We previously detailed the 2016 Holden Commodore Series II spied testing on the Lang Lang proving ground, kept company by a 2016 Chevrolet SS mule. But an interesting bit has been pointed out by GoAuto.
With a keen eye, vent bulges can be seen protruding from underneath the 2016 Commodore’s camouflage. These are without a doubt Buick portholes, or ventiports. The design cue hasn’t been seen on any prior Holden Commodore, and it’s an interesting move to begin slapping the pseudo-vents on now, as the 2016 Commodore Series II marks the last locally-developed Commodore.
The porthole design cue can be traced back to the Buicks of the 1940s, but are something new to Holden. The best explanation may be a transition to align future Holden, Opel and Buick design cues. If you need a quick rundown, Holden will be heavily influenced by Opel after local manufacturing ceases in 2017. Buick also draws heavily from Opel vehicles, where they’ve also been a smash-hit in China. The connections between the three brands will be very deep moving forward.
Therefore, this play may be warming Australian consumers up to a new design language, set to debut on the 2018 Holden Commodore. The 2018 Commodore is currently under development with the 2018 Opel Insignia, led by Opel head designer, Mark Adams.
But Holden’s design studio isn’t sitting around, they’re having a big hand in the development of what may be the most important car in the brand’s future. GM Australia design director, Richard Ferlazzo, was quoted saying Oz has been very involved in the 2018 Commodore. Without spilling too much information, he commented, “It’s fair to say it’s a Commodore.”
This could mean the U.S.-spec 2016 Chevrolet SS will also see the addition of portholes just before the A-pillar as well, along with other improvement to come with the 2016 Commodore Series II.
The portholes signify a new shift in future links between Holden’s Opel and Buick cousins. But future Holden product have more than ventiports riding on them. They must carry the roaring lion through a turbulent time in Australian auto industry. If we place our faith in Ferlazzo, we’re eager to see what that future holds.