HOLDEN is gearing up for its post-Commodore V8 future with three of Detroit’s biggest names in the crosshairs.
The good news is Holden and GM executives are working together to bring Cadillac, Corvette and Camaro models Down Under, so Aussie V8 fans could be spoilt for choice. The bad news is that Holden may be forced to choose between the high-performance Corvette and the more mainstream Camaro.
Holden is reluctant to confirm but we know executives in that iconic American luxury brand Cadillac is a shoe-in for Australia,
Fishermans Bend and Detroit are working hard to get Cadillac to Oz, possibly as early as 2017.
The future of the Corvette and Camaro, however, is not so clearcut.
The question of whether the Australian market can handle two low-volume, high-performance V8 sports cars is the subject of intense debate within Holden.
Wheels understands the Chevrolet Corvette is a shortpriced favourite to fill a Porschefighting hero car role in Holden dealerships once V8 HSVs and Commodore SS models are carry a six-figure price tag and take discontinued. It would carr tak Holden dealers into new territory.
The current C7 Corvette is not engineered for right-hand drive, so Australia would have to wait for the next-generation model, due in America in 2018.
The new-generation Camaro scheduled for US launch in 2016 will be built on the same Alpha platform as the Cadillac CTS-V, and should therefore be package protected for right-hand drive.
It could theoretically beat the Corvette into Aussie dealerships.
Speaking at the Detroit motor show in January, the vicepresident of General Motors’ Singapore-based Consolidated International Operations, Stefan Jacoby, confirmed at least one high-performance model would step in once V8 Commodores are discontinued in 2017.
“We will bring a Holden sports car in the near future,” Jacoby said. “It will be something which truly fulfils the requirements of a genuine Holden sports car.”
Holden has many powerful allies at GM HQ, including Mary Barra (CEO and a strong supporter of Australia’s design team), Dan Ammann (president and a New Zealander who grew up with Holdens) and Mark Reuss (former Holden boss and the man in charge of product development).
All have been fundamental in injecting new thinking into the debate over right-hand drive that has previously left Australia out in the cold.
“It’s getting closer, for sure,” said Ammann when asked how the right-hand-drive GM world was progressing.
“What we used to do was program by program, you do the math and you could never make it work. Inevitably, the program financials get tight and you decide we’ll save a little bit of money by not doing that, and then if you keep incrementalising it you
don’t make the right decision. You just have to say, ‘you know what, we’re a global company’ and do it. [Make it] part of the total program cost and be done with it.”
Cadillac is almost certain to arrive in 2017.
One car high on the hit list is the 2016 CTS-V revealed at the Detroit show in January with a 477kW, supercharged 6.2-litre V8.
It could carry a price tag around the M3’s $156,900 yet deliver real-world performance to rival the $250K BMW M5, Audi RS6 and Mercedes-AMG E63.
GM executive chief engineer David Leone told Wheels that Cadillac was being readied for markets such as Australia.
“We’re working on it,” said Leone when asked about Australian distribution, something that will become easier without the Holden Calais and Caprice prestige models on sale.
But he said Australians likely have access to “selected rice would ted models” from the soon-to-expand Cadillac family (diesel engines are in development, as is a smaller SUV to sit below the Ford Territory-sized SRX).
Cadillac design boss Andrew Smith, an Australian who has previously designed Commodores, reaffirmed moves to bring the brand Down Under.
“There’s a plan for the whole globe. We’re talking a lot about Cadillac,” Smith told Wheels. “My strong preference would be to get my dad in a Cadillac, and my brother-in-law as well.”
Tantalisingly, Leone said rearwheel drive would remain a staple of future Cadillacs.
“Our primary sedans will remain rear-wheel drive,” he said.
“I feel Cadillac has to have RWD entries in the primary sedan space to be able to have the driving character that we want to lead with. It’s a requirement for that.”
THEY aren’t made in Oz, but Holden still has a stable of hard-core performance cars at its disposal, sourced from American parent company General Motors. The Yanks are currently riding a performance car boom, with GM’s V8, rear-drive portfolio spearheaded by three key models: Corvette, Camaro and CTS-V.
Engine Max torque Kerb weight 6000rpm 4600rpm manual claimed) THE 2015 C7 Corvette is lighter, faster and no longer just a pretty face. It’s a rocket sled, thanks to that enormous, fire-breathing Gen 5 V8. High-tech suspension components and an electronic diff mean this new, aluminiumintensive ‘Vette is as sharp around bends as it is fast in a straight line.
Max power Transmission 0-100km/h Price USD Price AUD On sale 6162cc V8 (9 338kW @ 60 630Nm @ 46 7-speed man 1562kg 3.9sec (claim $54,995 $150,000+ ( 2018 90°) ohv, 16v 000rpm 600rpm nual med) est.)
UNLIKE the 2014 Camaro below, the 2016 successor will be developed and produced for left- and right-hand-drive 180kg lighter than the current p p markets. It’ll also be about Camaro’s 1700kg, and smaller and sleeker thanks to GM’s new Alpha platform that it shares with the CTS-V.
Engine 338kW @ 6000rpm 6162cc V8 (90°) ohv 16v Max power Max torque Transmission Kerb weight 0-100km/h Price USD Price AUD On sale 90 ) ohv, 630Nm @ 4600rpm 8-speed automatic 1520kg (est.) 4.8sec (est.) $34,500 $60,000 (est.) 2018
HOLDEN fans know the significance of the 5.7-litre Gen alloy V8 that replaced the indigenous 5.0-litre in 1999. redefined Holden’s performance range. The CTS-V gets the Gen iteration of the famed Chevy small-block, as first seen in 2014 C7 Corvette. What started in 1955 as a 4.3-litre unit with 121kW has grown to 6162cc direct injection weapon with 477kW yet the same 90-degree bank, cam position and 4.4-inch bore spacing. en 3 It nce en 5 the ted th ee nch
CADDY’S new 2016 model CTS-V, which broke show, Corvette Z06. It gets the same supercharged 6.2-litre America’s how, is essentially a four-door he of 3.8sec and predicted 12.0sec erica’s answer to the BMW M5. cover at the Detroit sh t V8, a 0-100km/h blitz quarter mile. It’s Ame Engine Max torque Price USD 6162cc V8 (90°) ohv, 477kW @ 6400rpm Max power Transmission Kerb weight 0-100km/h Price AUD On sale 16v, supercharged 855Nm @ 3600rpm 8-speed automatic 1880kg 3.7sec (claimed) $64,900 $150,000+ 2017