The Platform Now Arriving
By Hilton Holloway
The Sydney Morning Herald
Friday July 16 2004
Somewhere under the skin of this concept car lies the basis of the 2006 Commodore and Hilton Holloway has driven it.
The outskirts of Frankfurt are not where you'd expect to find the next generation of Australia's biggest-selling car. Yet, here I am behind the wheel of the vehicle that will form the basis of the 2006 Holden Commodore -- the VE.
I'm on a vast, grey, concrete runway at a former US Air Force base close to the factory in Russelsheim where the car that spawned the Commodore was born 25 years ago.
General Motors has allowed a handful of European motoring writers behind the wheel of its Insignia concept car from last year's Frankfurt motor show. To my colleagues, it's just another concept vehicle but its significance is not lost on me.
GM's media minders insist the car is a design study only but Drive knows better than that. Beneath the bulging flanks and sweeping curves is the platform that Australians will be driving a couple of years from now.
Under the bulbous bonnet is an engine familiar to Australians, the 5.7-litre V8 which powers today's high performance Commodores. It sounds great and we haven't even got into Drive yet. I'm not allowed to engage the four-speed automatic, that's the job of the German engineer sitting in the back seat, babysitting this $3 million hand-built machine.