Epica power strug­gle

Holden’s gone turbo, writes JAMES STAN­FORD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Big Wheels -

ASTRONG diesel en­gine and safety up­grades have strength­ened Holden’s Camry. The GM Dae­woo-sourced Epica has al­ways been rea­son­ably good value, but its pri­mary weak­ness was its lack of en­gine power.

Two ob­scure in-line six-cylin­der en­gines, which were mounted side­ways, pro­duced less power than com­pa­ra­ble four-cylin­ders.

The 2.5-litre six-cylin­der en­gine stays, but Holden has given the wheezy 2.0-litre six the flick and re­placed it with a meaty 2.0-litre turbo diesel. Made by Ital­ian com­pany VM Mo­tori, it is a com­mon-rail turbo diesel with a vari­able ge­om­e­try tur­bocharger.

It pro­duces 110kW at 4000 revs, but the im­por­tant fig­ure is the 320Nm, which comes on stream at only 2000 revs.

The diesel is linked to a six-speed au­to­matic and is not avail­able with a man­ual.

Its of­fi­cial fuel con­sump­tion fig­ure is 7.6 litres/100km. That com­pares to 9.3l/100km for the 2.5-litre petrol six.

The petrol en­gine was de­signed by Porsche but that doesn’t make it very sporty, with an out­put of 115kW and rat­ing of 237Nm.

It comes stan­dard with a six-speed au­to­matic and there is no man­ual op­tion.

Holden has taken the op­por­tu­nity to fit the Epica with elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol as well as six airbags, which brings it into line with the Com­modore.

The Epica is built off the same base as the 1997 Dae­woo Le­ganza, but en­gi­neers have made sig­nif­i­cant re­vi­sions along the way. Holden has given the car a spe­cial sus­pen­sion tune, chang­ing the spring and dam­per rates as well as al­ter­ing the power steer­ing as­sis­tance set­tings.

New equip­ment in­cludes a steer­ing wheel that can be ad­justed up and down and in and out.

The range starts of with the CDX petrol at $27,990 and CDX diesel at $29,990. CDXi ver­sions of both are avail­able for $3000.

Stan­dard equip­ment for the base CDX model in­cludes elec­tric win­dows, 16-inch al­loy wheels, air­con­di­tion­ing, cruise con­trol and sin­gle CD sound with aux­il­iary in­put.

Holden its ground: the Epica is fit­ted with elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol and has six airbags, which brings it into line with the Com­modore.

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