GM HOLDEN has revealed a more fuel-efficient direct-injection 3.0-litre V6 for entry-level versions of its MY10 Commodore, to go on sale in September.
Fitted with GM’s Spark Ignition Direct Injection (SIDI) technology, the smallest Commodore engine since the 1986-1988 VL model’s 3.0-litre Nissan-sourced straight six, will reduce fuel consumption by a claimed 12 per cent.
The 3.0L SIDI engine will reduce the official average ADR81/02 fuel consumption of the base Commodore Omega and Berlina sedan, which will both increase in price by $700, from 10.6 litres per 100km to a class-leading 9.3L/100km.
Codenamed LF1, the same engine, which is already built at Port Melbourne for export to GM brands globally, also improves the efficiency of the Omega Sportwagon by 13 per cent (from 10.7 to 9.3L/100km) and the Berlina Sportwagon by 10 per cent – from 10.7 to 9.6L/100km.
Announced a week after Ford Australia revealed it will produce its first (turbocharged) four-cylinder Falcon from 2011, the new entry-level Commodore engine is more efficient than the Toyota Aurion’s 200kW/336Nm 3.5-litre V6 and the Falcon’s current 195kW/391Nm 4.0-litre inline six – both of which return as little as 9.9L/100km with a six-speed automatic transmission.
The new Euro 4 emissions-compliant 3.0-litre Commodore engine produces 190kW at 6700rpm and 290Nm of torque from 2900rpm. Previously, the base 3.6-litre Commodore engine produced 180kW and 330Nm, while the LPG engine option continues to offer 175kW/325Nm.
SIDI technology has also been fitted to the Commodore’s current 3.6-litre V6, which is now codenamed LL4, and delivers 210kW at a lower 6400rpm and 350Nm at the same 2900rpm – up from 195kW/340Nm.
The upgraded 3.6 SIDI V6 will be available in the SV6 sedan wagon and ute, the Calais and Calais V sedan and wagon, and the long-wheelbase Statesman and Caprice sedans.
The 3.6-litre SIDI engine improves fuel economy in the premium models by between seven and 13 per cent, with the Calais’ fuel economy improving from 11.2 to 9.9L/100km.
Both SIDI V6’s will be part of Holden’s new EcoLine range, and both will come standard with GM’s 6L50 six-speed automatic transmission, which Holden says delivers new levels of powertrain refinement, performance and shift feel.
According to Holden, Australia’s top-selling car will cost $325 less to run at a current indicative price of $1.25/litre, while also producing 600kg less carbon emissions in the course of an average 20,000km year.
While there is no mention of the use of weight-saving aluminium panels as widely expected, Holden says that weight reductions have been achieved, along with the fitment of low rolling resistance tyres and other fuel-saving upgrades.
While the base Ute and LPG models will continue to come with GM’s archaic four-speed automatic, the latter is claimed to offer improved efficiency, with the Omega sedan LPG’s consumption dropping six per cent, from 14.2 to 13.4L/100km.
GM Holden chairman and managing director Mark Reuss said the new engines would extend the Commodore’s reign as Australia’s top-selling vehicle.
“People are telling us they want lower operating costs while keeping the flexibility of the Commodore’s size – so that is exactly what we are offering,” Mr Reuss said.
“Direct-injection technology is a major step forward for the Australian car industry. It places a more refined Commodore amongst four cylinder competitors while delivering the space and flexibility which Australian car buyers clearly want.
“Australians and Australian families aren’t getting any smaller, distances aren’t getting any closer but customer expectations in terms of fuel efficiency and environmental impacts are changing fast.
“Holden understands that and this new technology is our response. It exploits the technology potential of an advanced, all-alloy engine made right here in Australia and makes it available to Australian car buyers,” said Mr Reuss.