Holden released its Craig Lowndes SS V Special Edition Commodore late last year to celebrate Lowndes’ twentieth anniversary in V8 Supercars, so it was only fitting that we would drive our test car to the place where Lowndes has tasted so much success – Mount Panorama.
Unlike the cars produced by Holden’s previous favourite son, Peter Brock, under the name of HDT Special Vehicles, the Lowndes Commodore was hand-finished and individually numbered by technicians at the Holden Enhancement Centre, located at Holden’s Adelaide vehicle plant.
While Holden says the Lowndes car’s specification is racetrack inspired, it offers more go than show as opposed to the highly upgraded Brock-built machines.
Just 233 Lowndes Commodores will be built with more than 50 percent sold before launch.
Based on Holden’s SS V Redline Commodore, the unique specification boasts Brembo four-piston brakes front and rear, 20in staggered wheels (8.5in front and 9in rear) wrapped in 245/275 Bridgestone Potenza tyres, and a tyre pressure monitoring system.
Engine modifications are limited to a Red Hot engine cover, although with 530Nm on tap, the standard engine’s specification is no real disappointment.
Buyers have a choice of six-speed manual transmission, or six-speed auto with paddle shifters.
Available in Red Hot or Heron White, the car also features unique body side decals, hood decal and chrome finished boot badge.
The unique styling treatments also include a black V8 power hood decal, black roof, black grille surrounds and fender vents – front upper in Red (Black on white vehicles), black DRL surrounds and black window surrounds. There’s also a rear spoiler, along with graphic sill plates and boot badge.
Interior enhancements include a distinctive embroidered Craig Lowndes signature on the dash pad. There’s also Holden’s MyLink Infotainment System with eight-inch colour touchscreen display and embedded apps including Pandora, Stitcher SmartRadio, along with a colour head-up display and Siri eyes free mode.
Safety items include rear view camera, lane change assist, blind spot monitoring, forward collision alert and rear parking sensors.
There’s no doubting the Lowndes Commodore is a head turner, even more than we would have expected, with our car creating an amazing amount of interest as we drove though the country towns between Melbourne and Bathurst. In fact the car emptied the pub at Junee, as enthusiastic fans swarmed all over it and took the obligatory social media ‘selfies.’
Performance of course was on par with the SS V Commodore we drove last year, so we were familiar with the performance of Holden’s 270kW V8. Mated to the manual gearbox, it’s a delight to drive on winding country roads, especially when teamed to the car’s superb turning and road-holding characteristics. It’s a car that will have you searching for back-roads rather than taking the quick way home via the freeway.
CRAIG LOWNDES SS V COMMODORE
ANCAP: 5 Star
ENGINE: 6.0 litre V8
POWER: 270kW @ 5600
TORQUE: 530Nm @ 4400rpm
TRANSMISSION: Six-speed manual
DRIVE: Front engine, RWD
BODY: Four-door sedan
PRICE: From $57,990