Holden im­port ac­tion

Mercury (Hobart) - Motoring - - NEWS - JOSHUA DOWL­ING NA­TIONAL MO­TOR­ING EDITOR joshua.dowl­ing@news.com.au

FRESH de­tails have emerged about the im­ported car that will re­place the home­grown Holden Com­modore within two years, loaded with tech­nol­ogy never seen on home­grown mod­els.

Holden is yet to con­firm the Com­modore will be a re­badged Opel In­signia but it is an open se­cret in the in­dus­try.

Ger­many’s Au­to­bild mag­a­zine re­ports the sec­ond­gen­er­a­tion Opel In­signia will come with tech­nol­ogy such as mas­sage seats and LED matrix headlights (which stay on high­beam with­out blind­ing on­com­ing traf­fic).

There will be a re­vised ver­sion of Gen­eral Mo­tors’ OnS­tar in-car con­nec­tiv­ity, which puts driv­ers in touch with a concierge at the press of a but­ton, to help with di­rec­tions, restau­rant book­ings and the like.

Most of th­ese fea­tures will ap­pear first, how­ever, on the new Holden Astra hatch­back (also built by Opel in Europe) due by the end of the year. OnS­tar may ar­rive with the Com­modore’s suc­ces­sor, due in late 2017 or early 2018.

Holden had OnS­tar in the late 1990s and early 2000s but the fea­ture was dropped. How­ever it is ex­pected even­tu­ally to re­turn with the new range of im­ported cars.

The com­ing In­signia will be sig­nif­i­cantly larger than the cur­rent model, adding to over­all length and wheel­base to en­dow in­creased cabin space and a more ca­pa­cious boot than the cur­rent model. It will come close to but not match the Com­modore’s di­men­sions.

Au­to­bild says it will shed 100kg thanks to lighter sus­pen­sion and other com­po­nents while the body will take on a coupe-like styling.

The model is ex­pected to be sold as a Buick in the US and other mar­kets, an Opel in Europe, a Vaux­hall in Bri­tain and a Holden in Aus­tralia and New Zealand.

Opel’s Monza show car hints at the new model’s ag­gres­sive front styling, which the mag­a­zine says aims to ap­peal to keen driv­ers and fleets alike.

En­gine op­tions will be a 2.0-litre four-cylin­der turbo petrol and a twin turbo diesel for fleet mod­els. The im­port Com­modore SS is likely to be a re­badged In­signia OPC, with a 300kW V6 turbo matched to an eight-speed auto and all-wheeldrive. The cur­rent turbo AWD In­signia VXR sports sedan does the 0-100kmh dash in a leisurely 6.8 sec­onds (slower than a Toy­ota Aurion V6). The lat­est Com­modore SS V8 takes 5.0 sec­onds.

Holden in­sid­ers tell Carsguide the fu­ture Com­modore SS re­place­ment won’t be as quick or as cheap as the cur­rent V8 but will be swifter than the out­go­ing In­signia VXR.

New fron­tier: Opel In­signia (main); Astra (top); and Monza

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