Driven News with Sam Wallace: Holden's ZB Commodore is here
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Today on Driven News: Sam Wallace examines the new German-built Holden ZB Commodore range ahead of the arrival of new liftback, sportwagon and tourer models in local dealerships this weekend.
Before the public gets a taste of the new range, Holden invited Driven to drive the much talked about V8 SS Redline replacement on windy, undulating roads in Otago.
After driving the performance model it has become clear the fast liftback's arrival could be bad news for older SS owners when they cross paths on a twisty back road. The top-spec VXR liftback Commodore has a 3.6-litre V6 engine producing 235kW and 381Nm, with power delivered to all four wheels via an all-wheel-drive system tuned by Holden engineers in Australia.
Holden ZB Commodore VXR. Photo / Supplied
This setup is vastly different to the rear-wheel drive, V8-powered Commodore it replaces. Yet most importantly, the new platform has the performance to appease any V8 fan - if they’re willing to give it a go.
Driven's editor at large Liz Dobson writes: “The replacement for the Australian-built Holden Commodore goes on sale this weekend, and despite purists wanting it to remain a rear-wheel drive V8, don’t despair, Aussie engineers have produced a performance sedan.”
But Holden hasn't forgotten about Kiwi V8 fans. The Aussie brand along with HSV, its high performance arm, have a deal to bring the American Camaro to New Zealand.
Kiwi fans of Americana will soon be able to buy right-hand drive versions of the Camaro. Photo / HSV
The new two-door coupe will compete against the likes of the Ford Mustang for those looking for modern V8 muscle - or could buyers’ be tempted by the new Kia Stinger. The GT Sport model offers a similar engine to the ZB Commodore, but in the case of the Kia, drive is delivered exclusively to the rear wheels.
In the motorsport world, Brendon Hartley testing his 2018 Toro Rosso Formula 1 car for the first official test session in Barcelona.
And staying in Europe, a comment from a top Nissan executive could be great news for those wanting a ute with a splash of Nismo.
Look out for Driven in the Weekend Herald tomorrow for our full report on the Holden ZB Commodore