Fours? Of course
Holden rules everything in for the next Commodore
HOLDEN’S boss has not ruled out the return of a fourcylinder Commodore.
As the locally built fourcylinder Cruze keeps climbing the sales charts, chairman and managing director Mike Devereux (pictured) says the company would be ‘‘ stupid’’ not to look at every option for its next generation.
More aluminium panels and development of the underbody aerodynamic work completed for VE Series II are among the changes likely for the next Commodore. Devereux says it will be lighter, thus more frugal, and could have a four-cylinder powerplant in the engine bay.
In the early 1980s, at a time of high oil prices, VC and VH Commodores had a 1.9-litre Starfire four.
‘‘ We’re reducing our fuel consumption and headed for mid-8 litres per 100km, globally for the size of vehicle,’’ Devereux says. ‘‘ Compared to other kinds of family cars, the Commodore is a fantastic package and that’s why it’s the best-selling car in the country.
‘‘ We want to make it even more fuel-friendly. The next-generation products (are likely to have) four-cylinder products, maybe sixes and eights as well.
‘‘ We’re talking next-gen, we would be stupid not to look at every option on the table. We’re not ruling anything out.
‘‘ What we have to do is to design a car to appeal to enough Australians to be the best-selling car in the country.
‘‘ That’s the brief, that’s our goal, we want to be the best car company in Australia.’’
Asked whether such a move would depend on how Ford’s EcoBoost turbo four Falcon sells, he says: ‘‘ A lot will hinge on a tonne of factors over the next four or five years.’’
The company’s ethanol-fuel strategy is well under way. The last of its V6s, the 3.6-litre used in its high-end Commodore and Caprice models, will be E85 capable by the end of the year.
The first of Holden’s electric-drive vehicles will be the Volt, wearing a Holden badge, but the enthusiastic Holden boss warns it won’t come cheap.
‘‘ It’s not going to sell 1000 a month but it’s not a science experiment— it shows what we can do,’’ he says.
‘‘ It’s not going to be an inexpensive car, compared to a Cruze or perhaps even a Commodore. (Second generation electric vehicles) should see costs come down.
‘‘ They are more expensive than conventional vehicles but it is a demonstration of what we can do.’’
Pressed on what fuel-saving technologies might come in the Commodore, he says the company has access to all the fuel-saving technologies in the GMportfolio.