2018 Holden Commodore AWD shows off power oversteer

Sacrilege! Yes, the 2018 Holden Commodore uses an all-wheel drive system for the flagship version. But it appears the nameplate will still be able to power oversteer.

Holden’s European cousin Opel has released a video of its new Insignia Grand Sport 4x4 –essentially a Commodore SV6 replacement Down Under – being able to power oversteer, with handling and an all-wheel drive design that largely mirrors that of the Ford Focus RS.

Andreas and InsigniaAndreas Liljekvist, development engineer for the ‘Insigniadore’, spruiks the benefits of the new model’s FlexRide adaptive suspension and ‘twinster’ all-wheel drive system with torque vectoring, while driving the flagship model around a racetrack. And he gets rather sideways.

“[With] the new all-wheel drive system … two clutches replace the rear differential, and this enables torque vectoring,” he starts.

“The pre-emptive function allowing the all-wheel drive system to react even before the engine delivered torque to the rear. The yaw-damping function stabilises the vehicle in oversteer and understeer situations. This increases safety and delivers great driving fun.”

sports driving modeSwitching from Comfort and Tour modes to Sport, he adds that, “The all-wheel drive uses less yaw damping and more torque vectoring, and this allows a little bit of oversteer.”

“That’s really fun.”

graph displayIn damp-to-dry conditions, a graph shows the all-wheel drive system mimicking a rear-driver’s limited-slip differential (LSD), with significantly more torque sent to the outside rear wheel and barely any drive headed to the inside rear wheel when powering out of a bend.

Holden hinted that it has some tricks in store for its VF Series II sedan replacement, the ‘New Generation’ or NG Commodore version of the Opel Insignia, both of which from next year will be produced in Germany.

Insignia Grand Sport 4x4 overtsteeringWhile Europe scores the 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder engine as shown in the video, Australia will continue with a 3.6-litre naturally aspirated V6 engine, now with 230kW/370Nm, up 20kW/20Nm on the current Australian built model. It also will score a nine-speed automatic as standard, three cogs ahead of the VF Series II that wraps local production on October 20.

It has also been revealed that the Insignia Grand Sport 4x4 weighs 1649kg.

brembo brakesIf the new Commodore V6 AWD matches that figure, it will duck under a VF Series II SV6 by 39kg. Given that model can perform 0-100km/h in around 6.5 seconds, expect the more powerful, lighter, traction-enhanced and cog-added new model to duck under six.

The Commodore V6 AWD also will be the only model tuned at Holden’s Lang Lang proving ground in Victoria – home to four decades of the nameplate’s development since 1978. It gives us some hope that the local arm might be able to include an even more rear-wheel driven mode than the Insignia’s Sport, but either way this is no boring all-paw system.

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