It’s been seven years in the making - the longest wait for a new model in the Commodore’s 35-year history - and it will also be the last as we know it.
Holden has confirmed the Commodore badge will live on beyond the new model’s 2016 horizon - but that car will likely be a four-cylinder, front-drive sedan sold globally but adapted for local conditions.
Holden is due to release the first pictures of the new 2013 Commodore in Melbourne today [SUNDAY], but we have an exclusive photo illustration of the performance flagship “SS” that will lead the Commodore’s export revival to North America, where it will also race as a Nascar for the first time.
Holden has loaded the new Commodore with technology. Due in Australian showrooms in June it will be able to park itself via sensors in the front and rear bumpers, and warn the driver of a crash in stop-start traffic.
The new Commodore will also be available with the internet music service Pandora for the first time, and drivers of top-line models will be able to see their vehicle speed and other key information reflected into the windscreen in a digital “heads-up” display.
The “new” model is in fact a major update of the Commodore released in 2006. Rather than create a new car from the ground up, Holden remodeled the front and rear appearance and added technology.
The V6 and V8 engines are carried over from before but the new model is expected to be about 10 per cent more fuel efficient due to the use of weight-saving aluminium in the bonnet, boot and underbody, said to trim 40kg from the car’s overall mass.
Holden is hoping for a reversal of fortunes with the new model after the Commodore posted its lowest sales ever last year - in a record new-car sales market. It is banking on some buyers coming back to the brand one last time before the Commodore is replaced by a new global car to be built alongside the Cruze in Adelaide until 2022.
Holden has not said what shape the 2017 “Commodore” will take, but News Limited has been told it is a four-cylinder front-drive sedan similar in size to a Toyota Camry. The boss of Holden Mike Devereux promised last Friday that the future model would be called a “Commodore” – but it is unlikely Australians would warm to the iconic badge appearing on a four-cylinder front-drive car.
Live updates on today’s Holden Commodore reveal on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling