Here’s the all-new 2018 Holden Commodore in all its sleek, sophisticated glory and it’s a Euro-chic wind-cheater.
While these official CAD images released by GM-Holden look about as life-like as Jessica Rabbit’s cleavage, if you ignore some awkwardness in perspective, they’re exactly what you’ll see in Holden’s Aussie showrooms come February 2018. A five-door liftback-sedan with a very racy roofline.
According to GM Australia Design Director, Richard Ferlazzo – the man responsible for the iconic Holden Efigy concept car – “the essence of this car is in its side view; it has a very sleek profile.” The MY18 newcomer is a significant departure from the traditional three-box Holden Commodore sedan shape, trading much of the VE/VF’s chiselled masculinity for a more unisex, coupe-like form, yet there’s still plenty of presence in what will still be a sizeable car.
“It has a faster roofline, which is something I’ve always wanted to do with Commodore”, commented Ferlazzo, yet the pay-off for this sleekness is a scant 13mm reduction in rear-seat headroom.
“In terms of size, it sits between a  VT and the  VE, which we think is the sweet spot.”
Those concerned about every millimetre of interior space will be catered for by the MY18 Commodore Sportwagon, or Insignia Sports Tourer in Opel speak. It will take some inspiration from the current VF wagon’s sporty styling flavour while catering to wagon-loving Europeans by offering ample luggage space.
But this wasn’t the work of GM’s Melbourne-based designers. “It’s an Opel design so please give them the credit,” said Ferlazzo. “We had a lot to do with it from the outset, in terms of packaging and appearance. But it’s a common appearance with Opel. Only the badges are different, which is how it should be in a global company.”
Opel has already announced that there will be a jacked-up, all-wheel-drive Insignia wagon – with a very twee name, the ‘Country Tourer’ – to compete with the Volkswagen Passat Alltrack, Skoda Octavia Scout, and Subaru’s iconic Outback, as well as the premium-priced Audi A4 Allroad and forthcoming Mercedes-Benz E-Class All Terrain. But expect the ‘Outbacked’ Commodore wagon to have its own name for Australia. And it won’t be Adventra...
As for the chance of an Insignia/Commodore Coupe, it’s highly unlikely given the low-volume potential of a global two-door. And we’ve heard nothing on the grapevine, given that all the sweetest styling cues from 2013’s Opel Monza concept were essentially precursors to what we’ll see on the MY18 Commodore.
So what does Ferlazzo really think of the least-Aussie Commodore since the 1978 original? “I’m really pleased with how the car has come out. This takes Commodore where a large sedan needs to be.”