Holden has revealed the first official concept images of the next generation Commodore race car to make its debut in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship in 2018.
Although based on the Opel Insignia like the next Commodore itself, Holden has also confirmed the new race car will be homologated with the current, successful V8 engine – but only for the 2018 season.
A new, twin-turbocharged V6 engine, suitable for Supercars’ Gen 2 regulations, is currently undergoing development in partnership with the General Motors Performance and Racing Center, in Pontiac, Michigan.
Triple Eight Race Engineering will seek approval from Supercars to run a V6-powered Commodore as a wild card entry at selected rounds next season before a full rollout for the 2019 season.
The V6 engine will then be accessible to all Holden teams via a favourable leasing program.
The staggered introduction ensures a greater ease in transition to the new model Commodore bodywork for all Holden teams.
It also allows Holden and Triple Eight Race Engineering to assist Supercars’ technical department with development of its programs ensuring the turbocharged V6 can achieve parity with the existing, naturally aspirated V8s.
This will maintain the competition’s integrity with the introduction of Supercars’ new Gen 2 regulations.
“Our sport prides itself on Supercars being the closest competition in the world, and the phased introduction of the next-generation Commodore will ensure that is maintained,” Triple Eight Race Engineering team principal, Roland Dane said.
Supercars Australia Chief Executive Officer James Warburton has welcome the stunning new 2018 Commodore and the manufacturer’s V6 engine development program for Gen 2.
“It is a pragmatic and sensible approach by Holden and Triple Eight Race Engineering in introducing the new Commodore and a twin-turbocharged V6 powered engine to the sport,” Warburton said.
“Importantly it is a win for all the current Teams in terms of the simplicity and market relevance for an easy transition to the new Commodore in 2018.
“This phased introduction sets a clear path forward for not only Holden but existing and new manufacturers in the sport.”
Development of the new Commodore Supercar continues, with construction of the first car well underway and ready to undertake Supercars Aero Validation in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Does all this point to a change of name for the series, V6 Supercars perhaps – probably not.
Aussie Supercars perhaps?