Meet your next Commodore

Forget V8s. GM twin-turbo V6 and all-wheel drive slated feed Oz’s performance hunger to nger

ALEX INWOOD

HAVING confirmed that the Chevrolet SS will die alongside the V8 Commodore at the end of 2017, Stefan Jacoby, president of GM International, said Holden performance fans will still “get exactly what they want, based on different technology” once the nameplate is fully imported.

Holden fans had been hoping that Detroit would develop a that Detroit would develop a new rear-drive V8 Chevrolet SS in right-hand drive form. However

“The V8 period is coming to an end” – Stefan Jacoby, president, GM International end ent, Intern d” national

with Jacoby nailing the SS’s coffin shut at the Frankfurt show, Holden is more likely to offer a sportier version of the car you see here: the 2017 Opel Insignia.

Our artist’s impression is your first look at the car strongly tipped to underpin the nextgeneration imported Commodore.

A performance variant would likely to use a twin-turbo V6 driving all four wheels. The current Opel Insignia VXR uses a 239kW/435Nm twin-turbo V6, but the engine has been hobbled to fit the limited torque capacity of the six-speed auto with which it is paired.

Not offering a V8 might sound like sacrilege, but don’t ignore the ability of this future Commodore V6. Holden has a great heritage with performance six-cylinder cars (Torana XU-1 and VL Turbo).

“The world is obviously changing and the eight-cylinder changing and the eight-cylinder period is coming to an end, and the rear-wheel drive is just difficult to justify on a dedicated single-vehicle architecture for Australia,” Jacoby said.

Boasting a sporty look that’s almost four-door coupe in design, the next-gen Insignia grows significantly, meaning it should meet the space demands of Aussie families. Its length is expected to stretch 100mm, a jump that will see the Insignia go from one of the smallest cars in its class, to one of the biggest. A longer wheelbase should also see it equal, if not better, the interior space of the current VFII Commodore.

Don’t be surprised if Holden gives Australian versions styling differentiation from European Insignias, with the production car tipped to adopt many of the styling ace I olden tralian ing m gnias, uction t stylin o ng cues from the stunning cues from the stunning Monza coupe concept shown at Frankfurt in 2013. za sh kfurt hown Another local change will be the suspension tuning, with Holden retaining its Lang Lang test facility for the development of an Aussie-specific chassis set-up, and calibration of all drivetrains.

Bread and butter versions of the next Commodore will be front-wheel drive. But performance junkies shouldn’t fret, as stepping up the range will see the inclusion of all-wheel drive models.

Expect any HSV offering to ther t i i h

Development run

OUR spy photographers have already snapped the Insignia testing in the Alps .

Despite the heavy camouflage, the coupelike roofline is obvious, and its hindquarters have a shape that is similar to that of the Audi A7. Insignia is expected to grow physically, yet Opel also aims to reduce weight by 200kg compared to the current model’s 1428kg starting weight.

take advantage of the grip provided by the all-paw underpinnings, as well as concerted efforts by Opel’s performance arm OPC to make its performance products more competitive with high-performance rivals from other manufacturers.

While Jacoby stopped short of confirming the next-gen Insignia will replace Commodore, when asked if there may be a gap between the Commodore’s death and the introduction of its imported replacement, he replied: “I don’t think so.”

He also reiterated GM’s aim to retain a high-performance family sedan in Oz, just one that won’t use V8 power.

“From the heritage point of view, there’s a lot of capabilities competiti in respect of sporty vehicles and in respect of high-performance powertrains – Commodore and so on – which will definitely be further utilised.”

Jacoby added that while the V8’s immediate future is sealed, GM may offer a rear-drive V8 sports car further down the track.

“You know that we will have a sports car, and most likely that sports car will have a V8 engine.”

Just don’t expect it to be affordable, or to see it any time soon. Right-hand drive versions of the new, sixth-gen Chevrolet Camaro aren’t being considered and an updated version of the Corvette won’t arrive until 2018 at the earliest. utili