Australia Day, the country's national holiday, is the perfect time to celebrate two of the country's less traditional V8 muscle machines. Watch as a Holden Commodore SS V Redline Sportwagon and Ute SS smoke their tires to race around a skid pad and haul a barbecue set.
If you need the extra convenience of four doors but don't want to give up the thrill of high performance, the Chevrolet SS represents a potent package. The exterior is understated and the design certainly doesn't scream about the 415-horsepower, 6.2-liter V8 hiding beneath the hood. Unfortunately, there are some questions about how long this muscle sedan will last.
Even if it only ever made it Stateside as a coupe (Pontiac GTO) and sedan (Chevy SS), GM's Australian division Holden offers its Commodore in a number of bodystyles: sedan, wagon, even a truck-bedded ute. And what's more, Aussie buyers can (for now, at least) even get each of those bodystyles in HSV performance spec. The one version we haven't seen thus far is a shooting brake, but now Holden, Triple Eight Race Engineering and Red Bull Racing Australia have teamed up to present this bonkers, one
Craig Lowndes is a household name in Australia. One of its most accomplished domestic racing drivers, Lowndes has racked up an impressive array of checkered flags over the course of his 20 years on the grid, and now Holden is celebrating his career with a special-edition muscle car you see here.
Aussie Muscle Sedan Isn't Perfect, But It's One Heck Of A Deal
On a recent jaunt to Australia, we got behind the wheel of a Holden Commodore SS-V Redline. We've been looking forward to driving not a Holden, but the Holden, the Commodore, ever since we visited Australia for the first time in 1994 and saw a Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) Commodore parked like a magazine-spread model in a driveway next to a house on a bluff. It was an indifferent, unavailable and previously unknown exotic.
Big changes are afoot at Holden. After General Motors opted to shut down its only plants Down Under, its Australian subsidiary is shifting from a manufacturer to an importer of automobiles. The question on everyone's mind, then, has been whether Detroit would keep its Australian nameplates in place, or replace them with global ones.
When you look at a Holden Commodore, you're not likely to see a "green" car staring back at you. (That is, assuming you're in Australia where the Commodore is sold. Or in the UK where you can get a Vauxhall VXR8. Or here in the US where it's rebadged as a Chevy SS or before that as a Pontiac G8 or GTO.) It is, in many cases after all, a big, rear-drive V8 muscle sedan. Not, in other words, known for its frugal sipping of fuel. But that didn't have to be the case.
The name Walkinshaw carries with it a proud history of collaborating with major automakers to produce some of the most lust-worthy racing machinery and road-going performance vehicles ever known. The Jaguar XJR-9 was developed by Tom Walkinshaw Racing. So were the Nissan R390, Porsche WSC-95 and Mazda MXR-01 – top-tier Le Mans prototypes all. Walkinshaw helped Jaguar develop the XJR-15 and XJ220 supercars.
Cadillac might have its best product mix in recent history, and GM's luxury brand is looking to expand. In fact, it might even be making a trip Down Under, at least according to the company's global marketing chief.
Holden is working hard to counter the notion that it will disappear in 2017. It responded via press release to an Australian newspaper article that it will become Chevrolet when it ceases local manufacturing in 2016, and has placed graphics emblazoned with "We're Here to Stay" just about anywhere it lives online.
In response to a news report that the Holden brand itself could disappear and have its products and dealerships rebranded as Chevrolet in Australia, Holden CEO Mike Devereaux has said, "Holden is here to stay. It has been an integral part of Australia's history and will be part of its future." Australia's News Ltd ran a piece saying that Holden had to fight General Motors in the past to retain its name, and that when the Aussie brand ceases local operations in 2017, GM might use that as an oppor
With the end of GM's manufacturing in Australia, its Holden brand is destined to become purely a sales and service network, bringing in vehicles (principally Chevrolets) manufactured in other locations and rebadging them as Holdens. That's left some wondering whether it's worthwhile leaving Holden as a standalone brand, or advocating that it should go the way of Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, Oldsmobile, Daewoo, Asuna and Geo (to name just a few). After all, why not call them Chevys even in Australia
One of the top comments on this YouTube video from Red Bull reads (sics throughout), "Red Bull isn't an energy drink company... It is a marketing company that owns a energy drink. It all ways has been." And that's just fine with us, so long as the Austrian company continues putting together stunts like this.
For all of its negatives and controversy, let's get one thing clear - the BBC's Top Gear has quite possibly the largest viewing audience of any TV show on the planet, an estimated 350 million people in 170 of the 190-odd countries on the map.
Australia's Motoring has put together a little video on two of the great performance vehicles available down under - the Holden VF Commodore HSV GTS and the Ford Falcon FPV GT R-Spec. And while both FPV and the Falcon might be on their way out, there's still plenty of time for a little head-to-head comparison between the two.
Bob Lutz was one of the forces behind bringing the Holden Monaro to the United States, as the ill-fated Pontiac GTO in 2004. And while that car received critical acclaim, it was a sales disappointment. Now, Road & Track is reporting that our suspicions were correct - Pontiac was working on a two-door, G8-based coupe before it was shuttered.
Holden has a hit on its hands. That wouldn't be much of a surprise were the hit a small, affordable, fuel-efficient car that everyone thought looked like Kate Upton in car form. It's surprising because said hit has a 6.0-liter V8 with 351 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque, sends its power to the rear wheels, and costs 51,490 Australian dollars ($47,365 at today's rates). And it doesn't look anything like the lovely Ms. Upton.
Phil Harding, managing director of Holden Special Vehicles, says the Australian power wars are effectively over. GoAuto has quoted Harding as saying that it's simply becoming too expensive to continue to pursue ever more engine performance thanks in part due to extensive certification, homologation, development and testing requirements. Whereas HSV was once able to extract an extra 67 horsepower from an engine with a given investment, the same outlay today will see a bump of less than 7 hp, acco
With arch rival Ford of Australia having announced earlier this week that it will cease all in-continent manufacturing in 2016, you might think that General Motors' Holden division might be feeling a bit more confident about its future prospects. Yet that doesn't necessarily appear to be the case. At least for the moment, Ford's headline-grabbing announcement may take some of the wind out of the sails of Holden's new VF Commodore lineup (SS model pictured above), a critical new range launching r
During a discussion of the next-generation Holden Commodore and the General Motors Zeta platform, the question of an Australian-built SUV came up. Dave Leone, GM's executive chief engineer for luxury and rear-wheel-drive cars, wouldn't go any further than to say "that could be very possible," but recent events at Holden only reinforce the notion that we won't have any idea what is and isn't possible at the Aussie branch until it's actually done.