No Series II for VE Commodore

The adoption of the new SIDI V6 engines is cause enough for fanfare, says Holden -- who needs the Series II hoopla?

Holden says it's committed to technical upgrades of its Commodore large-car range, but will delay design and styling tweaks until its MY2011 update.

Though an official announcement on MY2010 Commodore and long-wheelbase range is not expected until late this month or early September, Holden rolled out a single updated Omega model at this morning's high-tech engine launch.

Outgoing boss Mark Reuss and other Holden execs would not be drawn on the under-the-skin detailed changes of the latest car. They stated, however, that along with the powertrain updates detailed elsewhere, the car will be revised in other ways.

"Let me tell you today," said Reuss, "that we are making good on our promise of reinvesting every three or four months with a new engine technology or alternative fuel technology into our Commodore range -- right here at Fishermans Bend."

That's more or less in line with Holden's recent update activities, for which technical and specification changes have been rolled out in a production line timetable, rather than a stop, cheer and wave the flag marketing process.

In a subsequent Q&A session, Reuss admitted that the Commodore would be refreshed in due course, but wouldn't commit to a date for that.

"This car needs to be freshened on a cycle that our... customers tell us it needs to be. I would say though that this car sells on style today -- and it still sells on style today. Our design -- our aesthetic design -- in Holden, in Port Melbourne, is quite frankly second to nothing in the world. The talent that we retain here, the capability that we have here demonstrates the almost timeliness of this design."

The updated Commodore that will go on sale next month benefits not only from the new powertrains outlined in today's release, but a number of detail changes.

Holden's Director of Energy and Environment, Richard Marshall, would not comment in detail, but confirmed there's more to the Commodore's better fuel consumption figures than just the new engines.

"You've got the SIDI engine and all the technology on that, the six-speed transmission, low rolling resistance tyres but there are a bunch of other things as well," he told the Carsales Network.

"Those [fuel consumption] numbers are for the [production] car as certified... There's a bit a weight coming out progressively. Some of it we have to tie to major upgrades – like the [new DI V6’s] cylinder."

Visually, the car on display today differs little from the current Omega. The key difference is the use of twin exhausts and the application of SIDI badges to the front guards and bootlid. Keen observers will also spot new alloys that will be standard on the updated base model.

Changes to the Berlina and other higher-grade short- and long-wheelbase models will have to wait until Holden's official unveiling later this month. 

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Published : Tuesday, 4 August 2009
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