GM Holden will tomorrow unveil significant updates to its Commodore range aimed at cutting fuel consumption and luring buyers back to the declining large car market segment.
Holden will take a different course to that recently announced by major rival Ford, instead unveiling smaller and more fuel-efficient versions of its V6 engine.
It will also unveil a six–speed automatic transmission, which coupled with a 3.0-litre version of its V6 engine, is aimed at cutting fuel consumption by 10 per cent from the current 10.6 litres per 100 kilometres.
As part of the revised engine plan the Commodore powerplant will also be fitted with direct injection, which is expected to give the Commodore class-leading fuel efficiency.
The announcement of the revised VE Commodore has been widely tipped in the media for some time, but it became imminent when Holden late today issued a succinctly worded invitation to the media for tomorrow morning.
The statement said; “Holden chairman and managing director Mark Reuss will hold a media conference tomorrow to make a major announcement about the Holden Commodore sedan, Sportwagon and Ute, Statesman and Caprice.”
One thing is almost certain the car will not be the often-discussed VF Commodore but rather an updated VE, possibly called a Series II.
Mr Reuss, who last week revealed he would be leaving Australia shortly to take up a very senior post with GM in Detroit, has repeatedly said he believed the VE should undergo significant but ongoing changes, rather than a “major model revamp.”
The direct injection system, previously found only on much more expensive vehicles and used by GM on the 3.6-litre V6 engines that power its Cadillac range, will be a focus of the Commodore’s improved fuel efficiency.
CarAdvice believes the direct injection engines will be called SIDI, Spark Injection Direct Injection, as with the Cadillac version of the V6.
All V6 engines will get a version of the direct injection but those in the SV6 and Calais will use a 210kW 3.6-litre version.
Picking the new Commodores on the road will be a difficult task as styling revisions have been kept to a minimum with changes only made to improve aerodynamics and drag efficiency.
One thing is certain there will be a lot more equipment on all models as Holden seeks to increase the value argument to draw customers back to the large car.
The Holden news comes a little over a week after Ford revealed would fit a turbocharged, four-cylinder engine to the Falcon large car from 2011.
Ford says the EcoBoost four-cylinder Falcon will be up to 20 per cent more efficient than the existing six-cylinder, which means fuel economy could be in the order of 8.0L/100km.
Holden won’t have the new Commodore on sale for at least another month but wants to build anticipation as its seeks to stem the trend towards smaller cars.
It is also fighting to keep the Commodore in its position as Australia’s top selling sedan, and up to June it was just over 3000 units in front of its small car nemeses the Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla.
CarAdvice will bring you a full coverage of Holden’s announcement tomorrow.