HOLDEN has flown in what appears to be an entry-level version of its fully imported all-wheel-drive V6 Commodore Sportwagon for testing ahead of the car’s launch early next year.
An avid Wheels reader has snapped images of the German-built 235kW/370Nm direct-injected V6 Sportwagon shortly after it was off-loaded at Melbourne airport. This version of the ZB Commodore sits on stylish 18-inch wheels, suggesting it is an entry-level rather than performance-honed model.
That’s not to say it doesn’t look the business. It might wear standard halogen headlamps rather than the VXR’s LED units, but down the rear the twin exhaust system feeds into chromed garnishes, with reflectors slashing deep into the sides of the bumper to give the appearance of muscularity and width.
The Sportwagon – we’re expecting it to be marketed as something of a replacement for the big-booted SV6 when it goes on sale – also includes enhanced side skirts and a sports front bumper featuring a blacked-out lower air dam with a contrasting white splitter-styled feature.
Shifting our focus inside, the Sportwagon features leather-clad seats that aren’t as extreme as the ones we’ve seen on VXR-badged versions unveiled overseas. There’s a perforated leather steering wheel with contrast stitching matching that used on the seats, with paddle shifters tucked behind the horizontal spokes.
As the entry-level car, this version of the Sportwagon is likely to miss out on the “sport” button that is expected to enhance both throttle response and the mapping of the nine-speed auto. The adaptive dampers adopted by higher-end Commodores may also be absent.
Instead, this version of the Sportwagon is expected to use the FE2 suspension tune, placing it between the FE1.5 comfort setting that will be used for the base cars, and the FE3 tune being developed for the more dynamic models. It should also get Brembo brakes; unfortunately the way the wheels are strapped onto the crate don’t allow us to confirm this.
We’ve already driven the transverse V6 in five-door hatchback form, describing it as an “eager, purposeful unit that clearly delivers a higher calibre of performance”.
When the German-built ZB Commodore goes on sale in March, it will be the first time in 39 years that there will be no Commodore sedan.