The 2016 WN Holden Caprice V — official details on which we expect to be revealed around September — looks set to sport a series of significant updates and an uprated V8 engine to see it through to the end of production in late 2017.
Furthermore, information received this week by CarAdvice means we can exclusively reveal that Holden looks set to drop the LPG-fuelled V6 engine option as part of the wider cost-cutting measures we revealed recently, and will run with a single V8 engine and single six-speed automatic gearbox option.
The current L98 6.0-litre V8 engine that produces 260kW of power and 517Nm of torque will be replaced by a 6.2-litre V8 engine with codename L99 (an upgraded version of the LS3 current used in the naturally aspirated HSV range). This engine will locally produce 304kW of power at 5900rpm, down on the same engine used in the Chevrolet SS, in which it produces 310kW of power.
This same engine is expected to be also used in the 2016 VF Holden Commodore SS Series 2, which will launch around the same time.
The upgraded L99 engine comes with fuel-saving technology that includes E85 flex fuel compatibility and active fuel management that can shut down up to four-cylinders during light throttle loads. Additionally, the L99 engine also comes with camshaft phasing technology, which is the simplest form of variable valve timing, whereby the angle of the camshaft is rotated backwards and forwards relative to the crankshaft.
Our information suggests that the facelift changes and new engine will reduce weight by 2kg in total. This, in addition to the fuel-saving technology of the L99 engine, is likely to reduce fuel consumption from the current 11.7l/100km and increase performance, given the addition of 44kW of power.
The WN Caprice V design has remained largely unchanged since the car was launched in 2006, though it received a very minor exterior facelift alongside a brand new interior in 2013 alongside the launch of the VF Commodore. The same revision saw the price drop by $10,000, making it a more attainable car for those after a long-wheelbase luxury sedan.
While sales of the Caprice V are up by 10.0 per cent year-on-year in 2014 (a year in which it managed 1218 units), they are down in comparison to the figures of 2011 and 2012, where the Caprice V was hitting almost 2000 units per year.
The Caprice's only current rival in VFACTS' Upper Large segment is the just-updated Chrysler 300. The Holden commands more than 55.5 per cent market share. With 614 sales this year, the Caprice has also more than doubled the Hyundai Genesis (282).
The full degree of the facelift is currently unknown and there's no official confirmation, but our sources suggest that it will be greater than what see on the revised VF Commodore, which is expected to only receive minor styling changes to the front-end. The facelifted Caprice V is expected to be released mid-September alongside said Series 2 VF Commodore.
Holden refused to provide any comment, but has previously commented that it will continue to keep Commodore relevant until its planned end of production in 2017. CarAdvice will keep you posted as more information comes to hand.