News that Holden dealers will sell the eighth-generation Chevrolet Corvette in Australia certainly excited Speedcafe.com readers, with that story by far the most popular on both days of last weekend.
General Motors has announced that the C8 Corvette Stingray will be produced in right-hand drive for markets such as Australia, distinguishing it from the Chevrolet Camaro, which is converted locally by Holden Special Vehicles.
The news comes a fortnight after an unusually low-key revelation from Triple Eight Race Engineering that it has renewed its agreement to be Holden’s official factory team until at least the end of the 2021 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
The deal, which will see Triple Eight race as the Red Bull Holden Racing Team having also re-signed with the energy drink giant for the same period, also locks in the ZB Commodore as Holden’s Supercar racer for two more years after it debuted in 2018.
As such, the prospect of Holden competing in Supercars with the Camaro is off for the foreseeable future, even with the as yet unfinalised Next Gen rules package due to commence in 2021.
Where that leaves General Motors Holden in 2022, however, remains to be seen.
However, Speedcafe.com wants to know what car you think Holden should race at that time.
The ZB Commodore is the incumbent, continuing the nameplate’s presence in the Australian automotive market and Supercars despite now being a rebadged, imported hatchback rather than locally built sedan.
The roadgoing version faces an uncertain future due to the sale of Opel from General Motors to the PSA Group and subsequent GM factory closures, meaning it is unlikely to be produced in its current form beyond 2024.
A further consideration is Holden’s increasing marketing focus on four-wheel-drives/sports utility vehicles, a market segment which continues to be extremely popular in Australia.
It is therefore not inconceivable that Holden would withdraw from the medium car market completely, which would be the end of the Commodore nameplate.
Should it continue in Supercars, and Triple Eight boss Roland Dane believes that the company has renewed interest in the championship, then it would need a replacement model.
The Camaro is one option, although that model is converted and sold by Holden Special Vehicles rather than Holden per se.
Walkinshaw Andretti United, which is co-owned by the Walkinshaw family which owns HSV, had investigated the possibility of making a Supercar out of the Camaro but called off that idea due to fears the shape would be ‘bastardised’ to fit the current control chassis as the new-for-2019 Ford Mustang was.
Of course, a new set of rules could allow for a new chassis platform which is more amenable to both the Camaro and Mustang, two cars which are natural rivals on the road and would also be on the race track.
The mid-engined Corvette, on the other hand, is considered a more appropriate counterpart for European sportscar brands such as Porsche and Ferrari.
There have been hints that it will be raced, likely in GTE specification, but entering Supercars would require rule changes to make it eligible.
It would be pertinent to note, however, that Holden and Ford officially have an outlet for discussions with Supercars through the recently established manufacturers council, which is set to play a key role in shaping the Next Gen rules package.
What model would you like to see Holden race in Supercars; the Commodore, the Camaro, or the Corvette? Cast your vote in this week’s Pirtek Poll.