Next Commodore breaks cover

  • 07/12/2016
  • By Bruce Newton
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

This is it race fans, the production car the 2018 Holden Commodore Supercar will be based on.

Images of the MY18 Commodore were revealed today by Holden at the same time as Opel in Germany showed off its new-generation Insignia large car.

That’s because the new Holden Commodore is an Opel Insignia, albeit with a few styling tweaks like a different grille and badges.

On-sale here from February 2018 the new-gen Commodore will be the first sold in Australia that isn’t locally designed and locally built.

NG COMMODORE REAR PUBLICITY SHOT (1)

It also won’t be available in road-going from with a V8 engine or rear-wheel drive.

And nor will the Supercar currently under development by Triple Eight Race Engineering and Holden Motorsport use a V8 engine, instead it will be powered by a twin turbo V6 engine sourced from Holden parent General Motors’ competition arm in the USA.

But the new Commodore will retain rear-wheel drive as required by Virgin Australia Supercars Championship technical regulations, with its body massaged to fit on the standard Gen2 wheelbase and RWD chassis.

The production MY18 Commodore is a five-door hatchback rather than a four-door sedan and actually measures 74mm shorter and 36mm narrower than the current locally-built road car.

Holden motorsport boss Simon McNamara said strong progress on the development of the new Commodore’s all-important aero package was being made, despite the issues presented by the car’s coupe-like roofline.

“That is the core vehicle of what we will run,” confirmed McNamara. “It does inherently have a couple of aerodynamic challenges for us, but we have been across that for a number of months.

“We are right on track, in fact probably slightly ahead of schedule, of when our surface treatment needs to be done.”

He also confirmed engine development was on-track.

“I can tell you the engine program is in about its 5000th hour of work that has been going on. We are right on schedule with that one, in fact slightly ahead of where we wanted to be.

“We will have the first run of our engine spec on the dyno in the next couple of weeks in North America.”

The new Commodore Supercar will make its racing debut at the traditional VASC opener on the streets of Adelaide in 2018 less than one month after it goes on-sale.

However, it will break cover publicly before then, with a first public demo at the 2017 Supercheap Bathurst 1000 possible.

McNamara said racing in Supercars would deliver both promotion for the new Commodore and the Holden brand.

“It [racing] shows Commodore nameplate still adds value to the core audience of Holden,” he said. “But it also indicates to a broader audience - and the new audience we are trying to talk to – that Holden is very different and the vehicle itself is quite a premium looking car and has premium technology and safety features.

“So it is positioning itself further up the tree but it is still covering off what we need to cover off. So it ticks both boxes for us.”

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