With the impending closure of Holden’s manufacturing base in Australia, we’re witnessing the end of an automotive era in the Land Down Under. But before GM sends its muscle sedans and utes out to pasture, it’s got a few special models planned so that Holden goes out with a bang, not a whimper. First up is the Holden Commodore VFII, which GM touts as the quickest and most powerful non-HSV Commodore ever.
The biggest change comes under the hood, where a “new” 6.2 liter LS3 engine puts out 409 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. That’s a huge improvement over the 360 horsepower produced by the outgoing 6.0 liter engine and the most in the Commodores 37 year history. In service to muscle car fans who live and die by the sound of their machines, GM also offers a dual-mode exhaust that’s been carefully calibrated to produce the kind of exhaust note aficionados expect.
Those opting for the SSV package will also receive Brembo brakes at all four wheels, and the suspension has been tuned and improved at Holden’s Lang proving ground. The front end has also been redesigned to be more aerodynamically friendly with the inclusion of air vents over the front wheels and functional hood scoops.
“We made a commitment to keep this iconic car exciting and relevant for Australian motorists, and that is exactly what we have done. This is the vehicle that our Commodore customers have been asking for,” said Holden Chairman Mark Bernhard. And of course there’s still the possibility of a supercharged Commodore from Holden’s performance division, HSV.
While we’re sad to see production of the Commodore (and its American cousin the Chevy SS) coming to an end, at least GM is giving Holden a proper sendoff.