When Holden announced it was developing a V6 engine to enter into the much-loved Australian Supercars series, it was met with an unsurprisingly mixed response. Many traditionalists, who've loved the sport through its V8-only years, saw the move as sacrilegious and bloody down right un-Aussie. So imagine their emotional state when they saw this, the new Holden Time Attack Concept, an all-electric (yes, seriously) qualifying machine developed for Bathurst, aka the Mecca of motorsport Down Under. They must still be shaking in their thongs.
Holden's concept is quite possibly the most contrasting thing on four wheels you could get to a V8 Commodore. A digital simulation suggests it could be considerably faster around New South Wales' famous Mount Panorama Circuit than the current crop of Supercars - 35 seconds faster than this year's Bathurst pole lap, to be exact, with a 1min 29.3-second lap. Mmm.
The numbers attached to the car's moving parts appear as pie in the sky as that time. The Time Attack Concept produces 1,360hp and 2,390lb ft of torque using four inboard electric motors that each drives through a three-speed planetary gearbox. But, get this; when the motors are driving through the first gear ratio, Holden claims the car effectively has 7,095lb ft. This enables the concept to theoretically hit 62mph in 1.25 seconds and reach a top speed of 298mph.
One key feature of the car that does at least feel like a realistic and clear signal of intent comes with the concept's batteries, which are graphene solid state. This is precisely the sort of technology predicted to bring the breakthrough in charge times electric cars so obviously need to become more viable. Holden claims its racer will fully recharge in 90 seconds, which, to put that into perspective, is 30 times faster than a Jaguar I-Pace - one of today's most advanced EVs - can get to 80% charge.
Then there's a load of advanced aerodynamic technology, with ground effect fans and rubber skirts, active wheel fairings and a moving rear wing accounting for just a small sample of an armoury that allows the car to 'corner' with up to 6.5G of lateral force. Its agility is further enhanced by a low centre of gravity and 900kg kerbweight, which has been achieved thanks to the use of carbon fibre and kevlar composite body panels, with a polycarbonate graphene coating on top.
Throw in augmented reality on the driver's helmet visor that projects an image of the racing line and braking zone into the pilot's eye line, and - hey presto! - it's a PR man's dream. And quite possible a diehard Holden fan's waking nightmare.