GM Holden Ltd. takes the wraps off its highly anticipated new VE Commodore Sportwagon and powertrain lineup, due for release later this year.

The production-version VE Sportwagon will be unveiled at the Melbourne auto show starting Feb. 29.

The VE Sportwagon will be available in the full range of VE Commodore variants including the Omega, Berlina, Calais, sporty SV6, SS and range-topping SS-V and Calais V models.

There will be a Commodore Sportwagon at every level, from the base Omega, costing about A$38,000 ($32,700), to the range-topping Calais V-Series at approximately A$60,000 ($51,620). GM Holden says further pricing and full specifications and features will be announced closer to sales launch.

By essentially doubling its Commodore range, GM Holden is attempting to offset the impact of Ford Motor Co. of Australia Ltd.’s new Falcon lineup, due for release in May.

The move by GM Holden marks the start of a battle for the future of locally built large cars in Australia, a segment that has shrunk dramatically as fuel prices have skyrocketed.

For the first time in decades, the Commodore wagon will have the same wheelbase as the Commodore sedan.

Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon wagons traditionally have had a longer wheelbase (3.9 ins. [10 cm]) to increase their carrying capacity for commercial buyers and major fleet customers.

This time around, the Commodore Sportwagon range will be aimed at private buyers.

“This exciting vehicle will appeal to a whole new generation of private and user-chooser customers, while remaining a fleet favorite,” GM Holden Marketing Director of Marketing Philip Brook says. “We’ve expanded our wagon range from the three variants we had at VZ, to an impressive seven VE variants to ensure there’s a Sportwagon for everyone.”