GM will no longer be building Holdens in Australia, but in their eagerness to prove to Australians they haven't been forgotten, they may have produced another very valuable product of the auto industry: a leak. In this case, what may be a future Buick/Holden sedan concept.
The possible leak comes from this video, which sounds a bit like someone's taking roll in Australia, but is actually designed to reassure the home market that the Holden name, at least, isn't going anywhere. The final scene shows a hip/nerdy looking designer working on a presumed future Holden.
That car on the designer's screen and taped to his cubicle's walls could be the "much more beautiful Porsche Panamera" (I know lots of you wouldn't consider that a huge achievement, but I rather like the look of the Panamera) GM North America President Mark Reuss hinted at in a Forbes inteview last month.
Based on the look of the drawings, I'd actually say the Tesla Model S was a much greater influence on this car than the Porsche Panamera. The headlight and grille treatment seem very Tesla-inspired, and the tapering rear hatch and taillight treatment are also very reminiscent of a Tesla, right down to the kinked C-pillar side window treatment.
The car, which will likely be both a Buick and a Holden Commodore (the drawings are clearly badged as a Holden), maybe an Opel as well, appears to have very show-car proportions in these drawings. The greenhouse is absurdly low, and the tires are huge.
One somewhat puzzling thing about the proportions is the unusually large distance from the headlights to the base of the bumper. The entire car seems to look a bit heavy in the lower 1/3, which could suggest an underfloor battery pack for a hybrid drivetrain. There's dual exhausts out back, so it's clearly not all electric, but a hybrid wouldn't be out of the question.
GM is probably aware of what they're showing in their commercials, so I tend to think this is more of a tease than a leak. If I had to predict anything, I'd say what we're seeing here could become a GM show car by 2015, and by 2017 perhaps we will see a full-sized, 5-door luxury flagship based on this fundamental design in Buick and Holden showrooms.
And I still think it'll look more like a Tesla than a Panamera.