To celebrate the end of the road for local Holdens we slipped behind the wheel of the fastest and most powerful model to roll off the Australian production line, the magnificent Commodore SS-V Redline.
At its heart is a 6.2-litre V8 that produces a whopping 304 kilowatts and 570 Newton metres and, with the aid of launch control, will hurl the big Holden to 100km/h in around five-seconds and on to a top speed of 250km/h.
Push the start button and the big V8 awakens with a growl. The test car was fitted with (in my opinion) the right gearbox, a six-speed manual, to get the best out of the bent eight under the bonnet.
Gear changes were smooth and precise with both the gearbox and clutch proving to be pleasantly light. Even shuffling in and out of first gear in traffic wasn’t a chore.
Low-down grunt and linear power delivers endless urge. When you nail the throttle the Commodore SS-V Redline dumps adrenalin directly into the four-pipe bi-modal exhaust and belts out a thunderous, induction and exhaust filled soundtrack.
Though the SS-V Redline lacks the gee-wizardry of dial-a-ride suspension, the well-sorted chassis, track-tuned suspension, reasonably quick steering, loads of grip, flat cornering attitude and poise, lets you pretend you’re Craig Lowndes on a Bathurst hot lap, when conditions allow.
To keep you from overstepping the mark, it has big meaty Brembo brakes front and back with loads of stopping power, plus a range of driver assist technologies to keep you pointing in the right direction.
Hunkered down on its competition suspension, with its guards full of 19-inch alloys and low-profile hoops, a big front spoiler, rear wing, side skirts, high waistline, black trims and vents, combine to give it a purposeful and pleasing on-road presence.
While the sporty theme is carried inside, it’s presented in a refined and plush fashion with classy gloss black and matte chrome accents. Up front are big sports seats that hold you in all the right places and in the back, a contoured rear seat. Both rows afford acres of space in all directions. Behind the wheel the SS-V Redline doesn’t feel big, it feels like it shrinks around you in a cossetting way.
Look out through the windscreen and the customisable head-up display is right there. In front of you is a full spread of gauges to tell you what’s happening underneath and at the top of the console, the MyLink infotainment system with its raft of apps, sat-nav, digital radio, music and Bluetooth streaming, reversing camera, a superb nine-speaker Bose audio system. Above it, a panoramic sunroof.
The Commodore SS-V Redline has a five-star ANCAP safety rating and employs boasts a broad armoury of safety gear including a brace of airbags, traction and stability controls, lane departure assist, blind spot alert, forward collision alert and reverse traffic alert.
While the Commodore SS-V Redline is more Blundstone than Brogue, it’s leaving us at the top of its game. It’s a world-class performer that can hold its head high against the best from around the globe and it’s unbelievable value at $54,990.
To buy a car of this size, with this performance level, and a Euro badge on its snout, you’d have to throw at least $200k at it, and none of those will become as collectable as this Commodore SS-V Redline will get in years to come.
After countless Bathurst wins, Car of the Year awards, the domination of the Repco Reliability Trial around Australia rally and being part of our landscape for the past 39 years, it is time to wave the chequered flag on the remarkable home-grown Holden Commodore and its crowning glory; the SS-V Redline.
If you want one, get into your Holden dealer, now.