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Holden denies V12 Cadillac reports

Wide of the mark: Tony Hyde with the Cadillac Sixteen.

Engineering boss rejects reports of an Aussie-developed V12 for Cadillac

28 Mar 2007

HOLDEN’S engineering chief has flatly rejected reports that the company is developing a V12 engine and platform for a new flagship Cadillac model that would rival the Mercedes-Benz S-class.

“It’s definitely not happening,” Holden’s executive director of engineering Tony Hyde told GoAuto this week.

The automotive world has been buzzing in recent days over reports quoting General Motors vice-chairman Bob Lutz as saying that development work is “well under way” in Australia for the car, which would be based on the Sixteen concept shown at the 2003 Detroit motor show.

It was the subject of a cover story in the US weekly magazine AutoWeek and was subsequently picked up by international and Australian media.

Mr Lutz, GM’s global product development chief, is reported to have said at a Hummer dealership opening in Britain that Australian engineers were already working on the new V12 engine.

AutoWeek claims the 7.2-litre V12 engine is basically two 3.6-litre Commodore V6s joined together on a common crankshaft, that it develops around 390kW/680Nm and has features such as direct injection and cylinder deactivation (which shuts down six cylinders when cruising to improve fuel consumption).

The reports say the V12 is already being tested at Holden’s Lang Lang test track in Victoria.

However, Mr Hyde said that Holden was not working on anything remotely like a V12 Cadillac. “We are definitely not doing it,” he said. “It might be possible to join two V6s, but we are not doing it.

163 center imageLeft: GM vice-chairman and global product development chief Bob Lutz.

“None exist in our part of the world and we are certainly not testing anything like that at Lang Lang.”

The “Cadillac Twelve” or “XLS” would reportedly be built on Holden’s so-called Zeta rear-wheel drive platform, which also underpins the VE Commodore and other cars including the forthcoming Pontiac G8 and Chevrolet Camaro.

The platform would need to be stretched even further than for the Statesman, with a longer engine bay and wider tracks front and rear. Styling is said to be based on the stunning Caddy Sixteen, which was powered by a mythical monster 13.6-litre V16 developing 750kW.

The new Cadillac flagship is allegedly slated for a 2009 motor show reveal before going on sale in 2010.

But Mr Hyde’s comments cast doubt not only on the credibility of the reports but the entire project – unless it is being done elsewhere.

“We are not working on any Cadillacs,” said Mr Hyde. “Nothing.

“We’re full-up in terms of resources with Camaro and our own cars. (And) the G8 is a challenge from a timing point of view.”

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