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2004 Holden Torana TT36: Fast Car History Lesson

By Chris Thompson, 09 Jul 2019 Features

2004 Holden Torana TT36 Fast Car History Lesson feature

Concept car built for the 2004 Sydney Motor Show was hard to miss

Peter Hanenberger, Mike Simcoe, Tony Stolfo, Max Wolff, Denny Mooney and Ewan Kingsbury, a 23-year-old designer just off the plane from the UK. These six blokes all played a major part in dreaming up, designing and making a reality this concept for Holden, which, despite using a name from the past, was accidentally prophetic about today.

At one point called the XP54 (experimental prototype from Holden’s Studio 54), the 2004 Holden Torana TT36 concept was smaller than the Commodore, featured a liftback boot and took design inspiration from Europe. Sound familiar?

While it would be easy to draw comparisons between the Torana concept and the ZB Commodore, the TT36 was in fact a design precursor to the VE Commodore, and was not (according to Kingsbury) related to the similarly sized Holden Vectra of the time, despite comparisons made by this very magazine after the concept was revealed in 2004. About the only thing Vectra about it was its doorhandles.

Under the bonnet resides the reason for the TT36’s name, an ‘experimental’ twin-turbocharged 3.6-litre Alloytec V6 from GM’s arsenal, hooked up to a six-speed manual from the V8-powered SS. Holden compared the TT36’s power-to-weight ratio to that of an A9X, despite not having revealed the concept’s weight.

The TT36’s ‘ManGenta’ exterior paint wasn’t exactly designed to be commercially viable, but it’s inside where things get really bizarre. White leather for a concept car is no big deal – depreciation doesn’t matter in a car that’s not going up for sale – but the dash! White with black accents and bright pink neon lights. Holden’s colour and trim team called it “nu luxury” based on forecast fashion trends. It was actually inspired by Star Wars stormtroopers.

Holden’s Torana TT36 concept continues to fascinate whenever it is displayed. It presently resides in the Trafalgar Holden Museum in Gippsland, Victoria.

Bringing you up to speed on Fast Car History Lesson

2004 HOLDEN TORANA TT36 CONCEPT SPECS
Engine: 3564cc V6, 24v, twin-turbo
Power: 280kW
Torque: 480Nm
0-100km/h: 5.3sec (est.)