A prototype of the car likely to become a jacked-up soft-roader version of the 2018 Commodore Sportwagon has been spotted testing in Germany.
The 2018 Insignia Country Tourer is essentially an outdoorsy sibling of the Sportwagon (called Sports Tourer in the UK and Europe) but with enhanced ride height, bigger wheels and an accessory pack to give it a more rugged off-road going appearance.
While Holden hasn’t formally announced it will be part of the NG Commodore lineup, a spokesman told WhichCar the company is “taking an extremely close look at” it.
While such wagons are pretty common in Europe it will be the first time Holden has dabbled with the concept since the Holden Adventra, based on the VYII-VZ Commodore wagon between 2003 and 2006.
The Adventra, rushed into the Holden line-up in the face of the then fledgling SUV market, wasn’t exactly a success. Despite having AWD it wasn’t treated seriously by a public and the 5.7-litre V8 engine combined with the all-paw drivetrain had a thirst beyond 15L/100km that made the SS Commodore look like a teetotaller.
But a lot has changed in the decade-and-half since, with the SUV boom giving rise to crossover wagons such as the Subaru Outback, Audi A4 Allroad, Volvo V60 Cross Country, Skoda Superb 4x4 and current model Opel Country Tourer that provide an excellent compromise in terms of practicality and handling.
The 2018 Country Tourer will be far superior to the Adventra in terms of performance and fuel economy.
Powered by 3.6-litre engine, its handling in the rough stuff will be assisted bv the ‘Twinster’ all-wheel-drive system, which is primarily front-wheel drive but uses a pair of clutches to constantly control and distribute wheel torque and speed to the rear when needed.
It’s more efficient than all-wheel-drive systems which use a rear differential and uses far less fuel than permanent all-paw drive-trains.