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Holden WM Statesman
2006-2008 Holden WM Caprice sedan 02.jpg
Manufacturer Holden
Parent company General Motors
Also called Chevrolet Caprice
Buick Park Avenue
Daewoo Veritas
Holden WM Caprice
Production 2006–present
Assembly Elizabeth, South Australia, Australia
Predecessor Holden WL Statesman
Class Full-size car
Body style(s) 4-door sedan
Platform GM Zeta platform
Engine(s) 3.6 L High Output Alloytec V6
6.0 L Generation 4 Alloy V8
Transmission(s) 5-speed GM 5L40E automatic
6-speed GM 6L80E automatic
Wheelbase 3,009 mm (118.5 in)
Length 5,160 mm (203 in)
Width 1,899 mm (74.8 in)
Height 1,480 mm (58 in)
Curb weight 1,891 kg (4,170 lb)
Related Bitter Vero
Holden VE Commodore
For a complete overview of all Statesman models see: Holden Statesman.

The Holden WM Statesman and Caprice are a line of full size luxury cars produced by the General Motors Australian subsidiary, Holden since September 2006. The range debuted alongside the VE Commodore on 16 July 2006 at the Melbourne Convention Centre. With the Statesman's export plans, it was felt that its launch should be simultaneous with that of the Commodore, rather than months later, as had been the choice. The WM has two main rivals, the Ford Fairlane and the Chrysler 300.[1] Holden are already exporting the WM to the Middle East as the Chevrolet Caprice. Sales of the WM Statesman in South Korea as the Daewoo Veritas commenced at the end of 2008. In 2011 Chevrolet in the United States will introduce a captive import version built exclusively for law enforcement agencies.

Contents

Development and design

The WM Statesman was an AU$190 million investment, in combination with the $1.03 billion VE Commodore program.[2] The WM will continue to supply cars to senior Federal and State politicians, government officials, businesspeople and private buyers in Australia and overseas.[3]

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Exterior design

Rear view of the WM Caprice.

The WM Statesman features the same bodyshell as the WM Caprice, but the Caprice possesses a sportier character than the more conservative Statesman. Less chrome is incorporated outside compared to the Statesman. Visually the boot may look smaller from the outside but it is considerably larger inside compared to the VE. The front windscreen and the front doors are the only parts of the Caprice that are visually the same as the VE. Unlike previous models, the rear doors were not taken from the Commodore wagon. Instead the rear doors from the sedan were made longer to ensure that it would be easier to get in and out of the car.

Points of differentiation to the Statesman for the Caprice include sports suspension, larger 18 inch alloy wheels, although 20 inch wheels come as an option, and dual rear seat LCD screens (with DVD player), Bi-Xenon headlamps also come as standard as well as rear LED brake lights. Unlike the Commodore, the Caprice receives a full size spare alloy wheel as standard.

Interior design

Luxury-appointed interior of the WM Statesman.

Compared to the previous generation, more sporting trim highlights are used in the cabin and the centre dash incorporates real aluminium. The already considerable rear leg-room has been increased over previous models. Tri-zone climate control systems feature for the first time that can regulate the car's temperature at three separate places inside the cabin. Themes for the specialist interior design team were comfort, sophistication, harmony, luxury and attention to detail. The extroverted instrument pad features a wide binnacle, unique chrome-ringed instrument cluster and integrated centre stack with a high resolution colour screen, zoned audio and climate controls and satin chrome detailing. [4]

Engine and mechanics

The Caprice comes standard with a 6.0 litre L98 V8 engine producing 270 kilowatts (362 hp) coupled to the GM 6L80E six-speed automatic transmission as featured on sports Commodore variants. A cheaper 195 kilowatt (261 hp) 3.6 litre Alloytec V6 is available as an option for the Caprice, but is standard on the Statesman.[2] The semi-sports suspension is stiffened compared to the Statesman, Holden refer to the more sporting suspension as "FE1.5", sitting halfway between their standard suspension tune and the "FE2" suspension tune of their sports models.

Powertrain
Engine Power Torque
3.6 L V6 195 kW (262 hp) 340 N·m (250 ft·lbf) @ 2600 rpm[2]
6.0 L V8 270 kW (362 hp) 530 N·m (390 ft·lbf) @ 4400 rpm[2]

Safety

In the safety aspect the Statesman comes with Electronic Stability Control, traction control, ABS brakes, EBD, BAS and a tyre pressure monitoring system as standard Front, side and curtain airbags come as standard which is another incentive to improve the Caprice's safety equipment, this also contributed to the fact the that the Caprice’s safety rating surpass that off its main rival, the LTD.[1]Development commenced with the largest virtual crash modelling program Holden has ever undertaken. Emphasis was placed on considering the range of impact scenarios that occur in real world accident situations and differing occupant criteria. Safety technologies were benchmarked alongside with the world’s leading luxury brands and major engineering programs delivered a stiffer body structure and vastly increased usage of advanced strength steels. Multiple load corridor strategies for frontal, side and rear impacts improve passenger compartment integrity. They are complemented by an improved multipoint airbag sensing system and an adaptive restraint system which includes dual stage front airbags, thorax side impact airbags, curtain airbags and front seat active head restraints as standard equipment. Structurally optimised crush zones absorb crash energy and other occupant protection features include a steering column ride-down mechanism and breakaway brake pedal.[4]

Exports

Like the previous model, the WM is exported to the Middle East as the Chevrolet Caprice. Since 2007, complete knock down kits have been exported and assembled by Shanghai GM for the Chinese market.[5] Sold as the Buick Park Avenue, the car replaces the Buick Royaum; a rebadged version of the WL Statesman and utilises Australian-built versions of the GM High Feature engine.[6]

Holden recommenced Caprice exports to South Korea in 2008 as the Daewoo Veritas after showcasing a pre-production Daewoo L4X in 2007.[7] Compared to the Australian-specification model, the Veritas is V6-powered only and has a modified rear floor to accommodate the electrically adjustable rear seats incorporating a massage function. The headrests are also electrically adjustable, with the Caprice's dual headrest-mounted LCD screens orphaned in favour of a single, ceiling-mounted unit.[8]

On 5 October 2009, General Motors announced the new Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle (PPV) will only be sold to law enforcement agencies in the United States market from 2011. It will not be sold to the public.[9] To be imported from Australia, the Chevrolet will be a captive import of the Holden Statesman, as opposed to the Pontiac G8 which was based on the short-wheelbase Holden Commodore version. However, Holden is able to produce the patrol car in short-wheelbase form if required. [10] Holden will initially outfit the Caprice with the 6.0 litre L76 AFM V8, although a 3.6 litre LLT SIDI V6 engine will be available nine months later.[11] Both engines will be E85 ethanol-capable. [10]

Previously, the future of Holden's North American export program had been the subject of contradictory announcements as General Motors emerged from bankruptcy. On 11 July 2009, Bob Lutz declared the Commodore-based Pontiac G8 "too good to waste" and indicated it would return as a Chevrolet Caprice.[12][13] However, it was undisclosed as to whether the revived Caprice was to be based on the short-wheelbase Holden Commodore (like the Pontiac G8) or the extended length Holden Statesman/Caprice, like the Middle Eastern Chevrolet Caprice.[14] Several days later, Lutz retracted his comment, citing market conditions,[15] while GM CEO Frederick Henderson confirmed that police applications were being studied.[16]

References

  1. ^ a b Newton, Bruce (2006-12-20). "New car road test". Fairfax Media. http://www.drive.com.au/Editorial/ArticleDetail.aspx?ArticleID=22339&vf=1&pg=2. Retrieved 2007-08-13.  
  2. ^ a b c d Pleffer, Ashlee (2006-08-31). "Quick spin: Holden WM models". News.com.au. http://carsguide.news.com.au/story/0,20384,20313178-5003140,00.html. Retrieved 2007-08-15.  
  3. ^ "Holden WM Caprice & Statesman Revealed". HSPN Global News. 2006-07-16. http://news.hspn.com/articles/562/1/Holden-WM-Caprice--Statesman-Revealed/Page1.html. Retrieved 2007-08-18.  
  4. ^ a b Alina, Simona (2006-12-09). "2007 Holden WM Caprice". Top speed. http://www.topspeed.com/cars/holden/holden-wm-caprice-ar13106.html. Retrieved 2007-06-21.  
  5. ^ "Holden Secures Chinese Export Deal: Local Large Car Industry Fights On". WebWombat. 2007-04-18. http://www.webwombat.com.au/motoring/news_reports/holden-gm-exports.htm. Retrieved 2008-02-25.  
  6. ^ Dornin, Tim (2007-04-11). "Holden to export engines to China". Fairfax Media. http://www.drive.com.au/Editorial/ArticleDetail.aspx?ArticleId=37768. Retrieved 2007-04-15.  
  7. ^ "Seoul Auto Show: GM Daewoo L4X". Edmunds. 2007-04-09. http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/News/articleId=120359. Retrieved 2008-09-05.  
  8. ^ Twomey, David (2008-09-05). "Holden exports to Korea GM-Daewoo Veritas". Australian Car Advice. http://www.caradvice.com.au/16233/holden-exports-to-korea-gm-daewoo-veritas/. Retrieved 2008-09-05.  
  9. ^ Wert, Ray (2009-10-05). "EXCLUSIVE: The Chevy Caprice Police Car Is Back!". Jalopnik. Gawker Media. http://jalopnik.com/5373645/exclusive-the-chevy-caprice-police-car-is-back. Retrieved 2009-10-05.  
  10. ^ a b Pettendy, Marton (2009-10-05). "Official: Holden to export Commodore as US police car". GoAuto. John Mellor. http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf/story2/4DB981DD3B661FE0CA25764600253D2B. Retrieved 2009-10-05.  
  11. ^ Dowling, Joshua (2009-10-05). "Holden unveils Police Caprice". CarPoint. http://www.carpoint.com.au/news/2009/large-passenger/holden/caprice/holden-unveils-police-caprice-16924. Retrieved 2009-10-05.  
  12. ^ Tingwall, Eric; Zenela, David (2009-07-11). "Bob Lutz: Pontiac G8 will live on as a Chevrolet Caprice". Automobile Magazine. Source Interlink Media. http://www.automobilemag.com/features/news/bob_lutz_pontiac_g8_chevrolet_caprice/index.html. Retrieved 2009-07-12.  
  13. ^ Welch, David (2009-07-10). "GM May Revive Its Popular Pontiac G8". BusinessWeek. McGraw-Hill. http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/jul2009/db20090710_847893.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-11.  
  14. ^ Nunez, Alex (2009-07-11). "BREAKING: Lutz says Pontiac G8 to survive as Chevy Caprice in U.S.; Camaro Z28 reportedly dead". Autoblog. Weblogs, Inc.. http://www.autoblog.com/2009/07/11/lutz-pontiac-g8-to-continue-as-chevy-caprice-in-u-s-z28-likel/. Retrieved 2009-07-12.  
  15. ^ Bob Lutz (July 16, 2009). "It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time…". GM FastLane Blog. http://fastlane.gmblogs.com/archives/2009/07/it_seemed_like_a_good_idea_at_the_time….html. Retrieved 2009-07-19.  
  16. ^ Lassa, Todd (2009-07-17). "A Short Drive with GM CEO Fritz Henderson". Motor Trend. Source Interlink Media. http://www.motortrend.com/features/consumer/gm_ceo_fritz_henderson_interview/hummer_saturn_pontiac_g8.html. Retrieved 2009-10-05.  

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