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Future models - Holden - Commodore

Opel Insignia preview shows Commodore contrast

Parallel lives: European journalists got behind the wheel of the second-generation Opel/Vauxhall Insignia this week in an event similar to that held at Lang Lang for Aussie media to preview the next Holden Commodore.

Holden differences in next Commodore highlighted by Opel Insignia preview drive

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Holden logo28 Oct 2016

A PREVIEW drive event in Britain has revealed contrasts between the imported 2018 Holden Commodore and the Euro-market Insignia it will be based on.

Similar to the Australian Commodore preview at GM Holden’s Lang Lang proving ground in Victoria earlier this week, European media sampled camouflaged prototypes of the next Insignia at the Millbrook proving ground in Britain that was once owned by General Motors.

In addition to the coupe-like Sportback hatch and Sportwagon shooting brake body styles confirmed for Australia, numerous European reports suggest a high-riding Country Tourer variant similar to the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack is also in the works.

The next Commodore will be a sedan-free zone and European Insignia hatchbacks will carry the Grand Sport moniker, with the wagon variant badged Sports Tourer.

Reports from the Millbrook event also indicate a December reveal for the production-ready Insignia, although General Motors says the official unveiling will take place at the Geneva motor show next March.

Unlike the Commodore, which will launch with a naturally aspirated 3.6-litre V6 that produces 230kW and 370Nm as the headline act, the European Insignia flagship will feature a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol with twin-scroll turbocharger that churns out 187kW of power and 400Nm of torque.

Both are linked to an advanced all-wheel-drive system with twin-clutch rear differential similar to that of a Ford Focus RS but the AWD Insignia deploys an eight-speed transmission whereas all Commodores will get a nine-speed automatic and four-cylinder variants will be front-wheel drive.

Although nothing has yet been announced, both the Commodore and Insignia are expected to gain high-performance flagships under the VXR or OPC banner.

Holden says the next Commodore's new E2 architecture cannot accommodate turbochargers on the V6 engine installation, leaving a highly strung four-cylinder turbo or hybrid as the most feasible options.

General Motors has a twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel in the European market Insignia and Astra, potentially paving the way for a hot twin-turbo petrol.

The current hot Insignia uses an Australian-made 2.8-litre turbocharged V6 pumping 239kW and 435Nm to all four wheels.

Back down to Earth, the European entry-level Insignia will use a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol – a development of the 1.4-litre unit from the Astra small car – that develops 123kW and 250Nm and drives the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission.

Europe will also get 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre turbo-diesels, while Australia will only get the more powerful oiler in addition to a turbo-petrol of the same capacity, which is expected to be less powerful than the top-flight European version.

GoAuto understands these engines are revised carry-overs from the outgoing European market Insignia.

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GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.