GM Holden has moved its next-generation Commodore into the next alphabetical sequence, picking ‘Z’ as its code for the European-build model and leaving behind the ‘V’ series that defined the Australian build from 1978 until this year.
The next Commodore, smashing Holden tradition by being imported and with its entry-level front-wheel drive, four-cylinder liftback or wagon design, will be named the ZB series when it enters showrooms early next year.
The new Z car code, ironically the last letter in the alphabet at a time when Holden is transforming into a new role as an exclusive importer of vehicles, was also used by the Ford Fairlane series from 1967 until 1988.
Holden was expected to code its new large car as ‘NG’ – for Next (or New) Generation – but ZB won the day for the first series of the Opel-built model as it is the European name for the platform.
Holden will end production of the VF Commodore in October this year, closing its South Australian Elizabeth body and assembly plant, selling its plant equipment and moving to a vehicle importer.
The ZB Commodore is based on the latest Opel Insignia. The previous Insignia, already an eight-year-old model, recently ended its stint on the market as the VXR all-wheel drive turbocharged 2.8-litre V6 liftback.
The new Insignia is significantly different to the previous model, notably being larger, having an all-new platform and where the VXR was a sedan, the latest variant is a liftback or wagon.
Holden will also retain the VXR label, adding it to the new Commodore in a variant that will be powered by a 235kW/381Nm 3.6-litre V6 and will drive all four wheels through a nine-speed automatic transmission.
The new Commodore will go on sale in early 2018 with stock of the outgoing VF expected to last early into next year.