Fours? Of course

Holden rules ev­ery­thing in for the next Com­modore

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News - STU­ART MARTIN stu­art.martin@cars­

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.

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