New reports coming out of Australia suggest the country’s beloved Holden Commodore may be replaced by a front-wheel drive, globally engineered model after the redesigned ‘VF’ series due in 2014 has run its course.
The suggestion first arose following comments made by Chris Walton, a prominent union official representing one of the country’s biggest engineering groups, spelled doom for the locally developed sedan.
The comments, first published in The Australian Financial Review
, stated: "GM Holden has canvassed not continuing to work on new model Commodores beyond ."
In response, Holden has told Drive
that the comments contained significant "misinformation" and that no final decision had been made on the future design, engineering and production of the Commodore beyond the VF model.
The Commodore’s closest rival, the Ford Falcon, is expected to be discontinued after the current model and be replaced by the Taurus, in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive layouts, although Ford has neither confirmed nor denied the possibility.
And it’s now likely the Commodore could suffer the same fate. GM’s announcement back in May to move production of the next-generation 2014 Chevrolet Impala
to its Detroit-Hamtramck manufacturing plant instead of importing the Commodore almost certainly puts an end to any export hopes for Holden, at least as far as the U.S. is concerned.
The next Impala is expected to ride on a stretched Epsilon II platform, the same front-wheel drive platform which in standard form resides under the Buick Regal and LaCrosse as well as the upcoming 2013 Chevrolet Malibu
. A stretched Epsilon II platform is expected to underpin the Cadillac XTS
, with the big Caddy sedan likely to share much in common with the new Impala, and possibly the Commodore too, now it seems.
As for the upcoming VF Commodore, Holden has confirmed that 100 percent of its engineering and design has been completed in Australia and that the first prototypes have been built and are ready for testing.
The car is expected to ride on a revised version of the current VE model’s rear-wheel drive Zeta platform. The revised platform, possibly dubbed Zeta II, will feature more lightweight aluminum, electronic power steering, and aerodynamic aids similar to what we’ve already seen on cars like the Cruze Eco
and upcoming Malibu Eco.