HOLDEN has confirmed the racing version of the 2018 NG Commodore will have a V8 engine under its bonnet next year.
The first official renderings of the Supercars-spec Commodore have been revealed, with Holden confirming the proven bent-eight package will be recycled for the 2018 championship - even though the series' new Gen2 rulebook now allows greater diversity in powertrain selection.
Triple Eight Race Engineering, which currently fields the two factory-backed Red Bull Holden Racing Team VF Commodores in the Supercars championship, is working on developing a twin-turbo V6 engine.
The package is being developed in conjunction with the General Motors Performance and Racing Center, in Pontiac, Michigan, before a full-time debut in 2019.
The factory team will “seek approval from Supercars to run a V6-powered Commodore as a wild card entry at selected rounds next season,” according to a Holden statement.
Following its debut, all Holden teams in the Supercars championship will be able to lease the twin-turbo engine from 2019.
“Our sport prides itself on Supercars being the closest competition in the world, and the phased introduction of the next-generation Commodore will ensure that is maintained,” Triple Eight Race Engineering team principal, Roland Dane said.
If Triple Eight is successful in fielding a wildcard entry, it will be the first time a non-V8 powered car has competed in Supercars since 1993, when it was known as the Australian Touring Car Championship.
The images of the 2018 Commodore in Supercars trim are the work of GM Design Australia Exterior Design Manager Peter Hughes.
Although striking, the concept images are unlikely to be a fully accurate representation of the final homologated product, with the car’s aero package likely to undergo changes before it hits a racetrack.
The 2018 Commodore racer is expected to undergo Supercars Aero Validation in the fourth quarter of 2017. As for the road car that will roll into showrooms after Holden shutters its Elizabeth assembly plant? Sadly, a V8 flagship - or even a turbo six - isn't part of the product plan.