IT'S all change for Holden’s new Commodore – the first imported Commodore – due in February 2018.
And for the Holden faithful it won’t all be good news.
As expected, a V8 engine will be missing from the options list. Blame it on a general downsizing of engines and the fact Australia is unique in wanting big sedans with big power.
Also gone is the sedan body shape that has defined Commodores for decades, although that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
As reported exclusively by Wheels, the mainstream Commodore will be a hatchback for the first time. It’s been called Sportback to add some marketing pizazz (there will also be a wagon, or Sportwagon).
There also won’t be a manual transmission for the imported Commodore, with Holden instead settling on automatics across the range.
For the 3.6-litre V6 that means a nine-speed automatic, something that promises to make the most of its 230kW/370Nm outputs.
The Commodore will also do without rear-wheel drive. Four-cylinder models will drive the front wheels, while the V6 will power all four wheels.
That’s a big shift for Holden, which in the past has said rear-wheel drive is crucial to the feel and ability of a Commodore.
Fitting five adults in the Commodore will also be more difficult than in the current VE/VF model. That’s because the body will be 36mm narrower which will make life in the rear seat a tad less comfy. And the trio of Isofix child seat mounting points on the current Commodore will be reduced to two – because of that lack of width in the rear seat – when the imported model arrives in 2018.
One good change is the shift to a fuel filler door that incorporates the cap. It means no fussing with separate filler caps, instead just pop the fuel door and start refuelling.
It’s not yet known whether Holden will offer a full-sized spare wheel on any Commodore. The reality is, in Europe – the prime market of the car where it will be sold as an Opel Insignia – they would prefer to save the weight and space of carrying around a sizeable wheel.