Is the Torana making a comeback?

In the seventies it was the hometown hero, in the eighties it was the bogan's dream - the Torana A9X is now an extremely collectable Aussie muscle car. Photo / Supplied
In the seventies it was the hometown hero, in the eighties it was the bogan's dream - the Torana A9X is now an extremely collectable Aussie muscle car. Photo / Supplied

Holden may be hatching a plan to bring back the legendary Torana.

Wheels magazine says the idea of a new mid-sized, real-wheel-drive that captures the same spirit as its namesake is germinating deep within the company, as Holden contemplates the longer-term outlook for its manufacturing operations.

The magazine says while the company recognises that its future lies with building front-wheel-drive vehicles, it is also conscious of its sporting, rear-drive heritage.

It believes the concept of a new Torana lies in a localised version of a US model, the Chevrolet Code 130R, which was shown as a concept at the Detroit motor show in January.

While not yet approved for production, the Chevrolet is based around the idea of a compact rear-wheel-drive coupe with a four-cylinder, turbocharged engine that could also have enough room under the bonnet to take a V6 or even a V8.

If the car is approved for the US, the chances of it also coming to Australia and New Zealand are good, Wheels says.

The idea also has some support within the company with General Motors executive director of international operations Mike Simcoe enthusiastic about the prospect.

"Would I like to have a compact rear-wheel-drive performance coupe like that in any portfolio? Yes," Mr Simcoe told Wheels.

"Given that Australians - and particularly Australians who buy Holdens - are essentially enthusiasts and they enjoy driving agility and the character of rear-wheel-drive, then it makes sense."

Mr Simcoe also appears keen about the idea of calling it a Torana, saying it would be doing all the same things that the original Toranas did back in the 1970s.

At the same time the man who was the design chief at Holden when the VT and VE Commodores were developed is also cautious.

He told Wheels that the worst thing a carmaker could do was devalue a heritage badge by sticking it on an unworthy car.

"But judging by what we know so far, Code 130R doesn't fall into that category," the magazine said.

It isn't the first time that Holden has mulled bringing back the Torana nameplate, with the Holden Torana TT36 Hatch Concept shown in 2004 (see attached gallery).

- AAP

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