Holden Commodore ‘Bathurst’ sidelined

Holden Commodore at Bathurst

HOLDEN’S top secret project to send off the locally made Commodore with a V8-fuelled rear-drive bang has taken a sudden, new twist – whatever it spins out won’t be a nod to the spiritual home of endurance motorsport in Australia.

A bid to use “Bathurst” for a special-edition Holden Commodore has had the brakes slammed on after the carmaker confirmed it had withdrawn its application to trademark the name.

But the project that spawned the idea is still very much alive – and ready to wear a different name, according to Wheels sources.

Wheels has already confirmed Holden will revive the Director name that will resurrect the spirit of Peter Brock, and link the last of the Commodore breed to the infamous VK and VL HDT Directors of the 1980s.

But Holden is working on multiple limited-edition tributes to the Commodore’s history that will roll out ahead of the factory’s closure in late 2017.

The Bathurst name was to be used on a more performance-honed version of the Commodore, with the VF Series II Calais-based Director’s slant leaning towards luxury, although retaining a healthy dose of underlying performance.

Other limited edition Commodore models will be more overtly focused on performance, leveraging the car’s race track heritage.

Despite recent reports, though, Wheels has learnt the Holden limited editions will not get more power than the 304kW 6.2-litre LS3 V8 that was transplanted into the Commodore for the current VF Series II in 2015.

The supercharged LSA engine used in HSVs – with a 400kW tune for ClubSports and a 430kW tune for the flagship GTS – will remain exclusive to HSV.

As reported by Wheels, HSV is working on a top secret project that will deliver the most powerful Australian-made car ever, utilising the LS9 engine that is expected to produce at least 476kW, making it one of the most powerful cars on the market.

With Toby Hagon

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