Holden VF Commodore
The Holden Commodore is one of the definitive Australian saloon cars. Engineered and produced in Australia, it is a regular street decor throughout the continent. The model name is in production since 1978 and now, 15th generation of this model is on the market. However, since its introduction in late seventies, Commodore was always favored by race drivers and teams since that rear wheel drive sedan was always produced with powerful engines and good build quality. During the years, Commodore and its biggest rival Ford Falcon participated and dominated all of Australia’s touring car championships.
In 2013, Holden presented the latest generation of race car for Australian V8 Supercars series — VF Commodore, the new addition to a long list of winning machines. This race car is built by V8 Supercars standards which include front mounted V8 powerplant with 5 liters of displacement and around 635 – 640 bhp. Power is transmitted to rear wheels trough six speed gearbox and controlled by sanctioned electronic package. Wheels are 18 inch on all four corners and aerodynamic package is adjustable depending on track conditions and team preferences. The race version shares some body panels with regular road going version but most of the body is custom made for the race car. Headlights and rear lights are the same as on a regular Commodore.
VF Commodore race car had its debut on 2013 Clipsal 500 race which it won with very convincing 1-2-3 finish. It was almost unbelievable that a totally new car could be so good but VF Commodore really was. In fact, during 2013, Holden won 28 out of 36 races in season and repeated that during the 2014 season, when VF Commodores were the fastest on 27 races out of 38. It was the weapon of choice of six times V8 Supercars champion Jamie Whincup who won series title in 2013 and 2014. Although there is rising competition in V8 Supecars for 2015 season, Holden and Whincup will be a tough team to beat.
Interestingly, VF Commodore race car proved to be more influential than you think. Since its specific technical layout you could think that its influence is limited to V8 Championship and similar series. However, since Holden is a subsidiary of General Motors and road going Commodore is sold in USA as Chevrolet SS (with left hand drive, of course), VF Commodore race car is somewhat similar to NASCAR Chevrolet SS which was almost as equally successful in racing as its Australian cousin. Unfortunately, GM announced that Holden will stop making cars in Australia in 2017 due to cost cutting so this is possibly the last home made Australian race Commodore and very nice way to end a long line of fast machines with an unbeatable sedan which dominated almost every race it entered.