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HSV has next-gen Commodore in its sights

Bonza Monza: The styling of Opel's Monza concept might offer a hint at the face of the next-generation Insignia that is likely to not only form the basis of the next Holden Commodore but also HSV’s next-generation range.

Holden Special Vehicles working on case to continue with imported Commodore

HSV logo20 May 2016

HOLDEN Special Vehicles (HSV) says it is confident it can build a business case to continue its local vehicle enhancement operation based on Holden's next-generation Commodore due in 2018.

Until now, the future of the iconic Australian muscle car specialist has appeared to have been hanging in the balance with speculation that the factory approved Holden tuner might end its relationship with General Motors when its current source of raw material – the VF Commodore – dries up in 2017.

However, in a move that will reassure hot Holden fans, HSV has indicated to GoAuto that it has the forthcoming imported replacement Commodore in its sights for some of its special fettling.

HSV marketing and product planning general manager Damon Paull said the Clayton-based company would continue to work with Holden on the possibility of using its next large car as the basis for its locally-developed and manufactured special vehicles range.

“We will certainly be looking to offer a Commodore-based product,” he said.

“Holden has come out and said they are going to call it Commodore, whatever they end up importing. We'll certainly work closely with them to see if we can build a business case, which we are 100 per cent confident we can, that fits performance, design and innovation and fulfils customer expectation.” If this plan comes to pass, HSV can be expected to produce a blistering all-wheel-drive special vehicle range to sit above the Insignia/Commodore VXR that, even in the current model, produces 235kW from its Holden-made twin turbo V6.

The next Insignia/Commodore is likely to get GM’s new V6 that in its 3.0-litre twin-turbo guise in the Cadillac CT6 generates more than 300kW.

A V8 is most unlikely, at least in that particular model. HSV has offered V8s since it was founded in 1987 by former British racing champion Tom Walkinshaw whose son Ryan now continues on as head of the business.

However, GM is on record as saying Holden will get a rear-wheel-drive V8 sportscar, so HSV might have an avenue there.

Holden is yet to confirm what imported model will replace the Commodore when the locally built VF range ends with the demise of local car manufacturing late next year, but GoAuto understands the Russelsheim-built Insignia is the car that will be re-badged for Australia as the Holden Commodore.

Rolling on GM's new E2XX mid-sized platform, the Insignia will serve under Opel badges in Europe and as a Vauxhall in the United Kingdom, as well as the new Buick Regal in both North America and China.

The GM platform is being touted as a highly flexible and transferable architecture that will underpin a large number of future models including an SUV, potentially opening up more opportunities for HSV to twirl its spanners.

The next-generation Insignia has not been revealed in full, but with photography of heavily disguised prototypes emerging from Europe, a debut of the production version is expected soon. The Paris motor show in September would seem an obvious venue.

If the next-generation Insignia is to be the basis for the new Holden Commodore range, it could leave the door open for a coupe version, most likely wearing the Monza moniker that was trademarked for Australian use last year by Opel.

Opel showed a Monza concept at the Frankfurt motor show in 2013, hinting that its design cues could end up on its next-generation Insignia and its siblings.

With apparent confirmation that HSV will continue Holden-relation operations beyond the end of local Holden manufacturing next year, the company might also get to keep its small but satisfying export business to Vauxhall in the UK where its GTS wears VXR badges.

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