November 09, 2011

Horse 1246 - I Can Has a New A9X?

I've been watching a documentary called "Brock 78 - 30 Years: Brock Revisited" and have been yet again impressed by the brilliance that was Peter Brock, the effort put in by the Holden Dealer Team to bounce back after Ford's 1-2 the year before and the sheer "coolness" that is the Torana A9X. I thought to myself "why can't they build cars like that anymore?" and then thought "maybe they can".

The formula which produced the A9X is dead simple. Take a roughly 2L sized car, throw away the four-pot motor and then try to shoehorn the biggest possible engine into the space provided; for the Torana it meant Holden's 5L V8, but what would be a modern equivalent?

The Holden Cruze hatchback went on sale yesterday. It sports a 1.8L in-line 4 cylinder engine and is built at Holden's plant in Elizabeth, South Australia. It's roughly the same size as the Torana was and I think would fit this end quite nicely.

The perfect donor engine would come from a show car built by Holden in 2004, the Torana TT36. Under the bonnet of this car was a twin-turbo 3.6L V6. The Torana TT36 was built mainly as a test platform for the then unbuilt VE Commodore which went on sale in 2006.

The Astra Coupe showed that you can take 2L hatchback and turn into a successful coupe. The original Torana also showed that provided the finished product is put together well, it can be the stuff of legend.
Now then, if we take a Cruze, turn it into a coupe, whack a twin-turbo 3.6L V6 in it and then maybe add a duck-tail, flared arches and bonnet scoops, I think you'd have the modern equivalent of an A9X. If a race version was then entered in the Bathurst 12 Hour (because the 1000km is a closed-shop race now), then I think you'd have a pretty good chance at building a new legend.

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