Holden Torana TT36 Concept

Holden Torana TT36 Concept

Holden revived the iconic Torana name, and stole the lion’s share of attention at the 2004 Australian International Motor Show.

Originally code named XP54, reflecting the acronym ‘eXperimental Project’ and  numbered 54 in recognition of Holden’s Studio 54 design workshop, the TT36 proudly continues the hard-charging Torana heritage.

Renamed the Torana TT36, the TT stands for twin turbo and the 36 for the 3.6-litre capacity engine that was built at Holden’s Port Melbourne engine plant.  The 280kW of power is sent to the rear wheels by a heavy-duty 6-speed manual transmission.

The Twin Turbo 3.6-litre V6

With 280kW of power and 480Nm of torque the TT36 was bestowed with the power-to-weight advantage that helped its A9X sporting predecessor to drive into the record books at Mt Panorama a quarter of a century earlier.

Reining in all this power was taken care of by dinner-plate sized discs that measured 365 x 35mm front and rear. These were clamped by 6- and 4-piston calipers front and rear respectively.

With ABS, Traction Control, Electronic Brake Assist, Electronic Brake Distribution, Corner Brake Control and an Electronic Stability Program the TT36 had a is first class braking system.

This concept was a teaser and gave credibility at the time to rumours that Holden was intending on building the spiritual successor to the much-loved Torana. Many agreed that Holden’s had done an excellent job in creating a modern version of the classic Torana we love.

GM Holden’s, Denny Mooney, said that, “Naming the concept car was easy. We knew many fans would immediately call it Torana because it is a high powered, mid-size, rear wheel drive hot hatch,” said Mooney.

Utilising GM’s strong global resources, this hot pink Torana TT36 was powered by a twin turbo, intercooled 3.6 litre Alloytec V6 engine that output 280kW.

According to Holden sources, 90% of the 480Nm of torque developed by this hand built V6 was available from just 1600rpm.

The impressive torque and power figures were due to the 3.6-litre engine’s use of forced induction, via two KO4 Warner turbochargers and an intercooler. The engine was designed and built with turbocharging in mind and had continuously variable valve timing, a variable intake manifold and variable valve actuation as part of the V6.

The TT36 was not based on the Commodore platform but rather shared many basic structural elements and much of its chassis componentry with the latest (at the time) GM sports concepts and was sourced directly from GM.

The fenders and quarter panels were pumped to accentuate width and stance and the LED-xenon headlights drew your eye to an aggressively styled front end. A glass roof extended from the steeply angled windscreen back to the hatch and the TT36 sat on 20-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels. At the rear, the body-integrated rectangular exhaust pipes were a tough looking addition.

The TT36 Torana concept car, which was given the not for production tag, was finished in a pink that was nicknamed ‘ManGenta’ by the Holden stylists. This look at me exterior contrasted against a new-tech all white interior that was described by Holden as ‘nu luxury’, it was certainly attention grabbing.

The cabin featured a vast array of high-tech gadgets, including an interactive touch screen ‘infotainment’ hub that controled the vehicle’s phone, DVD, CD, SatNav, address book and other Bluetooth compatible features.

This Torana concept generated much hype and the question on everyone’s lip was, “will the Torana TT36 concept make it to production eventually?”  Many at the time thought and hoped it was more a case of ‘when’ than ‘if’ as design director, Tony Stolfo stated: “The Torana TT36 may be simply for show – but it’s not about outrageous technology. We consider that something very close to this concept could be practically achievable in the not-too-distant future.”

This lead many to believe the “not-too-distant future”, they would be able to cruise down to the Holden dealer and pick up a new 2008 Torana. Sadly time proved them wrong.

As Tony Stolfo, also said at the time “It’s a first step towards monitoring public reaction to a type of rear-wheel drive vehicle that doesn’t exist in today’s General Motors portfolio. It could be designed and produced off a number of GM platforms, taking advantage of the virtual maths-based processes and component sharing which enabled us to build this working concept in a very short space of time.” The ultimate what if and one day….. maybe. The TT36 does hold a place in Torana history simply it bears the legendary name…..