5 reasons why you shouldn’t write off the new Holden Commodore
Search Driven for for sale
Thursday Five: seeking silver linings to the new Holden Commodore
This article has ‘playing devil's advocate’ written all over it, doesn't it.
Not that there's much wrong with that. In today's wacky world of Grindr and chem trails, it's as easy as ever for people to get mired in an opinion echo chamber — where they don't get exposed to alternative ideas.
Which is part of the reason why Holden's new Commodore, revealed yesterday, was lambasted with savage vigour on social media. For many, the news confirmed what we already knew; that the lovable platform would have its name slapped onto the back of a smaller, more European, *cold shudder* ... front-wheel drive car.
But, hush my pretties; it's not all bad. There's a couple of interesting things to note that could see the Insigni... I mean Commodore, strike success. We note them for today's Thursday Five.
We've seen this all before ... sort of
Photo / Holden
This isn't the first time Holden have had to encounter a significant speed bump that threatened the fabric of existence. According to their die-hard fans anyway.
Before the Commodore was the Holden Torana; a smaller, more muscly and 'cool' platform upon which Holden built some of their most legendary cars. The Torana became the synonymous face of Holden's touring-car racing drive, with Peter Brock's first four Bathurst wins coming in Toranas.
But then, they replaced the Torana with the Commodore — which at the time was interpreted as like replacing an iPhone with a doorknob. Holden were taking away the sexy Torana, and replacing it with just another family car.
Yet, Aussies learned to love the family sedan — if anything more than they ever loved the Torana it replaced.
Hasn't the Commodore always been European?
Photo / Vauxhall
Sorry to be something of a killjoy, but it wasn't until the 2006 launch of the VE Commodore that Holden produced its first Aussie car from the ground up.
The first Commodores were based on Opels, and even subsequent cars through the ages were based on Opel Omegas and the like.
General Motors have long been known for mixing and matching with their international spider web of brands, which to their credit I have no issue with in the case of the Commodore. It's long been an exceptional car — though that doesn't make it any less ironic when its staunch defenders rip into the new 2018 example for being foreign.
Photo / Holden
There is approximately a year and a half spare before the new Commodore is actually released, which makes it a bit weird that we're getting this incredible level of access to the prototype in mid-to-late 2016.
You can read that in two ways.
If you're a cynic, who looks upon the world with a desire to spit on everything, you'd read it as the manufacturer having little confidence in their product and wanting to suckle on the sumptuous teat of public opinion.
On the other hand, if you're a glass-half-full kind of operator, then you'll look upon the long period between the initial test and release with relief — “Well, at least they're looking to do this properly.”
There's ample time for Holden to test and test and test the new Commodore. Thumbs up I say.
It might look nice?
Photo / Holden
Frocks made from line-veiling body cladding and camouflage is never going to be complimentary, and that's particularly true of the new Insignadore, which looked a bit odd in its press images from yesterday's reveal.
I rather like the current Insignia's understated looks, and I love the Insignia VXR — with its huge tusks, rounded edges, and concave wheels.
Opel know how to pen a great looking car, with the Insignia bolstered in Europe by the equally handsome Astra, Corsa, and Adam. Is it a bit wrong for them to only offer the next Commodore as a liftback instead of as a sedan? Maybe. But being a liftback didn't stop the Torana A9X from becoming a cult classic.
What else will you do?
Photo / CarAdvice.com.au
I mean, come on. As we touched on in last week's Thursday Five, there really isn't a heck of a lot of genuine choice for those looking for a spiritual successor to the current Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon.
Change is something we will all be confronted with at some point in our lives, but at least in this case there's nothing stopping one from just probing online and buying an old one.
People can complain about tradition all they want, and some of their points will no doubt be valid, but this decision is final. We're unlikely to see the Commodore return to showrooms in the true blue Aussie battler garb, and that's an extremely sad thing. But, this is life. Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever.
And in that context, maybe we should put down the pitchforks.