Monaro, is that you?

GM brand? Check. Rear-drive? Check. New Monaro? Umm...

by TIM ROBSON

WHEN General Motors dropped the drapes off the latest of its Buick concept cars, the Avista, at the Detroit Motor Show in January, a great hue and cry issued forth from the Holden faithful. “Could this be?” they cried as one. “Has a new Monaro appeared among us?”

It’s a fair assumption. Holden has publicly stated a performance rear-driver will be amongst the 20-plus new products destined for our shores over the next four years.

Size-wise, at 2812mm long, the Avista concept’s wheelbase – built on GM’s Alpha platform – is close to that of a Commodore, too.

As well, sharing this midrange model with the European Opel division would offer greater opportunities for Aussiefication.

Factor in Vauxhall, and right-hand drive starts to look logical.

However, GM is adamant the twinturbo V6-powered Avista concept is currently just that: a design concept car designed to showcase Buick’s new position as an aspirational brand.

The Buick moniker is also more strongly aligned with the left-hook Chinese market than any other General Motors brand, with more than 80 per cent of its 1.2 million sales happening in the world’s most heavily populated country.

The use of the left-hook-only Alpha platform under the Avista, which also underpins the Chevy Camaro and Cadillac CTS, also paints a bleak picture for the possibility of a righthand drive version.

So it appears the identity of Holden’s next performance hero is no clearer.

The Camaro is still being touted as a possible candidate to take over; with the runaway success of the Ford Mustang, surely the engineers in Detroit and Fishermans Bend are working just a little harder to figure out a way to keep the Ford and Holden rivalry going?