Buick Riviera Concept, 2013 Shanghai Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
Whether production of the Holden Commodore remained in Australia or not beyond the life of the current VF model, one thing was certain, future versions would be based on General Motors’ global platforms. We can now reveal that the global platform destined for the next-generation Commodore, due in 2018, will most likely be an updated version of the stretched Epsilon II platform found in a handful of models from General Motors Company [NYSE:GM] such as the Chevrolet Impala, Cadillac XTS and Buick LaCrosse.
Last year, Holden was awarded a contract to design and engineer two GM models destined for the Chinese market. According to CarsGuide, one of those models is a large, front-wheel-drive sedan to be sold in Australia as the 2018 Commodore and in China as a new Buick.
The Australian publication reports that Holden was awarded the contract to design the new Buick based on the merits that the car would be rebadged a Commodore for the Australian market. The new sedan was originally planned to be built at plants in Australia and China, but with GM’s decision to end production in Australia it means the new sedan will only be built in China. That means the 2018 Commodore will now be built in China and exported to Australia.
The new sedan will stretch about 16.5 feet in length and feature four-door coupe styling. This is said to be due to conventional notchback sedan designs waning in popularity among new car shoppers. Look for influences from the Buick Riviera coupe concept unveiled earlier this year.
Sadly, the new design and front-wheel-drive platform means there will be no wagon and ute versions. There also won’t be a V-8 version, with the most powerful model likely to feature a turbocharged V-6. All-wheel-drive will be available, however, for performance-oriented versions.
As for why Holden will keep its beloved Commodore nameplate for a made-in-China sedan, an insider is alleged to have said that it will be easier to explain to buyers that something has changed about a car they know rather than introduce a new and unfamiliar nameplate.