A passing parody
DONOT go looking in a showroom for anything you see on V8 Supercars racing track.
There is no such thing as an Erebus. The Nissan Altima does not have a V8. Even the Falcon and Commodore that race today are barely related to the road-going cars with the same name.
And the Volvo S60 that hits the grid in 2014? Well, it’s just a high-speed parody of a Swedish family car.
Volvo is going to roll out a car with a retired V8 that was once used in the XC90, switching drive from the front wheels to the back, not bothering about airbags or ABS and definitely not fitting its brilliant City Safety system. So it’s a Volvo, Sven, but not as we know it.
V8 Supercars racing might be great entertainment but more people are now following drivers than badges— as Craig Lowndes proved by swapping from Holden to Ford, then returning to the Red Lion, while continuing as Australian motor sport’s biggest drawcard.
As for the old saying: ‘‘ Win on Sunday, sell on Monday’’, it’s so old it’s past its sell-by date. Literally.
If you want proof you only have to look at Falcon sales. The family Ford (or something badged that way) still wins on the track but it’s a long-term loser in showrooms and heading for the knackery in 2016. Or, quite likely, earlier.
So why are car companies still joining V8 Supercars? The simple answer is what The
Gruen Transfer crew calls marketing and brand building.
Volvo wants to look speedy, not just safe and sensible, so it’s going racing. Nissan wants to create anticipation for the coming mid-sized Altima, so it’s going racing.
Ford and Holden need to continue their appeal in the rust belt— as Toyota unkindly calls it— where the Commodore and Falcon are the top choices for secondhand shopping, so they continue racing. Track action also helps Holden shift some SS and HSV hero cars.
As for Erebus, it’s a life-size racing game for mega-rich Betty Klimenko, who happens to be a huge Mercedes-Benz fan. Benz is not backing the program (and was actively against it for a while) but she is spending more than enough millions to compensate with cars that are dead-ringers for E63s.
Carsguide is a long-time fan of touring car racing and knows nothing is more special than Bathurst in October.
But the days when Bathurst was a high-speed showroom are so far in the past we might as well be talking about Jurassic, rather than McPhillamy, Park.