Old ri­vals square off

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News - Paul Gover Na­tional edi­tor

THE old warhorses of the Aus­tralian car busi­ness— Ford and Holden— are at it again this week. They can­not help start­ing a stoush when their dead­li­est ri­val has some­thing im­por­tant hap­pen­ing.

So, in the same week Team Red rips the cov­ers off the Se­ries II ver­sion of its VE Com­modore, the mem­bers of Team Blue have news on the Coy­ote V8 for the lat­est Ford Per­for­mance Ve­hi­cles tweak. Ex­cept that it’s now called Mi­ami . . . It’s clas­sic stuff and a re­minder of the im­por­tance of cars— and home-grown hero cars— to Aus­tralians.

The FPV V8 num­bers are im­pres­sive and so is news that the en­gine could be re-ex­ported to the US af­ter the lo­cal tweak­ing that in­cludes a su­per­charger pack­age from the classy Har­rop En­gi­neer­ing.

Most peo­ple, in­clud­ing cars­Guide, ex­pected FPV to take most of the en­gine up­grade from Amer­ica, but the com­pany has spent $40 mil­lion do­ing the job on home ground.

It’s just a pity that the up­com­ing FPV GT will not have much in the way of vis­ual changes to flag its bench­mark per­for­mance.

Over at Holden, it’s a big week with VE II and news of a fresh ex­port pro­gram to Brazil, com­plete with a sales cam­paign built around motorsport leg­end Emer­son Fit­ti­paldi.

We’ve known for more than a year that Holden’s big fo­cus for VE II is what it calls flex-fuel en­gines, with the abil­ity to run on E85 ethanol fuel. It’s the same stuff which has been used by the V8 Su­per­car racer since the start of last year.

Cars­Guide is not con­vinced the E85 abil­ity will win too many pri­vate buy­ers, with only a hand­ful of ser­vice sta­tions cur­rently pump­ing the stuff and range lim­i­ta­tions for the fuel.

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