Epica power struggle
Holden’s gone turbo, writes JAMES STANFORD
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.