Like its natural rival at the top of the affordable, big, boofy and fast car food chain, the Holden Commodore will shortly make its curtain call after the Ford Falcon. While Ford has already hinted strongly at its replacement strategy (of nothing), supplemented by the Mustang, Holden has yet to really come out with theirs. Will they match Ford and just give up on the big car, big engine market, or will they throw something into the mix?
As Australia is a right hand drive market, the natural and logical replacement would come from GM in Europe, mainly from the Opel or Vauxhall range. However, there are no cars equivalent to the Commodore in that market. The closest they come is the Opel Insignia, a rather fantastic looking car that replaced the notoriously terrible Vectra (skip to 7:25 if you want the reason why). I guess Europe is out.
If we fly across the Atlantic, we find that Chevrolet has this enormous front wheel drive car called the Impala, ironically named for a small animal with all hoof drive, which would probably work in Australia, although the sad news is that they don’t make them in right hand drive. I guess America is out too then. That is probably a good thing, as whoever designed it has a penchant for rear ends because the arse of it is quite good looking with nice curvy feature lines adjoining a coupe style roofline while the front is all straight lines and sharp corners reminiscent of a Honda Accordion.
Now, there is confirmation that there was to be one final Commodore in development at Holden, although the nature of the beast is still unknown. The most likely scenario is that it was a car based upon the Impala platform, meaning front drive and swoopy coupe roofline but different panels and interior to differentiate it. It would also be an Asia Pacific only Buick model built in China, but now it looks like that plant would be building them for Australia with Holden ending production. A sad end to the Commodore nameplate.
I suppose it wouldn’t be so bad if GM sent the Camaro out here. The Japanese have it already and they drive on the same side of the road as we do. That might take the sting out of having to import a rubbish American car badged to mimic a Commodore. Does the image of a Mustang GT and Camaro with thunderous V8s meeting at the lights on a Friday night sound good to you? It does to me.