We're elated when an embargo doesn't break or official images don't somehow manage to find their way to the wrong people ahead of time, because then we're totally surprised by things like this: the Holden Coupe 60. Unveiled today at the Melbourne Auto Show, the Coupe 60 honors Holden's 60th diamond anniversary in the car building business. Removing the two rear doors has allowed designers to make the sports coupe concept a full 60 mm shorter than the VE Commodore sedan that shares the same rear-wheel-drive Zeta platform, but the coupe's long wheelbase remains identical to the sedan.
The Coupe 60 looks absolutely brutal sitting on its 21-inch wheels that can barely be contained by the car's swollen fender flares. While the VE face up front is familiar, the design as a whole is decidedly clean thanks to a lack of wings, scoops and other superfluous paraphernalia. The only aerodynamic assistance is provided by a serious looking air diffuser in the rear apron, a rear deck lid spoiler and completely flat underbelly. Finally, Holden dipped its coupe concept in a one-off paint color called "Diamond Silver" that references the brand's diamond anniversary.
The Holden Coupe 60 is powered by a 6.0L flexfuel V8 sending power to the rear rubber through a 6-speed manual transmission, though Holden has withheld exact horespower and torque numbers. Brembo brakes bring the whole affair to a hault, while side-exiting exhaust tips add just the right amount of cool. The interior has also been heavily modified with one-piece carbon fiber seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, lots of suede and an LCD instrument cluster that looks lifted straight from a race car.
Production? Yup, totally a possibility. Holden provided a number of quotes in its press release after the jump that say as much, though our favorite is, "With Coupe 60 we think we have designed a car that has the potential to write another chapter in the book of Holden icons." Somebody get this car a pen! Be sure to check out the dozens of high-res photos in the gallery below. Every single one is worth a peek.
Holden Fans Get 60th Anniversary Present
GM Holden today marked the diamond anniversary of its first all Australian car by unveiling a stunning two-door performance thoroughbred called Coupe 60.
Coupe 60 celebrates the six decades since GM Holden built the 48-215 at its Fishermans Bend plant in Port Melbourne, Victoria, and provides a glimpse of Holden's future directions in design, engineering and emerging engine technologies.
Exemplifying sports luxury, Coupe 60 is a pillarless concept car that explores the limits of Holden's current rear-wheel drive capabilities, combining racing looks and technology into a road going sportscar experience.
Its sophisticated appearance is delivered through simple and powerful design, highlighted by the pillarless construction and V8 supercar inspired cockpit layout and side-exiting chambered exhaust system with billet alloy tips.
Almost 60mm shorter than the VE sedan, and sitting on 21-inch centre-lock alloy wheels with unique design Kumho high performance semi-slick tyres, Coupe 60 captures all that's exciting about the Holden DNA.
Other racing-derived enhancements include full flat under body, rear underbody air diffuser and functional rear deck-lid spoiler with unique designed LED tail lamps.
The interior also has several unique features. They include one piece carbon fiber bucket seats (featuring leather and suede pad design) and a sports-inspired flat bottomed steering wheel with integrated shift light display and LCD sports instrument cluster.
The high gloss carbon fiber carries through to doors and rear trim providing a contrast to the leather trimmed instrument panel and black suede trimmed pillars, headliners and parcel shelf.
Details and accents are picked out with a distinctive red high shine leather on the seats and dark gunmetal finish and satin chrome on the consoles and doors.
Front seats are adjustable fore and aft to allow easy access to the rear, with four-point race harness restraints for all seating positions.
Under the bonnet is just as forward looking, with a 6.0 litre V8 engine incorporating the latest technologies such as active fuel management and calibrated for E85 ethanol fuel.
Even the paint is a one-off. Called 'Diamond Silver' by Holden designers, it gives a liquid aluminium finish that almost slides off the bodywork.
GM Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mark Reuss said, "Coupe 60 is Holden's 60th anniversary gift to its fans worldwide.
"It highlights Holden's heritage of rear wheel drive performance whilst looking ahead to the potential offered by new technologies and materials.
"This is a vehicle I know our designers would dearly love to see go into production, but for the moment it has to remain a concept only," he said.
Project Designer Manager, Peter Hughes, said, "We were looking to mark the diamond anniversary with a car that captured the Holden DNA and took the current VE range to an exciting next step.
"Even in the early stages of VE development, we knew there was a sensational coupe waiting to get out and the 60 th anniversary has given us the chance to explore that.
"With Coupe 60 we think we have designed a car that has the potential to write another chapter in the book of Holden icons."
Coupe 60 – Specifications and Features (Coupe 60 overlaid on VE Sedan)
Pillarless coupe body;
Derived from flexible GRWD platform;
VE sedan wheelbase.
6.0L V8 with Active Fuel Management, calibrated for E85 Ethanol fuel;
6-speed manual transmission (SS specification);
Engine oil cooler.
Unique "Diamond Silver" paint colour;
Electrically dropping front & rear side windows;
Racing-derived aerodynamic down-force enhancements:
Rear under-body air diffuser;
Full flat under body;
Functional rear deck-lid spoiler;
21-inch centre-lock alloy wheels;
Unique design Kumho high-performance semi-slick tyres;
High-performance Brembo brake hardware with ducted air cooling for front callipers;
Side-exiting chambered exhaust system with billet alloy tips;
Unique design LED tail lamps;
Exterior mirrors with integral LED side markers.
V8-Supercar inspired cockpit layout for enhanced driver visibility and spaciousness;
LCD sports instrument cluster located in a unique column-mounted binnacle;
One-piece carbon fiber bucket seats, featuring unique suede-pad design and distinctive red high shine leather accents;
Front seats are adjustable fore-aft and allow easy access to rear;
Four-point race harness restraints for all seating positions;
Unique sports-inspired flat-bottom steering wheel with integrated shift light display and suede grips;
Unique interior details including air vents, column switches, gear shift knob and pedals.
Perforated leather trimmed instrument panel;
Black suede trimmed pillars, headliner and parcel shelf;
High gloss carbon fiber used as a structural material for seats, doors and rear trim provides contrast to leather and suede trim;
Details and accents are picked out with red high shine leather, a dark gunmetal finish and satin chrome.
GM Holden in 2008
2008 is a diamond year for GM Holden which will be recognising a number of key anniversaries. These include: the 60 th anniversary of Australia's Own Car – the 48-215; the 50th anniversary of the founding of Holden Vehicle Operations at Elizabeth; 40 years since the introduction of Monaro; 30 years of the Commodore nameplate; and the General Motors centennial.