The V6 AWD is essentially what the current SV6 is, but smoother & suave
strongest initial impression. It’s excellent. Feeding through plenty of information even at straight-ahead, guided by the same delightfully tactile and perfectly sized wheel as in the Astra, it’s a crucial high-point of the ZB Commodore’s dynamic experience.
It’s wonderfully light at parking speeds, spanning 2.7 turns lock-to-lock in the V6 (2.8 turns in the four, with its slightly tighter 11.1m turning circle), but utterly seamless in the way it firms up as speeds rise. “Speed blending” is what Trubiani calls it, and they’ve nailed it. Increased hardware and a heavier engine account for the V6’s slightly meatier weight compared to the 2.0-litre, but both deliver beautifully crisp feel, and the V6’s dash of extra heft seems perfectly in keeping with its ballsy personality. quieter, too, though neither of the new cars have their full “N and V” (noise and vibration) packages installed. And the VFII’S loungier seats somehow suit its more imperious feel.
Just near Mirboo North, we divert east on a 36km loop to the town of Boolarra, then along the brilliant Boolarra-mirboo North Road to just past Darlimurla for proper back-to-back dynamic testing.
With Holden engineer Henry Weinlich setting a cracking pace, I bring up the rear in the VFII Calais and start to realise this is all a bit like history repeating itself. If the German ZB is the spiritual reincarnation of the original 1978 VB Commodore, then I’m in a latter-day HZ Premier, the last of the old school before youth and technology take over. It’s a slightly