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End of an Adventra

Use by: Adventra has found 1644 homes so far this year - just 187 in July.

Holden continues with its VZ Commodore wagon and ute range – and Adventra, for now

8 Aug 2006

THE last bastion of GM Holden’s $125 million Australian-developed all-wheel drive model range will cease to exist within months when the GM Daewoo-developed Holden Captiva replaces the slow-selling Adventra wagon.

While Holden claims it has "future-proofed" its all-new VE Commodore sedan to accommodate an AWD system such as Holden’s own CrossTrac drivetrain, it has all but ruled out a low-riding all-wheel drive VE sedan due to lack of demand.

For its part, the South Korean-built Captiva is expected to go on sale by October as a key plank, alongside VE Commodore, in Holden's plan regain Australian sales leadership from Toyota – and as Holden’s first legitimate (seven-seat) rival for Ford’s dominant Territory SUV.

Likely to be launched in three all-wheel drive specification grades (SX, CX and LX) powered by a 3.2-litre version of Holden’s Alloytec V6, Captiva pricing could open as low as $35,990, which would significantly undercut Territory, Toyota’s Kluger and Holden’s own Adventra SX.

"We ummed and ahhed about Adventra but decided to continue with it for the time being – at least until Captiva arrives. But we’re not talking about that today," Holden’s executive director for planning Ian McCleave told GoAuto last week.

Holden boss Denny Mooney was even more blunt about Adventra’s future. "Sooner or later we’ll have to cease all-wheel drive (Adventra) production," he told GoAuto. "We’re only selling 200 a month."For the moment, Adventra continues to be available within an abbreviated VZ Commodore wagon and utility range, priced at $41,190 for the SX, $47,290 for the CX and $53,190 for the flagship LX – each powered by a 188kW/330Nm version of Holden’s pre-VE 3.6-litre Alloytec V6, mated to a five-speed auto.

VZ wagon continues to be available in Executive ($35,990), Acclaim ($41,790) and Berlina ($46,890) guises, each powered by a 172kW/320Nm Alloytec V6, mated to a four-speed auto. Dual-fuel LPG versions of Executive and Acclaim wagon drop to 165kW/320Nm.

Biggest VZ ute news is the replacement of the Ute S variant with a 190kW/335Nm Alloytec V6-powered model dubbed Ute SV6 ($34,990 auto), the manual version of which offers 187kW and costs $33,990.

The base Ute V6 continues with a 172kW/320Nm V6 priced at $26,990 ($27,990 auto), while SS Ute continues to be powered by a 260kW/510Nm version of Holden’s Gen IV 6.0-litre V8 ($41,490 manual/auto) – not the VE’s 270kW/530Nm version.

The same engines power Holden’s four-door dual-cab Crewman ute range, which continues to be available in base ($32,990 manual, $33,990 auto), S ($38,990 manual, $39,990) and SS ($47,690 manual/auto) guises.

The only other VZ changes are a new red/orange paint colour (dubbed Ignition) for Crewman S, Crewman SS, Ute SV6 and Ute SS, a new dark silver paint colour (called Nickel) for Ute, Ute SV6 and Ute SS, and the deletion of the Devil Yellow, Quicksilver and Turismo paint colours.

Holden has already discontinued its One Tonner utility (including the Cross6), Crewman Cross6 and Cross8, Adventra V8 and Monaro coupe models, and says it has fewer than 500 examples of the outgoing VZ Commodore sedan remaining in dealer showrooms.

While all-new VE-based ute and wagon models are not expected to be revealed until late 2007 and 2008 respectively (until which the current models will be built alongside the VE sedan at Elizabeth), Captiva will not be the last significant model release for Holden this year.

As previously reported, the Lion brand is also expected by the end of 2006 to launch its Astra convertible replacement in the Astra Twin Top coupe-convertible – as well as the first direct rival for medium sedans such as Toyota’s new Camry, Honda’s Accord, Hyundai’s Sonata, Subaru’s Liberty and the Mazda6.

Built by GM Daewoo in Korea, where it’s known as Tosca, Holden’s new front-drive mid-sizer could use the Epica nameplate employed in other markets.

Either way, the effective replacement for Vectra should come powered by 2.0 and 2.5-litre inline six-cylinder engines, offering 104kW and 115kW respectively.

Along with Holden's first medium SUV, the Lion brand's first volume-selling mid-sizer realises former Holden sales and marketing chief Ross McKenzie's dream of competing in a all of Australia's high-volume vehicle segments.

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