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Holden’s LPG Commodore makes Euro 4

Continuing: While Ford is preparing for a switch to liquid injection for its LPG system for its Falcon, Holden is continuing with its gas-injection LPG variant that can meet Euro 4 regulations.

Dual-fuel Holden Commodore set to roll on with upgrade to gas-injection system

Holden logo17 May 2010


HOLDEN’S fleet-friendly dual-fuel LPG-petrol V6 Commodore will be upgraded to meet new Euro 4 emissions regulations that come into force on July 1.

The bad news is that LPG buyers will have to continue to make do with the old four-speed automatic transmission for now instead of the modern six-speed transmission already fitted to petrol Commodores with their direct-injection 3.6-litre and 3.0-litre SIDI V6s.

However, Holden appears to have left the door open for a future switch, with a spokesman saying: “As it stands, dual-fuel LPG vehicles retain the four-speed automatic transmission.”

Holden says its LPG-capable V6 – based on the 3.6-litre Alloytec engine introduced in the VZ Commodore and carried over into initial VE Commodore production – will also continue to employ sequential multi-point vapour injection, unlike Ford’s upcoming dedicated E-Gas LPG Falcon that is set to get the latest liquid injection technology from early 2011.

Ford’s current single-point LPG system does not meet the Euro 4 qualifications, but reportedly has been given exemption to continue on sale until the new system is brought on line in a locally developed variant of the Geelong-made in-line six.

Ford says the new LPG engine – using gas injection technology supplied by Orbital – will use at least 12 per cent less fuel than the existing system, but will offer similar if not identical power and torque figures.

13 center image Left: Ford Falcon E-Gas LPG engine. Below: Holden Commodore LPG tank.

Currently, the E-Gas Falcon produces 39kW less power and 20Nm less torque than the Falcon engine, but maximum power and torque are both delivered lower in the rev range.

GoAuto understands that the E-Gas Falcon will move up from the current four-speed automatic transmission to six-speed ZF transmission when the new LPG system hits the showrooms in early 2011 – a move that might prompt Holden to re-think its four-speed strategy.

Neither Ford nor Holden are expected offer an LPG-powered wagon any time soon. Holden says its Sportwagon will not gain an LPG variant “for the time being”, with gas remaining exclusively in the sedan and ute ranges.

The issue with Sportwagon is space for the high-pressure gas tank. With a smaller load area than the previous Commodore Wagon, the options are limited.

The old wagon employed a donut-shaped steel tank in the spare wheel well, with the spare wheel fixed to one side of the luggage area under a carpet cover.

Ford’s Falcon wagon has already been killed off and while the Territory SUV is set to get a 140kW 2.7-litre diesel V6 next year as its environmental hero, no LPG variant is on the horizon. Like Holden’s Sportwagon, the logistics of tank and spare wheel placement has been put in the too hard basket.

Holden have ruled out a diesel-powered Commodore, mainly on cost grounds, even though engineers at Holden trialed oil burning engines from GM-owned Italian diesel specialist VM Motori.

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