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2016 Detroit Motor Show: Is the Buick Avista the next Holden Monaro?

By Damion Smy, 11 Jan 2016 Events

2016 Detroit Motor Show: Is the Buick Avista the next Holden Monaro?

Buick Avista teases a muscular rear-drive two-door sports coupe that could shape the future of Holden performance

DRINK in these, the first official images of what could be the next Holden Monaro. The 2017 Buick Avista concept is a two-plus-two rear-drive coupe officially revealed ahead of this week’s 2016 Detroit Motor Show.

Buick -Avista -front -fasciaWith bold, muscular exterior design that uses the design language of the Buick Avenir concept (pictured below) shaped in Australia by Holden’s design team as General Motor’s show star at last year’s Detroit show, the Avista is fronted by Buick’s new winged tri-shield insignia on a ‘three-dimensional’ mesh grille. It sits on a 2811mm wheelbase, which is longer than that of the last VZ Holden Monaro (which was 2788mm) and has a 1601mm/1598mm front/rear tracks clad with 21-inch alloys.

Buick -AvenirInside, there are elements that are shared with the Buick Lacrosse such as the front console’s open side storage compartments. The Lacrosse was unveiled at the 2015 Los Angeles motor show, and uses the platform that’s expected to underpin the 2018 Holden Commodore, the first fully-imported car to bear the highly emotive name.

In fact, all signs point to the Avista as Holden’s next hero, after General Motors’ executive vice-president, Stefan Jacoby, ruled out V8 power for a low-priced performance Holden once production of the current VF Series II Commodore ends in 2017.

Buick -Avista -rear -sideAt the Frankfurt motor show in October last year, Jacoby told Australian media, including Wheels, that such a car – and potential rival to the new Ford Mustang – would not be part of the Holden product mix.

The 298kW twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 under the bonnet of the Avista – 6kW shy of the current Holden Commodore SS – could be exactly what Jacoby was talking about when he added that Australian customers seeking an affordable performance car “will get exactly what they want, based on a different technology”.

Buick -Avista -rear -taillightThis driveline will also be offered in the LaCrosse, which as the platform for the next Opel Insignia and thus Holden Commodore, means that it may well be offered here.

It’s mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic, and includes cylinder de-activation (Active Fuel Management in GM-speak) as well as idle-stop technology.

Buick -Avista -interiorThe Avista also boasts Magnetic Ride Control, which is currently offed on the VF-Commodore-based Chevrolet SS in North America, but hasn’t trickled down from the hero HSV GTS in Australia, which is the only local model to feature it.

According to Holden, GM Australia had no role to play in the development of the car. A spokesman told Wheels that while the concept car was "stunning", because it was not yet confirmed for production the Australian arm of GM could not comment any further on how it would fit into the carmaker's vision once local manufacfturing ends late next year.

The Buick Avista will be on display at the 2016 Detroit motor show, which starts tomorrow.