Holden’s New ‘SS’ Com­modore

New NG flag­ship adopts Euro VXR badg­ing for 235kW V6

Motor (Australia) - - THE NEWS -

ARE YOU sit­ting down? Wel­come to the new face of Holden four-door per­for­mance, the Com­modore VXR. With the iconic SS badge re­tir­ing with the V8 en­gine, Holden has ap­plied the VXR badge to its new range-top­per, hop­ing the eq­uity built by re­cent im­ported per­for­mance In­signias and As­tras is enough to en­tice a new gen­er­a­tion of driv­ing en­thu­si­asts to the brand.

Un­der the bon­net is a

235kW/381Nm 3.6-litre nat­u­rallyaspi­rated V6 backed by a nine-speed torque-con­verter au­to­matic. All-wheel drive is stan­dard and Holden claims the VXR will sprint to 100km/h in “around six sec­onds”. Key to the new Com­modore’s abil­ity to en­ter­tain is its Fo­cus RS-style “Twin­ster” all-wheel drive sys­tem, which does away with a tra­di­tional rear dif­fer­en­tial and in­stead em­ploys a pair of clutches at the rear axle.

Up to 50 per cent of the drive can be sent rear­wards which can then be ap­por­tioned side-to-side to im­prove han­dling and give the car a more “rear-driven” feel­ing. Ac­cord­ing to Holden’s Lead Dy­nam­ics En­gi­neer, Rob Tru­biani: “The next-gen Com­modore VXR of­fers a dif­fer­ent ex­e­cu­tion of per­for­mance to the out­go­ing SS but make no mis­take, this is a more than wor­thy suc­ces­sor.”

En­hanc­ing the VXR’s per­for­mance cre­den­tials are Brembo front brakes and adap­tive dampers, which along with the steer­ing, trans­mis­sion and all-wheel drive sys­tem of­fer three dif­fer­ent drive modes. The front sus­pen­sion uses GM’s Hi-per strut sys­tem, which sep­a­rates the damper from the steer­ing axis to im­prove front-end ge­om­e­try and re­duce torque steer. Wheels are 20 inches in di­am­e­ter wear­ing Bridge­stone Potenza tyres in Holden’s com­put­er­gen­er­ated im­ages.

The im­ages show the VXR’s unique front and rear bumpers and rear lip spoiler, how­ever judg­ing by its me­chan­i­cally iden­ti­cal Buick Re­gal GS sis­ter car, bound for the Chi­nese

and US mar­kets, Holden has used a bit of artis­tic li­cence in both the ride height and wheel off­set de­part­ments.

On the in­side there are per­for­mance front seats with both heat­ing and cool­ing func­tions and a raft of tech­nol­ogy that Holden will be push­ing hard to back its claim that the Next Gen­er­a­tion Com­modore is the most ad­vanced ever.

Its eight-inch LCD in­stru­ment dis­play will sup­port An­droid Auto and Ap­ply Carplay, adap­tive LED head­lights make their Com­modore de­but and there’s a full suite of ac­tive safety equip­ment, in­clud­ing a 360-de­gree cam­era, au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing, adap­tive cruise con­trol, lane de­par­ture warn­ing with lane-keep as­sist, for­ward col­li­sion alert and blind-spot mon­i­tor­ing.

How­ever, while reg­u­lar buy­ers crave gad­gets, for Holden to cap­ture even a frac­tion of its tra­di­tional en­thu­si­ast au­di­ence the Com­modore VXR will need to be se­ri­ously spe­cial to drive. We’ll dis­cover just how spe­cial to­wards the end of 2017, while the VXR will launch along with the rest of the new Com­modore range in early 2018 with pric­ing yet to be de­ter­mined.

New VXR a good­look­ing thing, but will it res­onate with Aussie buy­ers who are aban­don­ing tra­di­tional sedans?

Me­chan­i­cally iden­ti­cal Buick Re­gal GS gives a bet­ter idea of how the Com­modore VXR will look in the metal

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