In response to a rapidly changing automotive landscape Holden has revealed that it is looking to inject some green into its up-sized Commodore range. With sales of large cars on the slide in Australia, Holden is looking to improve efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint of its big family sedan.
According to General Motors group vice president Nick Reilly, Commodore could feature a hybrid drivetrain as early as 2010 and he suggested that it may be the first Australian GM product to be offered with a hybrid drivetrain alternative.
The Commodore petrol-electric hybrid is likely to appear in dealerships from 2010 and GM Holden hope it will not only boost local sales of the iconic brand but also improve export potential of the range.
According to Reilly, a hybrid Commodore is just one part of a strategic plan to bring greater efficiency to the range. Diesel power is also on the agenda for Commodore as Holden look to cash in on the increasing popularity of the economical yet powerful engine type in Australia but Holden?s plans don?t send there. Reilly also pointed out that the cheapest and currently most practical fuel types are LPG, CNG and E85 and Holden are planning to ?bring a full range of things over the next couple of years.?
Now, if you think Holden have all of the options for Commodore covered, then you would be wrong. Reilly also confirmed that a four-cylinder Commodore was under consideration and it would likely use a version of GM?s turbo four-cylinder petrol ECOTEC engine. The same engine that is being considered for the new Camaro, a car that shares the Commodores platform.
Despite the idea of a four cylinder Commodore being floated Reilly was quick to point out that Holden will not be abandoning the performance market in their quest for efficiency and environmental harmony. Fast Commodores currently account for a large share of Commodore sales and Holden are not about to bite the hand that feeds them.
The upcoming range of more efficient large sedans from the General will be about wooing new customers to the brand, those who value efficiency and reduced emissions, but still appreciate the big car package. With the Toyota HiLux and Corolla nudging the Commodore back to third place in the sales race last month, the question is will all of these potential options be enough or will it be too little too late?