Ri­valry des­tined to con­tinue

The Advertiser - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE -

A CLEARER pic­ture of the fu­ture Holden ver­sus Ford bat­tle has emerged af­ter two sig­nif­i­cant cars were un­veiled in Detroit this week.

While the V8 per­for­mance sedan might be dead for both brands, they are work­ing on twin-turbo V6 power and all­wheel-drive to re­place the iconic Holden Com­modore SS and Ford Fal­con XR8.

The 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 un­veiled in the Buick Avista (said to point to a suc­ces­sor to the Holden Monaro, see our Detroit cov­er­age) is slated to be used in other high per­for­mance Gen­eral Mo­tors ve­hi­cles such as the Opel In­signia sedan that will pro­vide the un­der­pin­nings of the 2018 Com­modore.

The new Com­modore will also take styling cues from the Buick LaCrosse sedan.

Mean­while the 2.7-litre twin turbo V6 with all-wheel-drive un­veiled in the Ford Fu­sion Sport sedan is just a taste of more to come.

The Fu­sion is the US name for the car we know as the Mon­deo and Ford of Europe is re­port­edly work­ing on an even hot­ter ver­sion of the car headed for global mar­kets, in­clud­ing Aus­tralia.

Dubbed “Mon­deo ST” and sit­ting above the Fi­esta ST and Fo­cus ST, the new model is ex­pected to have a larger and more pow­er­ful twin-turbo V6 matched to all-wheel-drive.

Ford’s global mar­ket­ing and sales boss Steve Odell told web­site Auto Ex­press he be­lieved there was room to ex­pand the com­pany’s high- per­for­mance range brand be­yond the Fo­cus RS model due here later this year.

While ex­act power fig­ures for ei­ther model are yet to be con­firmed, well placed Holden sources say the twin-turbo Com­modore SS re­place­ment will pump out close to or in ex­cess of 300kW, on par with the cur­rent Com­modore’s lat­est Corvette-sourced V8.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Holden and Ford de­clined to com­ment on fu­ture model plans, but ex­ec­u­tives for both brands have pre­vi­ously said there will be a re­place­ment for the iconic per­for­mance sedans.

There are two caveats though: they are un­likely to of­fer the same blis­ter­ing per­for­mance as the cur­rent V8 mod­els (0 to 100km/h in 5 sec­onds or less), and they are un­likely to be as af­ford­able as to­day’s hero cars, which start at $45,000 for the Com­modore SS.

It’s un­clear how read­ily Aus­tralians will em­brace twin­turbo V6 power in lieu of their beloved V8s.

More than one-third of all Com­modores sold last year were V8s and Ford had to dou­ble pro­duc­tion of the su­per­charged Fal­con XR8 af­ter ini­tially un­der-call­ing de­mand.

Or­ders for the Ford Mus­tang were also four times higher than ex­pected, with 4000 cus­tomers in the 12-month wait­ing list. Ford ini­tially thought the four-cylin­der Mus­tang would be the topseller in Aus­tralia be­cause of its price, but 90 per cent of the first 4000 or­ders are for the V8.

Ford’s Fu­sion V6 Sport hints at a high-per­for­mance Mon­deo.

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