Farewell rear-drive Commodore, you'll be missed.
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.
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.
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
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