The SS badge first appeared in 1982 on the VH Commodore, borrowed from sister brand Chevrolet. It has been applied to the fastest version of every subsequent generation of Commodore, culminating in the stonking, 408 horsepower (304 kilowatts) VF II SS.
The Commodore name will continue into the NG generation, which is due to be launched in 2018. But that car will be little more than a rebadged version of the upcoming new Opel Insignia.
A naturally-aspirated, 3.6-liter V6 model will act as the performance flagship of the NG range, serving up a comparatively modest 308 hp (230 kW) and 273 pound-feet (370 Newton meters) of torque, sent to all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic gearbox.
According to GM Authority, that model will adopt Vauxhall’s VXR badge - which stands for VauXhall Racing. The name is already familiar in Australia, as the current Vauxhall Insignia VXR is sold there bearing the Holden badge. That car is powered by a 320 hp (239 kW), 2.8-liter, twin-turbo V6 motor. Incidentally, Opel sells the same car in Europe under the OPC - Opel Performance Center - banner, but Holden executives presumably felt that tag didn’t have the same ring to it.
Lesser versions of the NG Commodore will be powered by 2.0-liter, turbocharged gasoline engines, or a variety of diesel motors.
The new platform brings weight savings of 200 to 300 kilograms (440 to 661 pounds) over the outgoing VF Commodore. High-end tech such as adaptive suspension, head-up display, matrix LED headlights, and a next-gen infotainment system with an eight-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay compatibility will be available.
The traditional sedan will also be dropped in favor of a “liftback” hatchback. There will be a wagon, thankfully, but sadly no ute.