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The first Commodore was introduced in 1978 and was based off of the Opel Commodore platform, now, it is in it's fourtheen iteration of the Commodore range and a completely new platform was developed by Holden Australia.
This new platform was designed and developed by Holden to accomodate the easy export of the Commodore platform to the overseas branches of General Motors. A symmetrical centre console allows for easy conversion to left hand drive vehicles for use by other branches of GM such as the Pontiac G8.
The VE platform, officially called Global RWD Architecture or Zeta, begun development in 1999 and the VE was completed in 2006. Over this seven years of development, this car came to cost well over the one billion Australian dollar mark and overall testing of the car was done over 3.4 million kilometres of track and road.
The development costs were at such a large scale due to the fact that the Zeta was developed 100% from scratch. This was because Opel (another GM child company) had stopped production of their RWD Omega platform of which the previous generations of commodore were based off and the fact that the other available platforms at the time for Holden to use at the time were inappropriate for use as the new Commodore because of their small size and other drawbacks.
Crash engineers and designers worked together to keep the car looking great while maintaining excellent safety features. Things such as the battery and fuel tank were relocated to allow for better crumple zones front and rear, while six airbags in the vehicle is standard across all specification levels in the range.
Holden's new crash avoidance techonology, known as the Electronic Stability Program (ESP), helps the vehicle stay on course where otherwise it may have lost control.
Introduced in July of 2008, the sportswagon used the same wheelbase as it's sedan counterpart and shares the approximately 50:50 weight distribution. These were aimed at customers who were potentially being lost to SUVs made by other manufacturers, and as such the VE Sportwagon lost almost half of it's cargo capacity in order to maintain it's sportiness.
Development of this new sportswagon cost approximately 110 million Aussie dollars and gave the new wagon a much sportier look as compared to the station wagons of Australia's previous commodores.