A year after announcing the Holden brand would be axed, the most recent 'Holden Commodore' has undergone a midlife update for 2021.
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This is what today's Holden Commodore would have looked like – if the model and the Holden brand hadn't been axed.

Opel/Vauxhall, now part of the Peugeot-Citroen group, has introduced in Europe the updated version of the car we knew as a Holden Commodore.

We can’t know for certain if Holden would have imported rebadged Insignias if its future was looking a little brighter.

But it’s interesting to consider what a 2021 Holden Commodore might have looked like.

Visually, there’s not a lot of change to the outer skin. The front and rear have been redesigned subtly, giving the appearance of a lower and wider car.

There are new LED headlights and a wider chrome-edged grille with more prominent slats designed to make the badge appear larger.

The LED daytime-running lights are now positioned at the bottom, not the top, of the headlight unit.

It’s under the skin where the new Insignia has received the bulk of its mid-life update.

The UK market scores a selection of diesel and petrol engines, with the diesel powerplants unlikely to have made their way Down Under, given the likely slow sales of the diesel Commodore in Australia.

But, it’s the new, more efficient petrol units that could easily have slotted in to local Holden dealerships.

Two all-aluminium 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engines are offered in the UK, with different states of tune.

The less powerful unit is good for 147kW while a more powerful iteration pumps out around 169kW. Both engines make 350Nm at a very user-friendly 1500rpm.

The 147kW four-banger is good for a 0-60mph sprint of 7.2 seconds, according to Vauxhall, while the more powerful unit cuts that sprint time down to 7.0 seconds.

For reference, entry-level versions of the Holden Commodore, in its final Australia-bound form, extracted 191kW and 400Nm from a previous-generation 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine. Higher-grade models offered a 235kW 3.6-litre V6, with a 2.0-litre diesel also on offer.

Both new engines feature a variable geometry turbocharger and high-pressure 350-bar direct fuel injection system. A new nine-speed automatic – with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters – sends drive to the front wheels.

Vauxhall claims a combined fuel consumption of 7.5 to 8.5L/100km for the 147kW engine, with the 169kW motor requiring 8.0 to 9.3L/100km.

Both engines feature cylinder deactivation technology for the first time, with a three-stage variable camshaft cutting two cylinders when certain driving conditions are met.

Inside, a new rear-view camera is said to improve visibility, although rear cross-traffic alert is an option. Standard safety tech includes autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, park assist and speed sign recognition. There’s also a head-up display.

Infotainment comes via either a 7.0-inch colour touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, or a more feature-laden 8.0-inch Multimedia Navi Pro unit that adds satellite navigation with live traffic updates.

There’s also wireless phone charging as standard.

Of course, there are no certainties the new powertrains and features would have made their way Down Under to live a second life as Holden Commodores, or indeed if GM would have continued at all with the Commodore nameplate at all considering it no longer owns the European-based Opel and Vauxhall brands.

Twelve months on, the Holden Commodore is no more but its most recent predecessor lives on.