The cars involved in the trials are genuine production models built on the line at GM Holden’s factory outside Adelaide. This car was caught last week on Melbourne’s Westgate Freeway, running with a light disguise.
They provide the best look yet at the shape and style of the VE Commodore, and some tantalising details - including 17-inch alloy wheels, bigger brakes, twin-lens headlamps and some sort of scoop on the front mudguards. The most intriguing feature is the huge twin-pipe exhaust system, which points to something special in the engine room, particularly as Holden insiders tell us not to assume the scoop car is the next SS with a V8.
The VE has hit the road as the GM Holden development team ramps up its testing program. It has moved on from basic engineering trials to the real-world certification, endurance and proof-of-program work needed to ensure the VE is right for showrooms. Cars are likely to be spotted more frequently in and around Melbourne in coming weeks and months, with one report of a disguised test car in Carlton in the past week.
Finally, the car picks up a fixed roof-mounted aerial - set well back for smooth airflow and low-wind noise - in place of the electric wind-up aerial in the front-left mudguard.
The side-on shot shows the new-style painted doorhandles, curved rear edge of the back door and taping to create a fake extra window in the C-pillar. It’s easy to speculate on details of the the engine. Holden is committed to the global V6 built at Fishermans Bend and turbocharged versions for Saab and Alfa Romeo could point to a new-age performance six in the VE.