This is it, ladies and gents. Thanks to time differences, it’s currently December 7, 2016, in Australia. That is the day Opel has planned to showcase the 2018 Opel Insignia Grand Sport.
Except, Holden has done it first. Meet the 2018 Holden NG Commodore, the biggest step in Holden’s move from manufacturer, to import-only.
While it may be Holden for Oz, this is largely going to be North America’s 2018 Buick Regal. Swap the Holden lion badge for a red, white and blue tri-shield emblem, and this is it, Buick fans.
Holden gives credit to Opel for the exterior design, but the brand remains firm it certainly was involved with the first fully-imported Commodore to see the shores of Australia. We’ve heard many references to Mazda and its 6 sedan, but the design is largely taken from the Opel Monza concept vehicle.
That’s certainly not a bad thing because the design is quite striking. The Commodore will now sit as a five-door liftback with a rear hatch. Style lines flow sharply from the rear taillamp and taper just before the front quarter. The chiseled line running from the side skirt to the rear door is also quite dramatic.
For the sake of staying on one subject, we’ll focus on what this vehicle means to Holden and not Buick.
The 2018 Commodore will arrive as a midsize vehicle to replace the current full-size VF Commodore. While the 2018 NG (new generation) Commodore will have an overall smaller footprint, interior space has not been significantly compromised. Specifications of the 2018 Commodore compared to the current VF Commodore Series II can be found below:
- 2018 Commodore Wheelbase: 111.4 inches. 3.4 inches shorter than VFII.
- Length: 192.9 inches. 2.9 inches shorter.
- Width: 73.3 inches. 1.4 inches narrower.
- Head room: 37.5 inches. 0.5 inches less.
- Shoulder room: 56.9 inches. 2.3 inches less.
- Hip room: 55.5 inches. 1.7 inches less.
- Knee room: identical to VFII.
The biggest news is also some of the most dreaded news for the faithful: the 2018 Holden Commodore is riding on General Motors’ E2XX platform. This platform also underpins the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu for comparison.
What does that mean? There’s no V8 engine and there’s no rear-wheel drive configuration.
Instead, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder option will power most 2018 Commodores, and a 3.6-liter V6 engine will become the range-topping powertrain. GM’s new nine-speed automatic will provide shifting duties through a Precision Shift gear selector and send power to all four wheels through a “Twinster” all-wheel drive system.
As for driving itself, the Australian-specific chassis features a FlexRide adaptive chassis which includes a Standard, Touring and Sport mode. Sport mode also reduces brake dive and introduces a more buttoned-down chassis.
So, how about the amenities? The 2018 Holden Commodore, depending on trim level, will feature LED matrix headlights, massage seats, heated front and rear seats, ventilated front seats, one-touch folding rear seats, auto up-down controls for all windows and a powered liftgate on the wagon. It’s quite a technological step forward to what buyers may be used to with the current VF Commodore.
As for safety, the 2018 Commodore will arrive with a slew of active safety features including autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, speed limit cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision alert, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and a 360-degree camera.
Take it all in, Holden fans. Although the 2017 Holden VF Commodore Series II has about a year left in it, the future is now. Holden has stated the 2018 Holden NG Commodore is shooting for a February 2018 arrival date.