VE NEEDS KICK ALONG
THE VE model is two years old. Holden previously has released an update or a new model every two years. What’s the go with the VE?
Holden says there’ll be no Series 2 VE because it affects resale values, so changes along the way are what we see. But I can’t see it releasing a VF next year for one year (the new Commodore is listed for 2010).
So is Holden going to run the VE for four years? Or is the VF coming in the final quarter this year?
Surely the 9.5 upgrade with white gauge display, rearview camera on wagon option, 180kW V6 down to 175kW to meet emission rules would be the reason. With sales so low, the VE needs an upgrade now. David Johnson
email GM Holden does not share the detail of its forward model plans with me, but the next big update on the Commodore will be for efficiency. That should happen this year. There is likely to be a midlife tickle next year, but remember, the factory is also gearing for such things as lefthand-drive models and exports to new countries. And with sales down there is less money for update work.
NO ARGUMENTS about the new GT-R, it’s a great car. But why stretch the truth over Nissan’s claim of a new Nurburgring benchmark of 7min 29sec? That’s six seconds faster than the mighty Porsche GT2. The GTR has 353kW compared to the GT2’s 390kW. Even more incredible is the weight difference of 290kg in favour of the lighter GT2.
How much slower would the Porsche be if you put six bags of cement in the seat next to the driver? Christopher Byrne
email I amcovering the claims and counterclaims from Nissan and Porsche as they come to me. The German company is accusing the Japanese of using non-standard tyres for the claimed record of 7min 25sec. It should all become clear eventually, but probably not until the two cars line up side by side at Nurburgring.
SO PORSCHE is still trying to discredit GT-R’s fastest road-car lap at Nurburgring. Perhaps it should retest to make things more even. Both should use the same tyres and driver on the same day under the same track conditions.
But to really make things fair, Porsche should use a car of equal price to the GT-R. Would that make things more even for the Porsche boys? I don’t think so. All hail the GT-R.
email PAUL Gover got it right with his blunt comments about Ford Australia’s management since Geoff Polites left the helm. As a long-time Ford owner and fan, I have been frustrated by the company’s presentation and lacklustre performance when it has a lot to crow about.
My most recent Ford was a BA XR6 turbo ute, one of the best vehicles I’ve owned. Alas, needs change and I now drive the outstanding Range Rover Sport V6 diesel. Ford owned this incredible vehicle, and I can’t understand why Falcons weren’t fitted with this amazing engine a couple of years ago.
I wish new Ford boss Marin Burela all the best because Ford Australia needs a huge injection of brainpower. Gil Trease
email After my first talk with Burela I am optimistic, because he is a genuine car guy who knows the strengths around the Ford world. If anyone can break the ‘‘Falcon car company’’ cycle he looks like the one.
IN ONE of your previous issues, motorcycle legend Mick Doohan was spot-on in describing Australian motoring.
There’s a vast display of driving without any class, from abusive P-platers to dangerous oldies who change lanes whenever they want and without signalling.
It’s too bad many driving schools only teach their students how to pass licence tests and not truly safe, proper driving. The licensing process is so neglectfully structured and the police focus only on drink-driving and speeding.
People drive three times as fast on German highways yet fewer of them die behind the wheel. It’s not true that speed kills. Rather, it’s stupidity.
If there’s a genuine pursuit to reduce road tolls, we really have a lot to learn from Europe. Al Juraj email
Forward role: the future is uncertain for the Commodore VE.