VE NEEDS KICK ALONG

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Letters -

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.

Ed

NIS­SAN DOR­MANT

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.

Ed

PORSCHE SPICE

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.

FORD FO­CUS

Matt Ryan

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.

DRIVEN IN­SANE

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.

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