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Holden dubs next-gen Commodore ‘ZB’

Six pack: Holden engineers have helped shape the V6-powered VXR performance variant.

ZB confirmed as the next model code for Holden’s new-generation Commodore

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Holden logo8 Aug 2017

By TIM NICHOLSON

GM HOLDEN is set to call the all-new imported Commodore the ‘ZB’ series when it rolls into Australian dealerships early next year.

Documents seen by GoAuto reveal that Holden has earlier this week received federal government approval to use the ZB model code for its next-generation Opel-sourced Commodore.

The ‘Z’ lettering represents the first break from the ‘V’ series nomenclature since the original VB Commodore was launched in Australia in 1978. Using the letter ‘B’ also ties in nicely with the model that hit the road nearly 40 years ago.

It was widely anticipated that Holden might run with the ‘NG’ (for Next Generation) code to mark the break from the outgoing VF, especially as the 2018 Commodore will be the first to be fully imported, as well as front-wheel and all-wheel drive, and liftback-only (as either a five-door hatch or wagon), but GoAuto understands ZB is a European naming convention from GM and refers to the model’s platform.

It is unknown whether the company contemplated starting with ZA.

Speaking of which, the ZB Commodore will not be the first large car sold in Australia with that sequence of letters. The original Australian Ford XR Falcon-derived Fairlane was launched in 1967 as the ZA, with the XT Falcon-based ZB facelift coming online in March 1968 until the ZC usurped that with the XW Falcon in July 1969.

As reported, Holden will end production of the VF Commodore in October this year when it shuts its Australian manufacturing facilities for good and transitions to a full-line importer.

The new Commodore is based on the mid-size Opel Insignia and will be offered in liftback and wagon body styles, with the wagon available in jacked-up all-wheel-drive Tourer guise to compete with the likes of the Subaru Outback.

Late last month Holden revealed the performance-focused VXR variant that will be powered by a 235kW/381Nm version of GM’s naturally aspirated 3.6-litre V6 and will drive all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission.

The new Commodore will go on sale in early 2018 with stock of the outgoing VF expected to last early into next year.

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