An image believed to show a mock-up of Australia’s first fully imported Holden Commodore has briefly surfaced on social media, hinting the carmaker is close to revealing details of the car that will carry on the nameplate.
The poorly Photoshopped mock-up, wearing patched-on teardrop headlights and a Chevrolet-style grille pushed high on the bonnet, was posted to the Clipsal 500 Facebook page this morning, and linked to a countdown timer on the event’s website that ends around noon on Thursday.
However, about an hour later the image was pulled after Holden called for its removal.
The image – wearing Red Bull Racing colours – appears to be a mock-up of an Opel Insignia, the car that will replace the locally made Commodore once production ends in late 2017. It was accompanied by the caption: “Are you ready for this?”
It is believed the image was posted online after a pre-planned marketing campaign misfired. Wheels has contacted organisers behind the Clipsal 500 for comment.
The image’s timing also suggests Holden is about to drop its first details of the Commodore-badged Insignia, the five-door, front-wheel-drive liftback that will turn traditional Holden Commodore values on their head, before its anticipated 2018 arrival.
Tweaking the image reveals half a Red Bull Racing Holden VF Commodore that’s mirrored to make a whole car.
The Commodore’s slim, angled headlights are gone, replaced with a new pair that don’t quite line up.
The grille has also been cropped out and replaced with a chromed Chevrolet-style insert sitting above a lifted lower air dam and intake that are sitting unnaturally high.
However, the “Mockupodore” looks nothing like the Opel Insignia that will speak with a distinctly Aussie accent by the time it goes on sale here. Holden is investing time and money to ensure that the local spin on the Insignia is different enough to overseas model.
The image also hints that Holden’s motorsports efforts are about to turn away from V8s to a twin-turbo V6 – an engine that is expected to be mirrored for road-going buyers as a potential HSV-badged version of the Insignia.
The Cadillac-sourced V6 race engine is believed to already be well under development, producing more than 635hp – about 474kW – by the time it hits the track in about 2018.
This is despite Supercars setting the framework for the engine to compete from next year. However, teams are expected to stick with their current proven platforms until at least 2018 – as the factory team, Red Bull is anticipated to be the first to break the V8 mould.
Triple Eight Race Engineering is responsible for the development of the next Supercars Commodore expected to replace the VF.