V8 Engine Survives For One Year Only
So this is it. The official unveiling of the artist’s concept of the 2018 Gen 3 Supercar from Holden.
The new era Commodore will be powered by a new turbocharged V6 currently under development at the General Motors Performance and Racing Center, in Pontiac, Michigan.
Holden’s official factory team, Triple Eight Race Engineering, will seek approval from Supercars to run the new V6-powered caras a wild card entry at selected rounds next season before a full rollout for the 2019 season.
Until then however, existing teams will be able to use the current 5 litre V8 engine for 2017 only. After that the new V6 engine will be available to all Holden teams via a 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.
Holden’s Executive Director of Marketing, Mark Harland said. “What an incredible-looking race car, it carries on the tradition of Commodores looking awesome on and off the track and ushers in a new era for our brand,”
“I can’t wait to see it out on the track claiming race wins next year.”
The car does look good, but then again have you ever seen an artist’s concept that didn’t?
The move to allow the new car to run the existing V8 is also a very good move and I imagine that at the end of 2018 there may well be some teams and certainly fans that will push both Holden and Supercars Australia to allow that situation to continue.
Either way any new car and technology is good to see, the new V6 should have no trouble at all making the necessary grunt but just how the existing V8 obsessed Supercar fan will take to the new generation car and engine is another matter,
At least we finally have something of interest to talk about in Supercar racing other than a change of paint job.
The question in my mind though and yet to be answered is what will it race against?
Certainly in the short term its main on track rival will be the Ford Falcon, a car that is no longer being built, and the Nissan Altima which Nissan have already said will not be their Gen 3 bodystyle.
Ford still show no official interest in Supercars, although In Pit Lane has been told by one senior Ford marketing staff member that the sport is not off the radar of the company, but was simply being put on the back burner until the new model line was fully established.
Conventional wisdom has it the the Ford Mustang will be that car, with or without Fords approval.
As for Nissan the smart money is on the GT-R although NISMO themselves are saying this might not be the case, indeed there is still no guarantee that the company will even stay in the sport. The Altima program did in it’s job in promoting and establishing the Altima nameplate, but even then the car has hardly set the sales charts on fire.
The saving grace may be the support of Nissan Australia’s current CEO Richard Emery who is very keen to remain in the sport, he may though have some problem convincing head office who may be less than keen to commit funds to develop a new car and engine package for such a small market.
Then of course there’s the possibility of new manufacturers coming on board with KIA and their new Stinger GT, a current favourite to join the series but not until at least 2020.