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Despite speculation and rumours, a turbocharged version of the 3.0-litre or 3.6-litre General Motors family engines has been ruled out by Holden, with packaging cited as the main reason.

With Holden madly working on the 2018 Holden Commodore, which is to be based on the Opel Insignia, Holden has said that while they would have liked an engine with forced induction, it simply wouldn’t fit.

Holden’s sporty Commodore will be exclusively powered by a naturally aspirated 3.6-litre six-cylinder engine mated to an all-wheel drive system with torque vectoring and a nine-speed automatic transmission.

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One of the prime performance candidates for the 2018 Commodore was the twin-turbocharged 3.6-litre V6 engine currently fitted to the fire-breathing Cadillac ATS-V.

That engine produces 346kW of power and allows the ATS-V to sprint from 0-60mph in just 3.8 seconds. Unfortunately, the position of the engine within the engine bay is incompatible with the E2XX platform the Insignia and next generation Commodore is based on.

Speaking at a pre-launch drive of the 2018 Commodore, Holden vehicle development manager Jeremy Tassone mentioned that they are happy with the product they are working on.

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“We did a lot of packaging work and looked at it in detail. But, it just doesn’t work. The architecture won’t package and also electrically it wouldn’t be supported by the electrical architecture.”

“That’s a totally different layout. That’s a north-south configuration, we’re east-west, so yeah it’s a no go,” Tassone said.

As we speculated earlier in the week, the engine and all-wheel drive system is identical to the one fitted to the Buick LaCrosse. Tassone says that with any program, you use learnings to act as a base for the product you are working on.

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“There’s always learnings, so from an engine and transmission side it’ll be the same guys doing the calibration for both. So nothing ever starts from zero. A lot of the base engine stuff will have come from that program. But the vehicle will be unique to this program,” Tassone said.

“[Laughs]…it’s not like we keep 50kW up our sleeve for a rainy day. It’s been optimised to produce the best performance it can for the car.”

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So for the moment, this will be as much power as the Commodore will have when it’s launched in 2018. As with all speculation to date, the brand is also due to announce a two-door V8 sports in the future, which will act as a performance halo for the brand.

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