It’s not quite the royal treatment, but Holden’s Chinese counterpart Buick has let slip images that most likely preview the ZB Commodore’s first significant update since its introduction last year.
Badged as the Regal in China and the US, the model shares most of its mechanicals with the version sold here, as well as its exterior styling. You can expect, therefore, the grainy images of this sedan-based variant to reflect something coming to a Holden showroom soon.
Published by autoweek.nl, the images appear to reveal a relatively mild mid-life exterior facelift, limited to front and rear bumpers, with sheet metal continuing on unsurprisingly unchanged.
The most significant changes are found in the Regal’s snout, where the front bumper now features a hungrier central air intake, flanked by a pair of slightly modified side vents, and slim LED daytime running lights.
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Higher up, the headlights have been remodelled with a barb on the exterior edge, complemented by a new grille that features a finer mesh and central bar.
At the back, you’ll need a keener eye to spot the changes. Wide but squat exhaust tips are at each side and an even more subtle redesign is found in the light clusters.
It’s also fair to assume the interior has had a light once-over too, although no images have yet surfaced to confirm it.
Speaking of engine or other major mechanical updates are also just conjecture at this stage, and we suspect the Commodore will continue on with its choices of 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol and diesel, along with the hero 3.6-litre naturally aspirated V6 petrol.
However, there have been suggestions that the Commodore range is in line for a cull by year's end.
To our eyes, this single variant is likely a harbinger of more affordable variants, possibly including the current LT entry option, and whether the higher-grade versions will be subjected to a similarly light fettering will remain unknown until official word from Holden or its parent, GM.
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If the leaked images don’t inspire you to dash out and slap down a deposit for an updated Commodore, then at least wait for Holden’s official images. We almost guarantee they will be more exciting than the model shown that’s wearing skateboard-sized wheels and a colour that’s most kindly described as bronze.
While the light refresh will certainly not harm the Commodore’s cause, it’s going to take more than a little slap and a hairdo to halt its sales slide.
To date, the Commodore has found 4639 homes to the end of September this year, compared with 7295 to the same point in 2018.