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Trevor Collett | Oct 26, 2016

Holden has outlined its first-ever, all-imported Commodore - the car that will carry the famous name in Australia once the home-built version departs at the end of next year.

Buyers can expect a mixture of four- and six-cylinder models matched with front- and all-wheel-drive, and a Commodore Diesel will be available for the first time.

The new model is already here, undergoing testing at Holden’s Lang Lang proving ground while wearing heavy camouflage.

As mooted for some time, the bulk of the hardware will be borrowed from the Opel Insignia, which in its previous generation is already sold in Australia as the Holden Insignia VXR.

The Commodore will be built in Germany using General Motors’ global E2 platform, and the imported model will be available in liftback sedan or Sportwagon body-styles.

The flagship model will combine a 230kW/370Nm V6 petrol engine with a “cutting-edge” AWD system, including torque vectoring and a twin-clutch (Holden calls it “Twinster”) rear differential.

All-wheel-drive is certainly a first for Commodore (ignoring the Adventra with associated Crewman ute, Monaro and HSV models from 2003-2006) and the new V6 AWD flagship will also boast another first - a nine-speed automatic transmission.

Continuing with firsts, a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine will be available in FWD models as an alternative to the 2.0 litre turbo-petrol four-pot which will likely power entry-level models.

Smaller engines along with lightweight construction methods contribute to a weight-saving of between 200-300kg when compared to the current Commodore.

Active Fuel Management (fuel-saving cylinder shut-down) will make a return to the Commodore range in this new model, while other features include adaptive suspension and a matrix LED lighting system.

Inside, there’s an eight-inch configurable LCD instrument display, head-up display, and the infotainment system includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Holden recognises that an imported model will face an uphill battle in convincing Australian buyers that the new car is worthy of the Commodore name.

To that end, the carmaker has reassured customers that the engineering input from local Holden tuners has been “extensive”.

“Holden has been engaged in this program from the outset to ensure the next-generation Commodore lives up to its legendary nameplate,” Holden’s Jeremy Tassone said.

“We know the first imported Commodore will come under a lot of scrutiny and we know we have a lot to live up to - this car delivers in spades.”

Holden has already committed to a local motorsport program which will see the Commodore nameplate continue in the Supercars touring car series.

Surprisingly, Holden has stated outright that the Commodore will continue to serve at least one of Australia’s police forces; hinting that a deal has already been signed. Whether the new model performs patrol car duties only, or the AWD V6 is deemed worthy as a pursuit car, remains to be seen.

The clock is ticking on carmaking in Australia, with Ford having already departed the scene, the Holden Cruze now import-only, and Holden and Toyota set to follow next year.

There will be a slight ‘gap’ between the last VF Commodore and the first imported model, with Holden scheduling its arrival for early 2018.

Pricing and model line-ups are unclear at this stage - stay tuned to TMR for more.

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