Holden has confirmed that it will retire the long-running Commodore SS name in Australia when the final locally-built model rolls out of the factory on October 22.
At present, approximately half of all Commodore sales are for the V8-powered SS but that model will soon die off, replaced by the Opel Insignia-based ZB-generation Commodore. In range-topping guise with all-wheel drive and a V6 engine, it will be dubbed the VXR.
Local Holden fans may be disappointed to hear this news but ditching the SS name won’t be the biggest blow. That blow will come because the new Commodore VXR will ‘only’ have 315 hp and 380 Nm of torque, very little compared to the 407 hp and 570 Nm of the outgoing Commodore SS and its atmospheric 6.2-liter LS3 V8.
Speaking to Motoring, lead development engineer for the new Commodore, David Johnson, hinted that it is unlikely a variant more powerful than the VXR will be introduced.
“We looked at it, in a lot of depth, but the architecture wasn’t designed for it. There’s just no where to put the turbos. It was a stretch to get a V6 in it at all,” he said, effectively ruling out a V8-powered model also.
Fortunately, the new Commodore’s use of GM’s E2 global architecture does mean it can weigh up to 300 kg (661 lbs) less than an equivalent current model.