Holden Rules Out Diesel For Commodore, Paddle Shifters May Come

Karl Peskett | May 29, 2013

Holden has ruled out the possibility of a diesel engine for its new VF Commodore, pointing to a lack of options and an already efficient petrol range.

Speaking with TMR this week, VF program engineering manager Andrew Holmes said that after lengthy consideration, a suitable diesel option has not been found.

“For the last five years on and off, we’ve been looking at putting a diesel into the Commodore,” Mr Holmes said.

“But we haven’t yet found one in the GM stable that gives us what we would consider a good fit for this car.”

Greg Tyus, director of engineering, explained further:

“Putting a diesel, any diesel, into the Commodore wasn’t going to be cheap and would almost certainly add several thousand dollars to the car. You need to recoup that extra cost in fuel savings.”

“As it stands, we’ve already dropped fuel use with the standard petrol engines, and dropped the price of the car, so a diesel doesn’t make sense right now.”

You could however soon see the return of paddle shifters to the Commodore in future performance models.

Paddle shifters were first introduced on the VZ Commodore in 2004, but limited to higher-output V6 models. The setup was dropped in 2006 with the VE Commodore.

But, with the 6L80 MYC transmission in action with this new range, the addition of paddle shifts for the VF Commodore is again a compelling argument.

Indeed, at the launch of the VF Commodore in Canberra this week, Mr Holmes stopped short of confirming the introduction of paddle-shifters to future Commodores, stating only that they "may be" coming.

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Filed under: Featured, Holden, holden commodore, diesel, News, interview

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  • GT says,
    2 years ago
    Hi Karl,

    Do you know if the 6L80 MYC transmission in the VF is a carry over from the VE or is the 6L80 MYC transmission an updated unit?

    • Mike Stevens
      Mike Stevens [TMR] says,
      2 years ago
      Karl sez; "My understanding is that the transmission is carried over from VE but with heaps of work done to refine the shift quality."

      You'll read more about it in our review tomorrow.

  • Chest Rockjaw says,
    2 years ago
    Stupid move not adding a diesel. The Sportswagon also needs an integrated 7 seat option, in-built booster seats and a load bearing roller luggage net. As it stands the commodore is one big fat and dumb gorilla. Not good enough Holden.
    • Undercover says,
      2 years ago
      Why is everyone hell bent on Diesel in small-large cars!!! SUV's and 4WD's I can understand but not your family sedans.

      You need to do the figures and really work out the cost!!
      The fowling was posted by FYI on TMR 'Family SUV' Comparison Test.


      Just ordered me a new X-trail petrol! after comparing petrol vs diesel. take the two base X-trails into account. The cost to purchase (used nissan.com for there prices) the service cost over 120,000km (capped price service) and fuel cost for those 120,000km (does not include increase in fuel cost)
      So petrol ST with CVT $39,177. Fuel cost $1.44/lt @9.1lt/100km over 120,000km = $15,720. Service cost for same time = $4138 totalling $59,035.

      And a diesel TS Auto $42,824. Fuel cost $1.54/lt @7.1lt/100km over 120,000km = $13,668. Service cost for same time = $4430 totalling $60,922.

      This is a difference of $1,887. there is a lot of other factors but as diesel engine reliability is average ill stick with petrol.

      And this is the principle that Nissan are using for its new V8 Patrol
    • MR5LTR says,
      2 years ago
      Are you on drugs?
      • Undercover says,
        2 years ago
        1 like

        What drugs. Facts are facts.

        If you can judge then back it up!
    • MotorMouth says,
      2 years ago
      1 like
      Disiesel makes absolutely no sense for Australia at any level. If you want more power you can buy a V8 and if you want to save money you have the option of LPG. Where does disiesel fit into this reality? Holden already tune their V6's to make bags of torque at low revs - peak torque of 350Nm in the 3.6 litre V6 arrives at 2800rpm - how are you going to do much better with a disiesel?

      It only became popular in Europe because it was 10c a litre cheaper than petrol. Here it is 7c-8c a litre more expensive, because it is made from imported heavy crude, so it simply doesn't make sense. Now that disiesel is the same price as petrol in Europe, both BMW and Mercedes-Benz have said they are not putting any more effort into it. How stupid would Holden be to buck that trend?
      • Tocam says,
        2 years ago
        There's definitely a place for diesel cars in the market.

        First of all, regardless of the premium price point for a drive away diesel model compared to the petrol, they deliver better fuel efficiencies in real life driving compared to petrol, despite manufacturers constantly selling us the "perception" of them being equally efficient when it's not (catalogue says 7l/100km but it's actually almost 9l/100km in real life driving). Diesel gives you more range, however you do need to drive a lot more to pay-off the price difference of the petrol equivalent.

        The above arguement, everyone knows about and is the point everyone tries to justify over and over again. But again, diesel still has a play in the market.

        People who are looking at towing will definitely look at the overall power delivery of a diesel engine, true, the 3.6l petrol delivers max torque at 2800rpm, but that's 800rpm more than a diesel being able to deliver from almost stand-still at approx. 2000rpm. You would say it's not much difference in the rev-band, true, but not true, there is a massive difference between towing from stand-still vs. being able to deliver power while towing, esp. going uphill, and those variation in rpm do make a huge difference.

        When comparing the fuel price between Petrol and Diesel, yes, Petrol is cheaper, but mostly only evident for one of those days in the week where we get lower Petrol prices, at any other day, they are only a few cents off. Plus, more than 50% of new Petrol cars on the road requires you to fill up with Premium 95/98 octane fuel, so the price for those are even more comparable to Diesel.

        I think of buying a Diesel car as just buying another model of the car, just like how there are differentiation between a standard and a luxury, I mean, I could argue the same point, why spend $5-8k more on a luxury model with navigation and leather when you could buy an aftermarket navigation headunit for only
        • Undercover says,
          2 years ago
          Tomcat, i don't disputed the fact that there is a place for diesel in Oz.
          4X4's and SUV's have a big advantage for diesel engines, although i don't see a cost advantage in smaller cars. There are more and more turbo petrol engines with the same tech used in common rail diesel bringing good fuel figures and great power.
    • Fred says,
      2 months ago
      No your a dumb f***, 7 seats can u afford to have that many kids? Diesel would slow the performance of the commodore and drive up the retail price, services cost more also
      Also the new Diesel engines are not made any stronger than a good petrol engine, so ya car would stil turn to s*** after 230,000ks
      Do u call 9L/100 bad fuel economy on a vx wagon?
      Don't be a tight a*** f*** ya diesel they are s***
  • Kieran says,
    2 years ago
    I so want a flappy paddle gearbox for my Commodore! laugh
  • FrugalOne says,
    2 years ago
    What a load of c#ap.

    Opel and VM Motori have plenty of diesels that would fit and work perfectly in the Commodore

    Just dont want to take the risk with it, fair enough
    • PhilR says,
      2 years ago
      Hi Guys

      The 3.0L V6 VM engine in my Jeep would suit it fine

      177K and 550Nm (1800-4000)

      7.8 L / 100 on a run

  • donk1 says,
    2 years ago
    Holden, you can add a diesel engine to the Commodore easily. You have engines available from your VM motori parent company. You can also source diesels from GM US, including Diesels produced by Cheverolet , Buick etc. You have been testing diesel Commodore mules for yrs! Why do Ford, Holden & Toyota Australia have an aversion to adding extra diesels to their vehicle ranges when the market demands more fuel efficient larger cars? There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON why a 4 cyl. Common rail turbo diesel cannot be added to a Commodore, Falcon, Camry or Aurion . Engines with a capacity of 2.5-3.00 ltrs with power outputs from 140-180 kw & 450-700 nm torque. Too late for the Falcon, but not for Commodore,Camry or Aurion!
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