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Car reviews - Holden - Commodore - SS sedan

Transmission

Holden logo14 Nov 2002

By MARTON PETTENDY

HOLDEN says both shift quality and durability have been improved in the archaic four-speed GM auto that, surprisingly, is specified by the majority of Commodore SS buyers.

Along with shift recalibrations, the V8 automatic transmission's clutch pack has been uprated from a six-plate to a seven-plate design for increased durability, while both V6 and V8 autos feature increased capacity hydraulic force motors to reduce shift shock.

But the reality is Holden's V8 auto is still slow and abrupt-shifting and is made to appear even more primitive by Falcon's new sequential-shifting auto.

The six-speed manual, with similarly tall overall gearing (like third in the auto, fourth in the manual is directly driven at a ratio of 1:1), is still vaguely gated, but for the same money remains our choice of transmission for the SS.

Its clutch pedal action is still long-throw and slightly heavy, but the subtle improvement in off-idle engine response makes it a little easier to avoid the driveline snatch that plagues most V8-powered manuals.

With sixth gear at 100km/h still equating to just 1500rpm, the top ratio is purely a flat road economy device.

Did you know?

Commodore SS comes standard with both a limited-slip differential and electronic traction control

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