Even though fuel prices are coming back down, (in Brisbane they are well below $1) no one really knows how long this will last. A few months ago when Fuel was reaching $1.50, LPG seemed like a good idea. I mean, really, there is nothing wrong with converting an older falcon or comomdore to dual fuel LPG, but to buy a new car and then convert it to LPG? Why not just buy a diesel?
Anyway, since Ford & Holden still live in the dark ages, Diesel (which I have to admit is actually available in their european made astras) isn’t a choice when it comes to the Commodore or Falcons. However, LPG is starting to become popular with the new $2,000 goverment rebate. With that in mind, Holden has announcd that it’s dual-fuel Alloytec V6 engine is now available in VE Omega, Berlina and Commodore V-Series special edition models. The 3.6-litre engine, built at Holden’s Port Melbourne Global V6 plant, runs on both petrol and LPG and delivers easy transition from petrol to LPG while driving, with only a small power difference.
VE LPG powered sedans produce peak power of 175 kW @ 6000 rpm (petrol 180 kW @ 6000 rpm) and peak torque is 325 Nm @ 2600 rpm (petrol 330 Nm @ 2600 rpm). I guess losing 5kW and 5Nm isn’t too bad! I have to give credit where its due and these figures are not bad. Holden Executive Director, Engineering, Tony Hyde, said the dual-fuel engine option gave customers an economical choice to petrol, without large sacrifices in performance.
He said there was widespread interest in LPG options given the fluctuating price of petrol.
“Dual-fuel engines provide a tremendous range and can significantly reduce running costs, a dual-fuel VE sedan range can be more than 1100km and if customers travel around 30,000kms annually, running on LPG can save more than $1000 year depending on fuel prices and driving style.
“ The option of two tanks also offers the flexibility to run on LPG and fill up with petrol when the driver chooses – or to run on petrol should LPG be unavailable.” He said.
Mr Hyde said the Federal Government’s $2000 LPG rebate was also a strong incentive for private customers to explore the $3900 dual-fuel option. Private purchasers of Holden’s dual-fuel engine are eligible for the $2000 rebate because fitting is done post vehicle production at HSVi.
LPG fuel economy on dual-fuel Omega and Berlina models is 16.0 litres per 100km and petrol is 11.7 litres per 100km. The increased petrol outcome in dual-fuel engine models (VE petrol only Omega and Berlina models return 10.9 litres per 100km) is due to the weight of the gas cylinder (just under100kg).
Holden’s LPG unit is an advanced Sequential Vapour Gas Injection (SVGI) system, which injects gas directly into the engine, mimicking the petrol injection sequence. It has automatic changeover to LPG is via seamless cylinder-by-cylinder activation and provides an automatic change back to petrol at low LPG levels.
In VE sedans, a cylindrical gas tank is located in the boot and usable LPG tank volume is 73 litres. The 73 litre petrol tank remains unchanged. Dual-fuel models are c overed by Holden’s three-year/100,000km new vehicle warranty and are fully tested for safety and crash worthiness. A ll vehicle safety systems (inc Electronic Stability Program®) are retained.
There is no difference to service intervals and little difference to service costs, with an LPG vapour filter requiring replacement every 15,000 kms, and a liquid filter every 120,000 kms.
Holden’s dual-fuel Alloytec V6 engine is available on the following vehicles:
Dual-fuel Alloytec V6 engine option price:
Federal Government rebate of $2000 applies.