Tuesday February 7, 2017
By Richard Bosselman
A tailgate with keyless opening, a gambit of driver assistance aides and 1640 litres of boot space with the rear seats folded down are promised with the Sportwagon edition of the next generation Commodore.
Unveiled ahead of its full debut at the Geneva motor show – because, of course, it’s also an Opel – the car is not coming on sale until next year, Holden New Zealand says.
Styling unsurprisingly remains similar to the liftback version revealed in December and the drivetrain choices also mirror: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol and turbo-diesel variants sending power to the front wheels, as well as a flagship 230kW/270Nm petrol V6 variant that uses a nine-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.
Also transferring from the hatch is a new head-up display, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert and autonomous emergency braking.
The Sportwagon features a sloped tailgate with a roof spoiler, a pair of trapezoidal exhaust pipes set into the rear bumper, and a chrome window blade that flows from the bottom of the A-pillar, along the roofline and down into the tail-light cluster.
The LED tail-lights also have a different design to the liftback while the long lines of the Sportwagon are further emphasised by silver roof rails that stretch from the front windscreen to the tailgate.
One of Sportwagon’s new features is catch up on SUV and Euro wagon convention, a self-opening boot that activates by virtue of the key holder sweeping an ankle along the bottom of the tailgate, to activate a sensor that, in turn, triggers the boot. The method – designed to help drivers when they have their arms full of groceries and the like – also works to close the lid.
Users can programme the height of which the vehicle is opened in case the car is used in a garage, and the opening system can detect any obstruction and will stop in case of an emergency.
Alternately, the boot can also be opened by a switch in the cabin, a button on the tailgate or the key’s remote control.
Boot space is expanded to 1640 litres when activating the one-touch folding seats that are arranged in 40/20/40 split-fold configuration.
The new cars are up to 200kg lighter than their current equivalents. The AWD flagship takes a state-of-the-art torque vectoring system that will maximise performance and improve handling and some in the line also adopt adaptive suspension, with tour, standard and sport settings.
This is not the complete wagon story. Holden is also set to add a higher-riding, AWD edition provide another option on the goldmine sports utility sector and to reprise the spirit of its well-intentioned, if flawed, VE Commodore wagon-based Aventura.