Old rivals square off
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.