The locally built Cruze was Holden’s big story in 2011, but this year it’s Chevrolet models that are imported – the Colorado ute, Malibu medium car and Volt electric car.
There’s also a sedan version of the Barina city car and a dedicated-LPG variant of the Commodore that Holden will be hoping can help take the fight back against the Mazda3 that last year stole its crown as Australia’s best-selling car.
Vehicle type: City car. Timing: Q1
A four-door variant doubles the body style choice for Holden’s latest-generation city car that launched late last year. Expect the same non-choice of trim levels as the hatchback, which comes in just one specification, as well as identical pricing – $15,990 for a manual gearbox version or $17,990 for a six-speed auto, both of which mate to a 85kW 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine.
Vehicle type: Family car. Timing: Q1
The Holden Commodore is currently offered with ‘Flex fuel’ capability that allows owners to run it on both unleaded petrol or ethanol-blend fuel up to 85 per cent (E85). 2012 sees the introduction of another alternative fuel variant of the Commodore – the ‘Mono-LPG’ that runs on liquefied petroleum gas. Holden has yet to confirm details of the dedicated-LPG model yet, but the new offering is expected to available for both sedan and Sportwagon body styles and and mated at least to the brand’s locally built 3.6-litre V6. The LPG tank will also be integrated rather than positioned in the boot, freeing up valuable cargo space as Holden targets an LPG solution that has no compromises for consumers.
Vehicle type: Ute. Timing: Mid year
2011 saw a new utility entrant from Germany with the Volkswagen Amarok and new-generation versions of the Ford Ranger and Mazda BT-50 twins, but 2012 is Holden’s turn. The Colorado, which will be built in Thailand for Australian supply (and has been delayed by the floods in that country), is the latest ute to adapt to the modern “dual use” trend where dual-cab variants in particular are used for lifestyle purposes as much as work. Expect a choice of diesel and petrol engines that include a new 132kW/470Nm 2.8-litre turbo diesel and the locally built 3.0-litre V6 currently found in the Commodore. A seven-seater SUV based on the Colorado – unimaginatively called the Colorado 7 – will arrive in early 2013.
Vehicle type: Electric/hybrid. Timing: Q4
Holden will turn on the power for its first electric car in late 2012 with a rebadged version of the Chevrolet Volt hybrid electric car. The Volt is described as a range-extender electric vehicle because it cleverly employs a small four-cylinder petrol engine to maintain a minimum state of charge once the lithium-ion battery pack has been depleted while powering the electric motor. It’s not going to be cheap, though. An anticipated circa-$60,000 price tag for a car the size of a Cruze will show why electric cars will struggle for some time to appeal to the vast majority of consumers.
Vehicle type: Medium car. Timing: Q4
An all-new medium car that is another rebadged Chevrolet but is desperately needed to replace the lacklustre and slow-selling Epica. It also means a switch from the relatively thirsty V6 power of the Epica to four-cylinder engines that Holden/Chevrolet parent company General Motors promise will be both “fuel efficient and powerful”. One of the engines will include a 2.5-litre with 141kW of power and 245Nm of torque.