I am trying to make sense of my feelings towards the new Holden Commodore

Edís note

Dylan Campbell

HOLDEN has released the first official images and information about its new Commodore VXR Ė the replacement, more or less, for the current VF II SS.

Youíll see the car for yourself and read the details in News in the coming pages, but it scores a 235kW/381Nm naturally aspirated 3.6-litre V6, allwheel drive, big Brembos, a nine-speed auto and is on-sale early 2018.

There will actually be some genuine DNA between this and the VF II Ė and all the Commodores before it. Holden says more than 100,000 development kilometres have been logged by its engineers in Australia, including Lead Dynamics Engineer Rob Trubiani, one of the core creators of the mega, current 304kW VF II SS range. ďThis is a more than worthy successor,Ē Trubiani is quoted as saying. ďWeíve been involved in the development of this car from the beginning and I personally have spent significant time behind the wheel overseas and at Holdenís Lang Lang proving ground.Ē

Itís reassuring to hear a Commodore engineering veteran like Trubiani talk so positively, and have been so involved in its development, but still, I am torn about this car. On the one hand, I think it looks cool, Iím excited by the technology itís packing including what sounds like multiple handling personalities available at the touch of a button. And Iím being realistic about its pace, given itís not exactly setting the spec sheet on fire.

But on the other hand, I look at it and I think itís an exciting new Insignia Ė and get all confused when I think Commodore, a large, rear-drive, very Australian sedan. One thatís popped in and out of my entire life, which will Ė not to sound dramatic Ė very likely symbolise the loss of some national identity when itís no longer manufactured in Adelaide at the end of this year.

Itís tricky as I understand the Opel DNA in the original Commodore and that throughout its many homegrown generations, the Commodore has maintained some sort of under-the-skin connection to other cars in the GM world, which does lend the new car legitimacy. And after the scepticism towards it has worn off, I might be glad that a Commodore is still around.

But even if the new Commodore is brilliant and spawns faster models, I still have a feeling itís going to be a long, difficult adjustment period.