite navigation
  • VXR Leather steering wheel
  • VXR floor mats
  • Dual zone climate control
  • Enhanced multi-function display with:
  • Vehicle information menu
  • Trip information menu
  • Fuel economy menu
  • Warning/messages
  • Holden MyLink Infotainment System with 7” colour screen display
  • Integrated apps
    • Pandora
    • Stitcher
    • Tune In Radio
  • DAB digital radio
  • Single CD player with MP3 capability
  • Universal hands free with Bluetooth phone
  • Bluetooth® audio streaming, USB and auxiliary input jack

CASCADA

Cascada colours

  • Summit White
  • Carbon Flash Black*
  • Phantom Grey*
  • Deep Sky Blue*
  • Nitrate Silver*

*Prestige paint at $550 premium

Cascada

  • 1.6 litre SIDI turbo engine
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • Dual front and side airbags
  • ESC and ABS
  • Hill start assist
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • 17-inch steel space saver spare wheel
  • Electric folding acoustically insulated roof
  • Sports suspension
  • Electric park brake
  • Heated power outside mirrors
  • Heated front sports seats
  • Leather appointed trim perforated Siena seats
  • Alloy sports pedals
  • Satellite navigation
  • Cruise control
  • Rear view camera
  • Dual zone air conditioning
  • Electric Power Steering (EPS)
  • Front and Rear Park Assist
  • ISOFIX child seat anchorage system (two positions)
  • Auto projector headlamps (halogen), DRL’s and front fog lamps
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Heated leather steering wheel
  • Enhanced multi-function display (one colour) with:
  • Vehicle information menu
  • Trip information menu
  • Fuel economy menu
  • Warning/messages
  • Holden MyLink Infotainment System with 7” colour screen display
  • Integrated apps
  • Pandora
  • Stitcher
  • Tune In Radio
  • DAB digital radio
  • Single CD player with MP3 capability
  • Universal hands free with Bluetooth
  • Bluetooth® audio streaming, USB and auxiliary input jack

Cascada Launch Edition (50 units)

  • 20-inch alloy wheels
  • Premium nappa leather appointed sports seats
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Leather sports steering wheel
  • Adaptive Forward Lighting and Bi-Xenon headlamps with LED DRL’s

Naff or Fab? Holden Sandman Reborn: Let the Good Times Roll … Again

As an EX-Sandman owner I’m not at all sure about this idea but here it is:

Press release:

 

2015 holden sandman wagon and ute (4)

Sandman Mambo concept

HJ Sandman Panel BodsHJ Sandman Panel Bods (2)

2015 holden sandman wagon and ute (5)2015 holden sandman wagon and ute (6)

2015 holden sandman wagon and ute (2)2015 holden sandman wagon and ute (3)

2015 holden sandman wagon and ute (1)

  • Iconic Holden Sandman reborn to be launched 4 April in Torquay, VIC,  in line with the Bells Beach Ripcurl Pro surf competition
  • To celebrate the launch, Holden interactive surf live site at Elephant Walk Reserve, Torquay will feature a live screen beaming out classic surf reels, music, car display and beach side games
  • Sandman available in Ute and Sportwagon – on sale in June

Eating up the road and shredding the surf, the Holden Sandman has become an Aussie icon in the 40 years since the original legend made its debut in 1974. Now it’s back, with a modern twist and nose for performance. 

The 2015 Sandman Special Edition is derived from the award winning VF Commodore SV6 and the sporty SS-V, and is available as a ute and or sleek Sportwagon.  Whilst the Sandman is much more advanced than its predecessor it still retains the instantly recognisable surf livery and the groovy, orange shagpile floor rug as an additional accessory.

Holden’s Executive Director of Sales, Peter Keley, said the opportunity to revive the legendary Sandman was too exciting to resist.

“The Holden Sandman has been synonymous with the great Australian surf safari for decades and perfectly reflects our country’s laid back, yet adventurous attitude to life.  When the opportunity came to revive Sandman, we jumped at it,” Mr Keley said.

“The reborn Sandman is a statement and reflection of the Australian way of life. Most importantly, it’s about having fun.”

Originally launched in a time when cassette players were all the rage and Alvin Stardust topped the charts, the Sandman personifies Australian culture with its unique styling and adventurous attitude.

Popular with surfers, lovers and bohemians alike, Sandman stays true to its roots with its first public display taking place on the sands of Torquay, giving beach goers and car lovers the chance to get up close and reminisce about days gone by … and days to come.

The Holden Sandman surf live site will take place on Saturday 4 April from 11am – 4pm at the beautiful Elephant Walk Reserve, Torquay Esplanade, and will feature a live screen beaming out classic surf reels, chilled out tunes, sausage sizzle and beach side games.  The Sandman live site is an interactive display that allows people to take a picture with the cars and upload to their social media accounts #entersandman
Holden’s Director of Communications, Sean Poppitt said the interactive live site is the perfect platform for a car that is sure to evoke old memories and create new ones.

“The interactive live site at Torquay is the perfect opportunity for people to come and see Sandman whilst enjoying the surfing, food and great atmosphere.  The Sandman is the reincarnation of an icon, born from the most iconic car company in Australia,” said Mr Poppitt.

“Holden knows Australia and Australians better than any other company and the Sandman is a perfect reflection of the Aussie culture and attitude. I’m sure it will spark great memories for a lot of Australians and help create new memories for others. Let the good times roll again,”

Sandman History

Sandman was originally launched on the HQ Holden in 1974 as a panel van and ute in a bid to increase Holden’s presence and appeal in the expanding recreational market.  What ensued was a car that captured the imagination of a generation, and continued to be offered on the HJ Holden (1974-76), HX Holden (1976-77) and HZ Holden (1977).

After over twenty years in the darkness, Sandman was finally revived as a concept car at the Sydney International Motor Show, 2000.  Based on VU Commodore, this Sandman was a Holden built, Mambo designed project that won wide acclaim.

The Sandman will go on sale in June, however people are advised to contact dealers early to avoid disappointment.

#entersandman

The 2015 Holden Sandman Special Edition, a $2,950 premium on SSV and SV6 models, includes:

SV6 and SSV Sportwagon

  • 20” gloss black wheels
  • Black fender vents
  • Black grille package
  • Black roof racks
  • Sandman decals
  • Sandman dashboard stitching
  • Sandman sunshades
  • Sandman floor mats
  • Unique Sandman build plate

SV6 and SSV Ute

  • 20” gloss black wheels
  • Black fender vents
  • Black grille package
  • Black sports bar
  • Sandman decals
  • Sandman dashboard stitching
  • Sandman rear sunshade
  • Sandman foot mats

Optional Accessories

  • Orange rear shag pile cargo rug (Sportwagon)
  • Orange sheep skin seat inserts

Colours Available

  • Heron White
  • Nitrate Silver
  • Phantom Black

Holden launches capped price servicing on every Holden ever built … since 1948!

Holden FJ gaycarboys

 

  • Holden’s Lifetime Capped Price Service (CPS) program covers all Holden vehicles ever built from the ground-breaking 48-215 of 1948 to today’s world-class VF Commodore and beyond
  • Biggest CPS program in Australia, covering more than 2.5 million cars
  • Provides service price transparency for all vehicles, ensuring customers always know how much their service will cost
  • Lifetime CPS program launches 1 March 2015

Holden has announced the introduction of a new, ground-breaking Lifetime Capped Price Service (CPS) program – the largest of its kind in in Australia*.

Holden Craig Lowndes Special Edition 2014 gaycarboys

The Lifetime CPS program applies to every Holden ever built since the first Holden 48-215 in 1948, ensuring that all Holden owners clearly understand the maximum price that they can expect to pay at every scheduled service.

Holden’s Executive Director of Aftersales, Michael Filazzola said the unique Lifetime CPS program represents Holden’s commitment to providing customers a positive experience throughout their ownership experience, no matter when they bought their new, or used, Holden.

“Our all-encompassing Lifetime Capped Price Servicing program is an incredible program and demonstrates yet again our commitment to our customers. Holden owners from as far back as 1948 can enjoy total peace of mind and service price transparency,” said Mr. Filazzola.

“This is the biggest CPS program in Australia and underlines Holden’s ongoing commitment to world-class customer service and outstanding value.  Our lifetime CPS means that once customers buy a Holden, of any age, new or used, we have them covered.”

The easy-to-use Lifetime CPS calculator found on the Holden website, clearly displays the maximum service price of any Holden vehicle, ensuring that customers will not pay more than expected when visiting their Holden Dealer for a scheduled service.

In addition to the all-inclusive, Lifetime CPS program and to further demonstrate the importance Holden places on providing clear service pricing and customer value, the first seven services for all eligible new vehicles will be subsidised.

Holden’s Executive Director of Sales, Peter Keley said the introduction of the biggest CPS program in Australia was yet another sign of Holden’s long-term commitment to its customers and Australia.

“We are proud to be able to introduce the Lifetime CPS program and extend our outstanding servicing value to all Holden owners, regardless of whether they have bought a new or used car,” said Mr. Keley.

“The support and clarity that this program offers customers, combined with our fantastic product range and great-value offers means there has never been a better time to buy a Holden.

“Holden has more cars in more segments than ever before and we’re committed to Australia and our customers now and long into the future.”

Holden Lifetime CPS will be introduced on 1 March 2015.  For more details including vehicle eligibility and, terms and conditions please visit the Holden website.

Lifetime CPS is the latest step in Holden’s long-term plan to ensure a bright and successful future in Australia for the iconic Lion brand. In the past 12 months, Holden has also announced: 

  • Holden will have 24 major vehicle launches with 36 new powertrain combinations in the next five years
  • Launched the Holden Home Ground Advantage program – providing $5 million in grants over 10 years to local sporting clubs
  • Cascada convertible, Astra hatch and Insignia sedan will launch in Q2 2015;
  • Holden vehicles will continue to be tuned and tested for Australian conditions and customers with the retention of the famous Lang Lang Proving Ground in Victoria;
  • Holden’s Global Design Centre continues to contribute to local and global product programs;
  • More than one-third of Holden’s future product portfolio will be sourced from Europe;
  • The esteemed Commodore nameplate will live on with Holden’s next-generation large car; and
  • Holden will have a true sports car in its future product portfolio.

More on DETROIT: Could this be the next Commodore/Caprice?

2015 Buick Avenir Concept 

  2015 Buick Avenir Concept 2015-Buick-Avenir-Concept-GAYCARBOYS (2)

 

  2015 Buick Avenir Concept  Buick Unveils Avenir Concept At 2015 Pre-NAIAS Event

   Buick Avenir Wins Two EyesOn Design Awards at NAIAS Buick Avenir Wins Two EyesOn Design Awards at NAIAS

 2015 Buick Avenir Concept 2015 Buick Avenir Concept  DETROIT – Buick introduced the Avenir concept today in advance of the North American International Auto Show – a flagship sedan exploring progressive design with new levels of passenger well-being and technology integration.

The Avenir – French for future – is distinguished by its premium sports proportions and all-new interpretations of traditional Buick cues. It is the creation of a global team of Buick designers and sculptors who were inspired by historic Buick concepts, which pushed traditional boundaries, shaped future Buick models and influenced the entire auto industry.

“Avenir embodies Buick design, which centers on effortless beauty and presence without pretense,” said Ed Welburn, vice president of General Motors Global Design. “It demonstrates the growing international reach of Buick and offers an exciting vision of where it can go.”

The Avenir’s sculptural surfacing, expressive proportion and Buick’s signature sweep-spear bodyside visually cue an exceptional driving experience that awaits inside.

“The interior is designed with the driver and passengers’ comfort and well-being in mind,” said Welburn. “Technology is seamlessly integrated and builds on the features that have become hallmarks for today’s production models – helping drive a new generation of customers to Buick.”

2015 Buick Avenir Concept2015 Buick Avenir Concept

Additional vehicle highlights:

  • Personal seating for four
  • Full light-emitting diode (LED) exterior lighting
  • Twenty-one-inch wheels
  • Next-generation direct-injected V-6 engine with fuel-saving Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and stop/start technology
  • Nine-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission
  • Driver-selectable suspension damping
  • Twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system
  • Next-generation Buick IntelliLink infotainment with large, 12-inch-diagonal color touch screen
  • Driver-recognition features that automatically sync infotainment preferences
  • Ionic cabin air filtration
  • Mobile device wireless charging
  • OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot.

A new design direction with a nod to the past
A long hood, wheels-at-the-corners stance and a sloping, rear deck that pays homage to historical models, such as the Riviera, distinguish the Avenir’s proportion.

2015 Buick Avenir Concept  

“Simply put, Avenir is a beautiful piece of sculpture, delivered on a premium proportion that acknowledges the Buick design heritage in a very progressive way,” said Michael Simcoe, vice president of design, GM International Operations. “The vehicle remains unmistakably Buick with a modern take on the traditional Buick cues such as the sweep spear and boattail. The result is a piece of artistry that is precise in its character, beautifully proportioned. It really takes your breath away.”

2015 Buick Avenir Concept 2015-Buick-Avenir-Concept-GAYCARBOYS (14)

Buick Unveils Avenir Concept At 2015 Pre-NAIAS EventBuick Unveils Avenir Concept At 2015 Pre-NAIAS Event

The most striking departure from contemporary Buick models is a new grille design that puts a new face on the brand. It features a large opening accented by a return to the three-color – red, silver and blue – Buick tri-shield insignia, accented by wing-shaped elements. The grille is flanked by bold headlamps featuring full LED lighting.

“The new grille is a modern interpretation of a design introduced on the landmark 1954 Wildcat II concept, which shattered expectations of what a Buick was supposed to be,” said Simcoe. “On the Avenir, it represents a break from convention and progressiveness in technology.”

Sculptural surfaces, taught lines, short overhangs and a broad-shouldered stance stretches 204.5 inches (5,195 mm) in length and 76 inches (1,931 mm) in width. Its reimagined sweep-spear element complements the long body lines and conveys a sense of motion, as does tapered rear-end styling.

Avenir’s sophisticated color palette, including a Crystalline exterior color and strained use of bright work accent the Avenir’s body lines and sets up the interior for a combination that takes Buick’s contemporary style to a higher level.

“It’s a sculpted design with a lot of snap in the character lines – with a classic long, low proportion,” said Simcoe. “Its length enables exceptional spaciousness inside, but just as importantly, a presence that speaks to luxury and the importance of style. In short, it’s the befitting proportion for a Buick flagship.”

A soothing environment with unprecedented integration
The Avenir’s four-place interior rewards the senses, makes managing technologies easier and enhances the feelings of personal space and well-being.

2015 Buick Avenir Concept2015 Buick Avenir Concept

2015-Buick-Avenir-Concept-GAYCARBOYS (19)

“A flowing, sculptural quality in the interior forms, deco trim, premium leather and ambient lighting, create an environment that is inviting and comfortable,” said Liz Wetzel, Buick interior design director.

Interior surfaces – inspired by nature and sea waves receding on a beach – flow seamlessly through the cabin. It is a motif featured on the seats and carried through in other trim components – even the carpet. In fact, a patterned insert for the carpet carries the motif in silk and bamboo.  

“There’s an almost-three-dimensional or bas-relief effect to the design motif that adds depth and heightens the sense of place,” said Wetzel. “Layered and floating elements such as the center console enhance the perception of lightness, efficiency and dynamism.”

A color palette of light and natural tones blended with oiled and buffed wood trim, and Galvano satin-chrome accents, enhance the Avenir’s ambience.

“They’re rich, premium materials and warm colors innovatively executed to enhance the soothing effect of the interior environment,” said Wetzel.

Functionality is manifested in the Avenir’s device-integration technologies, which are designed to lift the user’s mood and make the details associated with daily life a little easier. It starts the moment the vehicle is started, synchronizing information and devices within seconds. The Avenir instantly configures gauge cluster and infotainment screen displays based on prior customization while also recognizing the user’s music preferences, calendar schedule and recently visited locations from a cellphone’s GPS. It can even pick up a podcast the user was listening to at the moment it was interrupted.

Buick’s user experience designers are also pushing the Avenir’s technologies for home integration, which would allow accessing home security cameras or the capability of turning on outside lights and closing a garage door that was inadvertently left open.

“The Avenir’s integration features build on the technologies already available or coming soon in smartphones and streamline them in a system that makes accessing and interacting with them easier,” said Wetzel.

Personal connectivity extends to rear-seat passengers, where USB ports and video screens allow occupants to plug in to their favorite media and slip into complete relaxation, arriving at their destination refreshed and rejuvenated.

“The use of color, material, form and amenities can affect a person’s mood and feeling,” said Wetzel. “The Avenir is a showcase of thoughtful and modern design with the capacity to anticipate and facilitate the personal needs of its occupants. It’s absolutely its own getaway destination.” 


Buick
is an international modern luxury brand offering vehicles with sculpted designs, luxurious interiors and thoughtful personal technologies, along with responsive-yet-efficient performance. Buick is attracting new customers with its portfolio of award-winning luxury models in North America and China. Learn more about Buick cars and crossovers at http://www.buick.com, on Twitter @buick, on Instragram, on Pinterest or at www.facebook.com/buick

GM Australia Designers scoop Top Award in Detroit

Designed in collaboration with GM North America, and built at GM Australia’s advanced design studio in Port Melbourne, the Buick Avenir  gaycarboys (1)

  • Buick Avenir awarded two design trophies at the North American International Auto Show
  • Australian-designed and built Avenir heralded  ‘Best Concept Vehicle 2015’
  • Australian-developed and built, Chevrolet Bolt is ‘Best Concept Vehicle 2015’ finalist

GDesigned in collaboration with GM North America, and built at GM Australia’s advanced design studio in Port Melbourne, the Buick Avenir  gaycarboys (2)M Australia’s design team has added another two trophies to its cabinet as the Buick Avenir takes out “Best Concept Vehicle 2015” and “Best Innovative Use of Colour, Graphics and Materials” as the car continues to wow at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.

The Australian-developed and built Chevrolet Bolt is also recognised as it is placed as one of two runners up the “Best Concept Vehicle 2015” in what turned out to be a special day for Holden Design.

EyesOn Design, the officially-sanctioned design awards for NAIAS, honour the most significant automotive designs revealed at NAIAS as determined by automotive design leaders and is described as ‘validation of great automobile design from the industry’s leaders’.

Vice President of GM International Design, Michael Simcoe said the awards were fantastic recognition forDesign Award detroit GAYCARBOYS the incredibly talented design team and an acknowledgment of all the hard work that has gone into these programs.

“Avenir and Bolt EV are clear illustrations of the creativity and capability we have in the global design studio in Australia,” Mr Simcoe said.

“To have these vehicles recognised on the world stage and to receive not one, but two, awards from our peers is a fantastic achievement and one in which everyone should be immensely proud.”

Holden’s Lead Exterior Designer, Warrack Leach said to be recognised by an esteemed and well respected judging panel like that of EyesOn Design was particularly gratifying.

“We are all very proud of what we have created so to receive these two awards from EyesOn Design is a great compliment and caps what has been a very exciting project,” Mr Leach said.

Designed in collaboration with GM North America and built at GM Australia’s advanced studio, Avenir – French for “future” – leverages Buick’s unique styling legacy to explore a vision for a modern flagship sedan.

The Chevrolet Bolt EV concept is an affordable long-range all-electric vehicle that originated in GM Korea’s advanced design studio before GM Australia Design developed the concept and was responsible for the construction of the functional show car.

EyesOn Design

For more information on EyesOn Design please visit – EyesOnDesign.