Euro-dore!

The 2018 Holden flagship in all he ll its sleek sophistication

NATHAN PONCHARD

IT WAS in a stark, white room in the middle of Holden’s Salmon Street design studio where GM Australia Design Director Richard Ferlazzo first said to Wheels, “Let me introduce to you the fifthgeneration Holden Commodore”.

Before us sat a full-scale clay model of the car you see here, which has now been publicly revealed in all its glory.

While these computer-generated images released by GM-Holden S iddle alia awkwardness, they’re representative of exactly what you’ll see in Holden showrooms come February 2018: a five-door liftback-sedan with a very racy roofline.

It’s a significant departure from the traditional three-box Holden Commodore sedan shape, trading much of the VE/ VF’s chiselled masculinity for a more unisex, coupe-like form, yet there’s still plenty of presence in do have some slight perspective what will still be a sizeable car.

“It has a faster roofline, which is something I’ve always wanted to do with Commodore,” Ferlazzo told us. Yet the trade-off for this sleekness is a scant 13mm reduction in rear-seat headroom.

“In terms of size, this new model sits between a [1997] VT and the [2006] VE, which we think is the sweet spot,” Ferlazzo said.

Those concerned about every millimetre of interior space will be catered for by the MY18 Commodore Sportwagon, or Insignia Sports Tourer in Opel speak. It will take some inspiration from the current VF wagon’s sporty styling flavour while catering to wagon-loving Europeans by offering ample luggage space.

But this wasn’t the work of GM’s Melbourne-based designers.

“It’s an Opel design so please give them the credit,” said Ferlazzo.

“We had a lot to do with it from

the outset, in terms of packaging and appearance. But it’s a common appearance with Opel. Only the badges are different, which is how it should be in a global company.”

Opel has already announced that there will be a jacked-up, allwheel- drive Insignia wagon – with a very twee name, the ‘Country Tourer’ – to compete with the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack, Skoda Octavia Scout, and Subaru’s iconic Outback, as well as the premium-priced Audi A4 Allroad and forthcoming Mercedes-Benz Vo Oc ico pre an E-Class All Terrain. But expect the ‘Outbacked’ Commodore wagon to have its own name for Australia.

And it won’t be Adventra...

As for the chance of an Insignia/ Commodore Coupe, it’s highly unlikely given the low-volume potential of a global two-door.

So what does Ferlazzo really think of the least-Aussie Commodore since the 1978 original? “I’m really pleased; this takes Commodore to where a large sedan needs to be.”

2011

Start of the ‘next generation’ project

200KG

Weight saving compared to VF

Gear ratios of the new automatic, up from 6 9 235kW

Max power, down from 304kW

2018 NG COMMODORE

3.6-litre V6 235kW 370Nm ENGINE POWER TORQUE WHEELBASE 2829mm

1978 VB COMMODORE

5.0-litre V8 114kW 334Nm 2668mm