Here are the first official pictures of the made-in-Germany Holden Commodore, the car that will land in New Zealand in 2018 to replace the current Australian-built VFII Commodore. The name might remain the same but the new model is vastly different.
It is no longer rear-drive – base models are front drive with the choice of boosted 2.0-litre petrol or diesel engines; the premium Commodore gets all-wheel drive (AWD) and a V6 petrol engine. There is no V8. There is no longer a sedan, either – liftback and sportwagon only. Holden says a liftback offers more useable luggage space.
The sleek new Commodore is smaller and narrower than the Aussie product – and is a claimed 200kg lighter, a weight-saving that, combined with smaller-capacity engines and a new nine-speed automatic transmission in top models, will cut fuel use and therefore CO2 emissions. Stop-start technology and a slippery 0.26 coefficent of drag will help too. Holden isn’t saying yet what gearbox the 2.0-litre units will get.
Holden NZ managing director Kristian Aquilina says new Commodore will be the most technologically advanced Holden ever, with an array of passive and active safety systems and the latest in infotainment.
“It combines technology across a number of areas in a way usually found in high-end prestige vehicles and introduces these features into mainstream, attainable motoring,” he said.
“From potentially life-saving safety technology features, to active driving technology and seamless infotainment, it will make driving safer, easier, more involving and more connected than ever before.”
The fifth-generation Holden Commodore sits on the same base as Germany’s Opel Insignia and the UK’s Vauxhall Insignia. The platform is known by the three carmakers’ parent company General Motors as E2 architecture.
Holden engineers in Melbourne had an extensive role in tailoring the city-slicker platform to cope with the mix of road surfaces in New Zealand and Australia. Forty years ago the company’s engineers did the same with the first Commodore, also based on an Opel, the Rekord sedan.
Chief development engineer Jeremy Tassone said the technical underpinnings of the next Commodore represents Holden’s commitment to preparing vehicles from GM’s global pool for the Down Under market.
“From its cutting-edge all-wheel-drive system, to nine-speed transmission and adaptive suspension, this is a true driver’s car in the way Commodore has always been,” he said. “We’re taking the best of Europe and making it even better.”
The AWD model will be the flagship Commodore, its naturally aspirated V6 mated to the nine-speed auto’ and delivering 230kW/370Nm. It comes with a torque vectoring system for improved dynamics and an electro-hydraulic FlexRide suspension set-up that continuously adapts to the road surface.
Holden says Commodore’s three ‘drive control modes’ are the heart and soul of the adaptive chassis. ‘Standard’ selects the best all-round set-up; ‘Tour’ softens chassis and throttle response; ‘Sport’ gets the car ready to rumble.