A plan is under serious consideration by GM for a rear-wheel-drive V8 sports saloon to be developed and built in North America to replace the Commodore, which is sold there as a Chevrolet SS.
If the business case stacks up, the new-generation SS would be exported to Australia, where it would be pressed into service by both Holden and Holden Special Vehicles, which creates the VXR8.
Senior GM engineer Dave Leone said affordable rear-drive performance cars would remain part of GM’s product portfolio beyond the Aussie Holden’s demise.
“If you are a performance enthusiast, then rear-wheel drive is the way to go and that’s the part of the rear-drive [GM] Alpha platform will play,” Leone said.
GM announced it would stop making vehicles in Australia and New Zealand by the end of 2017 late last year, citing high costs and a poor supply chain as the reasons behind its decision, which puts an end to 70 years of Holden vehicle manufacturing in the company.
Toyota has also announced it will be pulling out of Australia by the start of 2017, leaving the country with no local vehicle production. Like GM, Toyota will instead move to become a vehicle importer in the country.