Holden turns up the heat
A potential secret weapon has been caught in camo in the high country
HOLDEN is on the road to recovery after posting a record $553 million loss for 2013 as sales fell to a 20-year low.
Eagle-eyed Carsguide readers have snapped Holden testing a secret new model likely to be added to its smallcar line-up.
The camouflaged car was spotted on the NSW and Victorian Alps by readers from both states.
It’s a re-nosed version of the Opel Corsa OPC hot hatch — which is yet to be released in Europe, thus the disguise.
Wearing Victorian numberplates and steered by Holden engineers, the hatch is understood to be here for development and validation work for the General Motors European division.
But Carsguide understands the testing also will give Holden engineers valuable time behind the wheel to recommend any changes for local conditions.
Last week Holden announced it was going to import the Cascada convertible, the medium-sized Insignia sedan and some three-door versions of the new Astra.
Holden also ended speculation about the future of its historic test track at Lang Lang — on which every Holden since 1958 has been developed — saying it would keep its sacred site to test future imports.
These photos show that General Motors is serious about keeping an engineering hub at Holden, and that it’s not afraid to venture on to public roads for real-world testing.
Holden is yet to announce whether the Corsa OPC will be introduced locally. However it would round out Holden’s range, as the Barina RS is more of a warm hatch than a true rival to the Ford Fiesta ST, Peugeot 208 GTI, Renault Clio RS and Volkswagen Polo GTI.
A more diverse model range is part of Holden’s ambitious plan to overtake Toyota as the No.1 brand by 2020.
Currently selling a little over half the tally of market leading Toyota, Holden last led the market 11 years ago. But the local company is now searching the General Motors world to boost its model range and rejuvenate showrooms.
High hopes: Opel Corsa OPC being tested in the Victorian Alps (above) and the current European version