Holden’s farewell edi­tions

Australian Muscle Car - - News -


you see here are the lim­ited edi­tion ver­sions of the last high-per­for­mance rear-wheel drive Com­modore mod­els Holden will ever build in Aus­tralia. With GM-Holden set to pull down the shut­ters on its Aus­tralian man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties on Oc­to­ber 20 this year, the just-re­leased MY17 Com­modore range mod­els rep­re­sent the end of the line for lo­cal Holden pro­duc­tion – lit­er­ally as well as fig­u­ra­tively.

If there is good news in any of this, it is that Holden has at least cho­sen not to go out with a whim­per. Three all-new, high-per­for­mance, lim­ited-edi­tion mod­els top the 2017 Com­modore range: the Mo­tor­sport Edi­tion, Di­rec­tor and Mag­num Lim­ited Edi­tion.

The Mo­tor­sport Edi­tion sedan and the Mag­num Ute are based on the SS-V Red­line; the Di­rec­tor is de­rived from the Calais V. The SS-V model has been dropped from the range, with the equip­ment lev­els in the 2017 SS ap­prox­i­mat­ing those of the for­mer SS-V.

All mod­els re­tain the 6.2-litre LS3 V8, which re­mains un­changed from VFII spec, pro­duc­ing 304kW and 570Nm.

Like Ford with its fi­nal Fal­con it­er­a­tion, Holden al­lowed it­self very lit­tle bud­get to de­velop its swan­song Com­modore mod­els. None­the­less, the folk at Holden have dug deep to de­liver three mag­nif­i­cent high-per­for­mance mod­els that rep­re­sent a fit­ting farewell to an Aussie icon.

The changes are mostly un­der the skin. In what amounted to a skunkworks within Holden, a group of en­gi­neers came up with their own method of de­liv­er­ing mean­ing­ful im­prove­ments to the new per­for­mance ver­sions’ dy­nam­ics and track ca­pa­bil­i­ties. De­spite al­most no bud­get to work with, they’ve man­aged to achieve their ob­jec­tives lit­er­ally by for­ag­ing through the GM parts cat­a­logue.

The Mo­tor­sport Edi­tion and the Di­rec­tor each get the Mag­netic Ride Con­trol (MRC) adap­tive sus­pen­sion pre­vi­ously only avail­able on HSV ver­sions of the Com­modore. The mag­netic par­ti­cle-filled shock ab­sorber con­cept al­lows for shock ad­just­ment changes (by al­ter­ing the mag­netic field in­side the damper and thereby chang­ing the damper’s fluid vis­cos­ity). The sys­tem em­ploys sus­pen­sion po­si­tion sen­sors at each wheel to read road con­di­tions and ad­just dampers up to 100 times a se­cond. But the MRC on the three new mod­els is ad­di­tion­ally con­trolled by a dash­board dial to al­low driv­ers to switch between dif­fer­ent sus­pen­sion tunes. It has Tour, Sports and Per­for­mance set­tings, which are cal­i­bra­tions de­vised by Holden’s en­gi­neers (rather than adopt­ing the HSV sys­tem as is).

The Mo­tor­sport Edi­tion also gets firmer rear sub­frame bushes.

The Mag­num Ute doesn’t come with any of these good­ies, but in­stead gets sedan-tune FE3 rear sus­pen­sion spring, shock and sway bar pack­age for im­proved ride and han­dling.

All three mod­els boast a new en­gine/ trans­mis­sion cool­ing pack­age de­vel­oped espe­cially for track work. The pack­age meets ‘GM level 3’ track per­for­mance which is al­ready

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