Ed’s Let­ter

I am try­ing to make sense of my feel­ings to­wards the new Holden Com­modore

Motor (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

What to think about the NG Com­modore VXR?

HOLDEN has re­leased the first of­fi­cial im­ages and in­for­ma­tion about its new Com­modore VXR – the re­place­ment, more or less, for the cur­rent VF II SS. You’ll see the car for your­self and read the de­tails in News in the com­ing pages, but it scores a 235kW/381Nm nat­u­rally as­pi­rated 3.6-litre V6, al­lwheel drive, big Brem­bos, a nine-speed auto and is on-sale early 2018. There will ac­tu­ally be some gen­uine DNA be­tween this and the VF II – and all the Com­modores be­fore it. Holden says more than 100,000 de­vel­op­ment kilo­me­tres have been logged by its en­gi­neers in Aus­tralia, in­clud­ing Lead Dy­nam­ics En­gi­neer Rob Tru­biani, one of the core cre­ators of the mega, cur­rent 304kW VF II SS range. “This is a more than wor­thy suc­ces­sor,” Tru­biani is quoted as say­ing. “We’ve been in­volved in the de­vel­op­ment of this car from the be­gin­ning and I per­son­ally have spent sig­nif­i­cant time be­hind the wheel over­seas and at Holden’s Lang Lang prov­ing ground.” It’s re­as­sur­ing to hear a Com­modore en­gi­neer­ing vet­eran like Tru­biani talk so pos­i­tively, and have been so in­volved in its de­vel­op­ment, but still, I am torn about this car. On the one hand, I think it looks cool, I’m ex­cited by the tech­nol­ogy it’s pack­ing in­clud­ing what sounds like mul­ti­ple han­dling per­son­al­i­ties avail­able at the touch of a but­ton. And I’m be­ing re­al­is­tic about its pace, given it’s not ex­actly set­ting the spec sheet on fire.

But on the other hand, I look at it and I think it’s an ex­cit­ing new In­signia – and get all con­fused when I think Com­modore, a large, rear-drive, very Aus­tralian sedan. One that’s popped in and out of my en­tire life, which will – not to sound dra­matic – very likely sym­bol­ise the loss of some na­tional iden­tity when it’s no longer man­u­fac­tured in Ade­laide at the end of this year. It’s tricky as I un­der­stand the Opel DNA in the orig­i­nal Com­modore and that through­out its many home­grown gen­er­a­tions, the Com­modore has main­tained some sort of un­der-the-skin con­nec­tion to other cars in the GM world, which does lend the new car le­git­i­macy. And af­ter the scep­ti­cism to­wards it has worn off, I might be glad that a Com­modore is still around. But even if the new Com­modore is bril­liant and spawns faster mod­els, I still have a feel­ing it’s go­ing to be a long, dif­fi­cult ad­just­ment pe­riod.

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