G8 glim­mer of hope

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - Front Page -

ALL is not lost with the ax­ing of the Pon­tiac brand this week. Gen­eral Motors has an­nounced the end of Pon­tiac as part of its rad­i­cal re­struc­tur­ing as it stares bank­ruptcy in the face.

It also means the end of the lu­cra­tive ex­ports of left hand drive and re­badged VE Holden Com­modores as Pon­tiac G8s.

But south­ern re­ports sug­gest V8 Com­modores could be head­ing state­side, badged as Chevro­let cop cars.

US po­lice forces cur­rently use age­ing V8 rear-drive Crown Vic­to­ria cars built by Ford.

But the Blue Oval is end­ing pro­duc­tion of the Yank Tank, so step in V8 VEs.

Ear­lier last month a hi-tech Pon­tiac G8 po­lice car with full equip­ment and Los An­ge­les Po­lice Depart­ment ( LAPD) black and white liv­ery was shown at a po­lice con­fer­ence in Syd­ney (pic­tured be­low).

It was met with en­thu­si­asm by the LAPD and other US po­lice chiefs.

The LAPD pro­to­type was pro­duced with the help of Mel­bourne-based Na­tional Safety Agency which is now show­ing the ve­hi­cle to the Royal Cana­dian Mounted Po­lice. The south­ern re­ports sug­gest up to 40,000 Chevro­let-based Com­modore po­lice ve­hi­cles could be ex­ported each year to the US with Canada, the UK and the Mid­dle East show­ing in­ter­est as well.

It’s more than the 30,000 Pon­tiac G8s which were sched­uled to be de­liv­ered to the US an­nu­ally.

GM Holden is down­play­ing the ex­port po­ten­tial, erring on the side of cau­tion.

Al­ready po­lice-pack Com­modores go to New Zealand and V8 States­mans are used in the Mid­dle East as po­lice cars.


CAIRNS Es­planade res­i­dent and cy­clist Mick Storrs has given up us­ing the Es­planade cy­cle track.

Re­act­ing to my piece in last week­end’s col­umn, Mr Storrs ( pic­tured right) said he too had been forced to dodge other cy­clists, rollerbladers and skate­board­ers.

“Peo­ple just ig­nore th­ese signs and com­pli­ance with them is not en­forced,” he said in an email.

“As for the bike track, it’s a joint-user fa­cil­ity, as there are no signs say­ing that it’s ‘bikes only’, al­though the bike sym­bol on the track makes this fairly ob­vi­ous.

“The fact is that all users are at fault and, un­til such time as the se­cu­rity peo­ple ex­tend their area of sur­veil­lance from the la­goon, this prob­lem will per­sist.

“I now ride through Aeroglen, Fresh­wa­ter and back over the Brinsmead hill through Edge Hill most evenings.

“It’s an hour’s ride and I re­turn home … re­laxed, not hav­ing to deal with selfish, rude and ig­no­rant peo­ple.”


CARS­GUIDE reader Ge­off Hoff says six cylin­der car mo­torists do not have to buy cars with the cylin­der de­ac­ti­va­tion sys­tem to achieve good fuel econ­omy.

In last week­end’s edi­tion there was a re­port about an in­de­pen­dent motoring ex­pert driv­ing a $39,990 Honda Ac­cord V6, which has a sys­tem al­low­ing the en­gine to run on three or four cylin­ders dur­ing pe­ri­ods of low power de­liv­ery. The re­sult was over­all econ­omy of 7.22 litres/100km be­tween Mel­bourne and Syd­ney

But Mr Hoff says his $38,990 Toy­ota Au­rion Sportivo SX6 (an ex­am­ple is pic­tured above) can achieve sim­i­lar econ­omy without such a sys­tem.

“Re­cently we drove from Cairns to Mackay and back, with an overnight stay in Mackay. The round trip was just over 1600km.

“Our tank aver­ages were 7.8, 7.7, 7.9 etc and I be­lieve we showed 7.6 dur­ing one leg of the trip.

“Th­ese fig­ures are only slightly bet­ter than we achieved on the same trip when the 40,000km car was only months old. The fig­ures were achieved with only a pass­ing re­gard for econ­omy.”

Mr Hoff said he had four adults on board at a cruise con­trolled speed of about 100km/h.

“I would be in­ter­ested to check the econ­omy of our ve­hi­cle un­der sim­i­lar con­di­tions to the trip noted in the ar­ti­cle,” he said.

“I feel con­fi­dent it could match that econ­omy, given that the road be­tween Cairns and Mackay is not what you would call a free­way, call­ing for full throt­tle pass­ing ma­noeu­vres at fre­quent in­ter­vals.

“I read a sim­i­lar ar­ti­cle about the V8 Holden with cylin­der de­ac­ti­va­tion. What a point­less ex­er­cise, with a sav­ing of per­haps one or two litres per 100km.”


TOY­OTA has moved into the top 10 of the world’s lead­ing 500 brands, ac­cord­ing to a study by an in­ter­na­tional con­sul­tancy firm.

The Global 500 re­port, com­piled by Brand Fi­nance plc, said Toy­ota re­tained its sta­tus as the world’s most valu­able au­to­mo­tive brand and the premier Asian brand.

“De­spite the global slow­down of ve­hi­cle sales, Toy­ota con­tin­ued to in­vest in the de­sign and man­u­fac­tur­ing of en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly hy­brid ve­hi­cles,” the Global 500 re­port said.

Toy­ota’s brand value, the mea­sure of the brand’s fi­nan­cial strength, was cal­cu­lated at $US22 bil­lion, lift­ing it from 13th to 10th place in the Global 500.

Toy­ota’s brand rat­ing was lifted from AA to AAA. The sec­ond-ranked auto man­u­fac­turer, BMW, had a brand value of $US13.7 bil­lion, down more than 20 per cent from $US17.2 bil­lion. Wal­mart was num­ber one, ris­ing from fourth po­si­tion to re­place Coca-Cola.

Nick Dal­ton, Ph: 4052 6661, email: dal­[email protected] tcp.newsltd.com.au Scott Rider, Ph: 4052 6916, mo­bile O422 525 545, email rid­[email protected] tcp.newsltd. Peter Roggenkamp, Ph: 0418 184 456, email: [email protected]­pond.com cars­guide is a spe­cial pub­li­ca­tion of The Cairns Post custom pub­lish­ing divi­sion

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