The all-new fully imported, European-developed Holden Commodore has finally been unmasked, highly anticipated as it was locally. Due to hit showrooms in early 2018, the Commodore sticks very close to the design of the Opel Insignia with which it shares plenty, and which thankfully looks lovely in both liftback and sportwagon form.
This new version, which Holden calls “cutting edge” and “the most advanced Commodore ever” has a lot to prove, being such an iconically Australian vehicle that had lost the battle to continue being developed and manufactured locally.
Previously there were only heavily camouflaged prototypes and equally disguised track testing footage to set us at ease, but with the leaked images that emerged yesterday of a bare Opel Insignia, the reaction was quite unanimously positive.
And now, Holden has released images and some early info of the new Commodore but curiously have left out official photos of the Sportwagon. No doubt we’ll see it between now and its debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show next March.
The car inherits many design cues that have already spread across other GM properties, and while it was largely penned by Opel’s designers in Germany, input was sought from their Australian colleagues at Holden’s HQ in Port Melbourne.
Built on GM’s new E2 global architecture, the new car manages to shed between 200 to 300kg over the outgoing VF Commodore. The new car’s front end sets up the car’s hunkered stance and the striking LED illumination resembles that of the 2017 Astra as well as the Buick LaCrosse and Avista concept.
Clearly, the large alloy wheels and exterior chrome accents indicate this as one of, if not the, highest planned model grade. However, front and rear LED lamps should come standard for all variants.
We can guess, then, that a petrol V6 lies under that bonnet, presumably with the range-topping version being pictured, and is likely an updated version of GM’s LGX HFV6 motor that should deliver 230kW and 370Nm. Drive passes through a new 9-speed automatic before being delivered to all four corners via an all-new AWD system with torque vectoring.
Other versions of the new Commodore will have thrust sent to the front wheels, generated by either petrol or diesel turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinders. It’s not clear, though, how widespread Holden will make its new adaptive suspension system ‘FlexiRide’.
New active safety features also make their debut in the 2018 Commodore; highlights include autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and lane departure warning, a 360-degree camera, blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, and rear cross traffic alert.
In tandem with the life saving tech, comfort and convenience features are also key improvements with massaging front seats that are also heated and ventilated, a powered tailgate and even active cabin noise cancellation in the Sportwagon. A large 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment unit dominates the centre stack with the usual connectivity and media functions including support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The cabin’s design is appropriately sleek and functional, with many little design touches that infuse a sense of dynamism to counter the more utilitarian aspects, with the contrasting leather stitching and piano black accents lending a distinguished but sporty atmosphere.