Ded­i­cated to gas

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - Front Page -

HOLDEN de­vel­oped a “raft of lo­cal en­gi­neer­ing so­lu­tions” for the new LPG Com­modore to im­prove drive­abil­ity and to cut run­ning costs so it would ap­peal to all driv­ers – not just taxis. Holden claims the LPG car costs roughly the same to run as a small or medium-sized petrol car.

Holden engineers clocked up some 1.3 mil­lion de­vel­op­ment kilo­me­tres in the LPG Com­modore and pro­duced 78 test­ing and eval­u­a­tion pro­to­types. They eval­u­ated liq­uid and vapour­in­jec­tion LPG sys­tems, opt­ing for vapour in­jec­tion. Ac­cord­ing to Holden, vapour in­jec­tion pro­vides lower fuel con­sump­tion and lower CO2 emis­sions com­pared to liq­uid, while vapour also uses fuel more ef­fi­ciently with fewer pump­ing and par­a­sitic losses. Holden says vapour sys­tems are less me­chan­i­cally de­mand­ing and there­fore bet­ter suited to the vary­ing grades of LPG fuel found across Australia. Ford, which uses Liq­uid LPG in­jec­tion on its LPI Fal­con, has a dif­fer­ent view.

The heart of the LPG Com­modore is the 3.6-litre, dou­ble over­head cam V6 en­gine, with four valves per cylin­der.

This en­gine has been redesigned to run solely on LPG and there­fore has al­lowed for de­sign op­ti­mi­sa­tion in sev­eral key ar­eas.

As LPG con­tains a higher oc­tane rat­ing than petrol, new pis­tons of an op­ti­mised de­sign have been used to raise the com­pres­sion ra­tio to 12.2:1 to take full ad­van­tage of LPG fuel.

A par­tic­u­lar high­light of the ded­i­cated LPG Com­modore is the new six-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. Lighter, smarter and more re­fined, this new trans­mis­sion has so­phis­ti­cated con­trol soft­ware that op­ti­mises shift pat­terns to pro­vide out­stand­ing drive­abil­ity. It pro­duces 180kw of power and 320Nm of torque.

In Omega spec­i­fi­ca­tion, it records 11.8 litres/100km on the ADR com­bined cy­cle and the LPG range scores 4.5 stars from the Green Ve­hi­cle Guide and ex­ceeds pro­jected Euro 6 ex­haust emis­sions stan­dards.

Tour­ing range is about 700km from the 84-litre alu­minium tank that re­sides be­hind the rear axle to op­ti­mise boot space.

Ded­i­cated LPG is avail­able across a range of Com­modore sedans, Sport­wag­ons utes and long wheel­base Caprice.

The ad­di­tional cost is $2500 with a Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment re­bate of $2000 avail­able.

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