Holden cars

Holden has official re-released the Holden Thunder Ute, which we all assume will eventually makes its way to the U.S. as the resurrection of the El Camino. With its reintroduction, Holden needed a new advertising campaign. With an advertising campaign comes the need for a new slogan, and “The Ute , Americans are begging us to let ’em use it’” is just too long.

Well, Holden turned to its fans to come up with the new slogan, via everyone’s favorite medium, Facebook. Fortunately, those Aussie blokes are rather creative, as they came up with the slogan “No backseat drivers.” That makes perfect sense, as the Thunder Ute has only two seats and a truck bed. It would have been a little more difficult had GM chosen to go the Subaru Brat route and put two seats in the bed. Then, you technical would have backseat drivers. You can even see the new ad slogan in use in the above Thunder Ute commercial.

For a refresher, the Ute Thunder comes standard with a 280-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6 standard and has an optional 360-horsepowerpower 6.0-liter V-8. It also has a special charcoal-colored 19-inch rims and a slew of other standard features.

Now the only question remaining is when will GM officially start “leaking” information about the Thunder Ute coming to the U.S. as the El Camino ? We are willing to put a dollar on it being here within five years. Then again, it was rumored to be returning with the previous Ute rendition, so we could be in for just a bunch of teasing and jealousy.

Chevrolet SS Performance

It’s not too often that us auto industry buffs get a chance to toot our own horns by calling our shots and being right. To be honest, most of the time we end up being wrong when we start calling our shots. But when we do smack that nail right on the head, we like to let you know about it ASAP…

On that note, remember the long trail of breadcrumbs that we have been following since 2011? If you don’t, allow us to refresh your memory:

May 29, 2011: TopSpeed reports, via GM Inside News, that GM will start importing the Holden Commodore to the U.S. for the first time since the G8 was discontinued.

April 20, 2012: TopSpeed reports that the “SS” moniker was officially trademarked by GM, after 51 years of using it on various models. Some other experts claim this was just to protect the “SS” trim levels, but we knew better.

April 26, 2012: TopSpeed digs up a report about OnStar botching a test run of their site and mistakenly displaying the 2014 SS Performance and Cadillac ELR .

Now we have real-life news on the Chevrolet SS front, as GM has officially released, FINALLY, something that we have all pretty much known for at least a few months. For the 2014 model year, Chevrolet will import the Holden Commodore and badge it as the Chevrolet SS – no “Performance” after it. Chevy will have the SS on showroom floors starting in late-2013.

Not only is the SS coming to showrooms, it will also run in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Its debut will occur at the 2013 Daytona 500 race.

Finally, we can put to bed the ongoing mystery of Chevy’s odd breadcrumb trail and start focusing on the next in line, the yet-to-be-announced Cadillac ELR .

Click past the jump to read GM’s official press release on the Chevy SS.

It seems like Chevy is so excited to release the SS model that it can barely keep a lid on the rumors and leaks. First, we had swirling rumors about the Holden-based SS model back in 2011. Next, there was the oddly timed registration of the SS moniker.

Some other experts have tried downplaying this by saying that the trademark mentions “SS” in a fanciful manner, meaning just the fancy SS badges. What these experts are overlooking is that all trademarks involving a sequence of letters almost always include “stylized” or “fanciful,” as you cannot just patent two letters.

Well, GM, or more appropriately OnStar, has dropped yet another breadcrumb and one Christopher Price – a Tech dude and OnStar subscriber – found it. As Price puts it, he was checking out his profile and decided to explore other OnStar features. He stumbled upon the list of compatible cars and oddly enough found 2014 models. He clicked on it and what happened to be positioned right between the Chevy Spark and Silverado? A non-existent model dubbed the “SS Performance.”

Does a strange computer glitch mean that the SS model is truly coming in 2014? We don’t really know. However, it is yet another brick that further solidifies the wall of rumors that began construction back in 2011. OnStar obviously caught onto the leak and quickly patched it up, as the 2014 model year is no longer on the site, but not before Price got a glimpse at another future name, the Cadillac ELR, which could point to an all-electric Caddy.

There is, of course, the outside chance that we are being tricked by a good Photoshop job, but our amateur eyes say it is the real deal. Then again, this could just be us getting our hopes up for a new muscle sedan from Chevy.

Holden SS V-Series Special Edition

So we all have seen strange trademarks and copyrights, plus we have all seen companies fighting over whether or not a trademark or copyright is legal. First you have Windows, then you have Apple, both of which are extremely common words that are trademarked. As of late, you have Macintosh slapping a trademark on the all-too-common “App Store” phrase. Well, how about this for a weird one, “SS” is now an official trademark of GM.

Well, technically the trademark reads “The mark consists of the letters SS in a fanciful design,” meaning the actual letters are not trademarked, but the design with letters are, make sense? So this leads us to speculate… After 51 model years of including the “SS” moniker on vehicles – the first came on the 1961 Impala – why do this now?

We know that the Impala SS is on its way – thanks for that Chevy – but what does GM have up its sleeve? The vast majority of us media folk, TopSpeed included, assume that this means an actual SS model is in the works. There have been rumors afloat that GM will release police package Caprice models as the SS model, and some of the details seem to align.

First, consider the fact that the Holden Commodore was once rumored to become the 2014 Chevy SS , but was never officially confirmed, then add in the fact that the Commodore is now the Caprice PPV . We think you can do the math. It looks like our friends over at GM Inside News were actually correct when they reported the Commodore -turned-SS rumor in 2011. At this point we just have to wait until GM officially announces it, but for now it looks like this is certainly happening.

On an aside, this would also mark the return of the Pontiac G8 , in a way, as the G8 was actually a Commodore in Pontiac garb. Funny how it all comes full circle, huh?

Back in 1969 Holden was unveiling its first concept car - the Hurricane. It was a a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive, two-seat sports car incorporating a remarkable array of innovative features and technology, much of it years ahead of its time. Now the company has restored that concept as an experiment "to study design trend, propulsion systems and other long-range developments".

The restoration process has begun back in 2006 and is now finally ready for a first display to the public at the Motorclassica, car show at the Melbourne Royal Exhibition Building from October 21-23.

"The entire team has done a fantastic job in bringing this beautiful concept back to life,” Paul Clarke, Holden’s manager for Creative Hard Modelling said. "The Hurricane plays a crucial role in Holden’s story and the company has such a great sense of history and heritage that it was very important to bring RD 001 back to life. It’s been a challenging but incredibly rewarding process."

Hit the jump to read more about the 1969 Holden Hurricane Concept.

Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) has unveiled the special edition "SV Black Edition" based on either ClubSport R8, ClubSport Tourer R8, or Maloo R8 models at the Melbourne Auto Show. This special edition will be offered in both manual and automatic transmissions and will go on sale in September.

The "SV Black Edition" will be offered with matte black detailing, a Vector hood scoop and fender gills, HSV’s bi-modal exhaust system, and 20-inch forged alloy wheels. For the interior, the Black Edition models will add a unique dash treatment, leather seats, and a leather-bound steering wheel, on top of the already generous E3 equipment list. A special Enhanced Driver Interface (EDI) system that will offer details on power, torque, manifold pressure, fuel, elevation, voltage, oil and air temperature will also be available.

The standard equipment list includes a reversing camera, park assist, and satellite navigation. There will only be 225 units built and, despite the "Black Edition" name, this special edition will be offered in Sting Red, Heron White, Alto Grey, Nitrate Silver, and Phantom (black).

Details after the jump

Any Australians anxiously awaiting the return of the Thunder can now breathe a tremendous sigh of relief; it seems that Holden will be bringing back the special edition Thunder nameplate to the VE Series II Ute line-up. The special edition has been launched as a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the original 1951 Ute and will be based on the popular SV6 and SS Ute models. The SV6 will be powered by a 3.6l SIDI V6 and the SS Ute will come with the standard V8. Both models will come standard with a six-speed manual transmission and optional six-speed automatic.

The special edition Holden Thunder Ute will be available in 10 exterior colors and will be distinguished by unique 19-inch five spoke charcoal alloy wheels. Thunder badges will also be visible on the side and rear of the exterior, while the interior gets sports seats with leather bolsters and Touch-screen Holden-iQ system with Satellite Navigation.

"Over 60 years of production, the Holden ute has evolved from typical tradesman’s transport to two-door sports machine with a practical edge - that’s epitomized by the Thunder range," Holden Executive Director of Sales, Marketing and Aftersales John Elsworth said. "It is a really bold, tough looking ute which we think will appeal to many of our traditional sports ute buyers. We’re expecting it to be an absolute winner in our showrooms."

Posted on by Christian Seabaugh 12

Americans always says that Canadians are “just like us.” They talk (almost) the same, look slightly paler, and they just happen to use those funny little kilometers per hour instead of the proper miles per hour. After much thought though, it’s the Australians that are most like Americans– especially when it comes down to the shared passion of muscle cars.

The Holden Commodore last made its appearance on our shores in 2009 as the Pontiac G8 . It was a big, full-size, four door sedan, complete with an equally big Corvette-sourced V8 engine. What’s not to love about it?

Unfortunately for us, the G8 left our market with the demise of Pontiac in 2010 and we’ve been without our fair share of Australian cars since then. But alas some good news: according to GM Inside News, the Holden Commodore has been confirmed to return to the United States as a 2014 Chevrolet SS Sedan .

Even better news follows. GM Inside News also reports that General Motors is considering bringing the Holden Commodore Ute and Commodore SportWagon to our shores as well, as the Chevy El Camino and SportWagon. If these rumors hold any water, we’d expect to see the El Camino the same time we see the SS Sedan and the Sport Wagon released soon thereafter.

For the record, this isn’t the first time these rumors have popped up. Some of you may even remember that we were supposed to get the Commodore Ute back in 2009 as the Pontiac G8 Sport Truck before the economy tanked and it was cancelled. Also in July of the same year, Bob Lutz said that the G8 would be saved and become the Chevrolet Caprice. That also turned out to be untrue although the Commodore’s big brother, the Statesman went on to become the new Caprice PPV .

While there is hope for these awesome Aussies on our shores, we’ll have to wait to believe it when we see it.

Take a good first look at this car and you may just sit there for a few minutes with absolutely no words. Official Chevrolet Camaros come in the classic coupe and convertible forms, but unofficially things can get a little, shall we say, eccentric. For example, some tuners feel that a car should be taken to that next level just on the other side of normalcy. A coupe and convertible Camaro? Boring! How about a completely inappropriate muscle car turned truck? Apparently, that’s what Luke Bromidge from Victoria thinks is fitting of a vehicle tuned to look like a classic and beautiful Chevrolet Camaro and pick-up truck. All around the world muscle cars are weeping over their fallen brethren.

While we never imagined something like this was even possible, Luke Bromidge from Victoria has spent moths in customizing a front end that will transform any Holden VE Commodore into a Camaro . While we admit the VE Commodore owners will be very happy with the new and more aggressive look, we really can’t imagine what a Camaro owner will think when it sees something that is supposed to be a muscle car carrying all kinds of cargo in its newly opened rear trunk.

The worst part of this whole conversion is that it is extremely simple. All Bromidge has to do is take the front end kit, install it, and paint it. Ta-da! Did anyone order a Camaro pick-up?

Tom Walkinshaw of Walkinshaw Performance knows his Holden vehicles. In fact, Walkinshaw was the man behind Holden ’s HSV performance division so the fact that he chose to take a tuning spin in the Holden Commodore Series II SS isn’t a bit surprising. The result of this rendezvous was the new tuning package unveiled at the 2010 Australian International Motor Show.

For this package, Walkinshaw has remade the 6.0 liter V8 engine found in the original vehicle and matched it up with an Edelbrock 230 supercharger taking the output to a challenging 617hp and 780 Nm of torque.

Next to the engine upgrade, the package also gets an all new front and rear brake package including six piston 378mm rotors at front and six piston 365mm rotors at the rear, an upgraded and recalibrated suspension package developed with Bilstein, and a specially commissioned audio upgrade package from Rockford Fosgate.

The Walkinshaw Performance Series II Commodore will be limited to only 23 units, all painted in Panorama Silver, which was the same color featured on the original ‘Walky’ when it debuted at the Sydney Motor Show 23 years ago. The package is priced at $99,990 (car included).

Press release after the jump.

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