Holden fu­els par­adise

GMH has some big plans for the Com­modore, writes PAULGOVER

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

ACOMMODORE with fuel econ­omy to ri­val a Toy­ota Corolla is un­der de­vel­op­ment at GM Holden. It will not hap­pen in­stantly, or as a sin­gle me­chan­i­cal up­date, but the plan is to have a fam­ily six with world-class econ­omy as soon as pos­si­ble.

The first step is cylin­der de-ac­ti­va­tion — a sys­tem to cut in­di­vid­ual cylin­ders un­der low en­gine loads to re­duce fuel con­sump­tion — which is al­ready in­stalled in Com­modores ex­ported to the US as Pontiac G8s.

It is likely to be fit­ted to do­mes­tic ver­sions within three months and Holden has no ex­pla­na­tion as to why it is not al­ready avail­able.

But GM Holden has much big­ger plans for the Com­modore and is stack­ing up en­gine tech­nolo­gies which could in­clude an en­gine-stop sys­tem for city driv­ing, an elec­tric wa­ter pump, on-de­mand al­ter­na­tor, E85 ethanol com­pat­i­bil­ity and hy­brid-style en­ergy re­cov­ery.

‘‘If we do it right it will be $2000 less on fuel than a cur­rent Toy­ota Corolla,’’ GM Holden chair­man Mark Reuss says.

It’s a chal­lenge for Holden, but GM says forth­com­ing tech­nol­ogy could boost econ­omy by more than 20 per cent above cur­rent lev­els. Reuss won’t spec­ify but prom­ises im­prove­ments to the Com­modore’s V6 and V8s.

‘‘If you look at what we have from later this year, from a tech­nol­ogy po­si­tion, it’s all aimed at Com­modore. We’re go­ing to aim to have it all over the next three years. We would like to have a new tech­nol­ogy ev­ery three or four months.’’

He says cylin­der de­ac­ti­va­tion will be first and be­lieves it will make a big dif­fer­ence.

‘‘That’s one of the pri­or­i­ties. There are about four other tech­nolo­gies that are go­ing to be done in the next four years that are pretty good,’’ he says.

But Reuss will not be drawn on an of­fi­cial litre/100km ob­jec­tive for the Com­modore.

‘‘We do’t have a fuel econ­omy tar­get. We have a CO2 tar­get and I would like to get the fleet un­der 180g/km,’’ he says.

‘‘I pre­fer to set up our tar­gets with CO2 tar­gets, be­cause fuel econ­omy comes. CO2 drives the right be­hav­iour . . . to get the right pow­er­train with the right tech­nol­ogy.’’

Reuss be­lieves an econ­omy boost will keep peo­ple in the big-car class de­spite the grow­ing shift to small cars in Aus­tralia.

‘‘We’ve got to cover the small seg­ment, but peo­ple don’t aban­don large cars be­cause they want a small one. It’s be­cause it be­comes un­sus­tain­able,’’ he says.

Big plans: the Com­modore fam­ily’s en­gine tech­nolo­gies could in­clude an en­gine-stop sys­tem for city driv­ing and an elec­tric wa­ter pump.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.