Here’s another one of GM’s concept cars that never made it: the 2004 Holden Torana TT36. Built on a bespoke platform, and powered by a twin-turbo V6, its styling cues clearly inspired the legendary VE Commodore, but the Torana was actually smaller. Had it been built, Holden would have easily beaten the hordes of Euro and Asian imports at their own game. Instead, thirteen years later, they paid the ultimate price for failing to adapt by expanding their ranges in accordance with changing buyers’ tastes.
Ironically, the latest ZB Commodore - actually an Opel Insignia - is now a mid-size car, but considering that it is built in Germany (under PSA Peugeot-Citroen ownership, to boot!), sold in Britain and North America as a Vauxhall and Buick, respectively, and will never be offered with anything more powerful than a normally-aspirated V6 (in Australia only - every other market makes do with a weaker turbo I4), calling it a Commodore feels just plain wrong.
Yet another stillborn Holden concept, the Coupe 60, got the axe simply because of the existence of the fifth-gen Camaro, which occupied the same segment. Pity, for the Coupe 60 would have been just as good to drive as said Camaro, if not better.
The predicted lack of success for the Coupe 60, combined with the Australian car industry entering a phase of terminal decline, meant that the proposal for a VF Monaro never even went past a set of artists’ renderings, one of which is shown here:
It’s a shame that they didn’t even make a mock-up of it - it would have looked the business and given the imports a bloody nose. Now, months after the last VF Commodores have been built and sold, we’ll only be able to wonder about what could have been.