With the clock ticking on local car production, we can’t help but let our mind wander down ‘what if?’ lane and conjure up a few of the cars we would’ve liked to have seen emerge from our Aussie makers.
Top of our wish list is a hot six-cylinder Commodore, a car to continue Holden’s fine tradition of six-pot sexpots, cars like the Torana GTR XU-1 and our Sweet Dream’s spiritual predecessor, the VL Turbo.
Consumer appetite for performance Commodores is strong, with V8s making up around 30 percent of total sales, but the SS’s arch rival, Ford’s Falcon XR6 Turbo, has proved there are plenty of punters out there keen on a force-fed six as a V8 alternative.
Will it happen? Of course not, but it’s a tantalising prospect and its downsized turbocharged engine would fit nicely with where the automotive industry is heading as a whole. In fact, the next performance Commodore will probably adopt a similar package, albeit on an imported platform and with all-wheel drive.
Thankfully, we still have the V8s to enjoy and we’ll be savouring every moment.
Here’s how we’d do it
LESS IS MORE
Choices, choices. GM has a couple of engines to choose from here, including the 346kW/603Nm 3.6-litre twin-turbo V6 powerhouse found in the Cadillac ATS-V. That’s probably a step too far, however, so our SV6T would adopt GM’s new 300kW 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 found in the Buick Avista concept car (see p12).
Choosing a chassis setup for our SV6T is easy – it’s exactly the same as the VFII Redline’s, consisting of FE3 suspension, 275mm rear rubber and Brembo brakes front and rear. The LS3 is a light V8, so should be similar in weight to a downsized twin-turbo V6 (if not lighter).
With V8-matching grunt, it should be no surprise that, like its Blue Oval counterpart, the SV6T would have no trouble staying with its bent-eight brother in a straight line. Manual variants would claim 5.0sec 0-100km/h (0.1sec slower than the Redline) with auto adding 0.1sec to that. Based on our testing, that equates to a low-13sec quarter.
Aussies love a good retro paint job and we’d revive the 70s colour palette including modern interpretations of Strike Me Pink, Lime Green, Chateau Mauve, Salamanca Red and Lone O’Ranger. Stripe package a delete option.
PRICE IS RIGHT
To protect the V8’s place as king of the Commodore hill, the SV6T would neatly split the SS V and SS V Redline in price, starting at $48,490 for the manual ute and $50,990 for the sedan with automatic a $2200 option. The auto-only SV6T Sportwagon
would set you back $55,690.