July 5th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Sequels don’t often live up to expectations but the Series II Holden Cruze might just buck that trend. Like a rock band recording a second album Holden had to get a new take on a now familiar sound. Shifting production of the Cruze from Korea to Australia has given the small sedan a positive new flavour. It’s received cosmetic tweaks revised suspension and in our tested SRi-V variant – a new turbocharged powerplant. Car and SUV spent some time with the Series II Cruze to find out if this sequel tastes sweeter than the original formula.
The Australian sourced Cruze has received some subtle styling tweaks to boost the vehicles appeal to a local palate. The grille and front indicators have been replaced and chrome trim has been used more extensively across the range. Our top-spec SRi-V model has been given the sporty treatment with a full body kit, bootlid spoiler, fog lamps, chrome door handles and 5-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels. The result is a very handsome small sedan with brawny big car styling in a compact body. The coupe-like roofline, broad shoulders and sharp creases work together nicely to give this sporty Cruze genuine road presence. Continue reading “Holden Cruze SRi-V Series II 2011 Review” »
July 4th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Holden has unveiled the new 2012 Barina at the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne. First unveiled last year in Chevrolet form as the Aero the Holden-badged 2012 Barina will go on sale in NZ this October.
The next-generation Barina will add to a Holden’s growing small car range that now includes the Australian-built Cruze sedan and hatch and the smallest of the line up, the Barina Spark.
In terms of styling, most of the Chevrolet Aero’s design has been retained including the distinctive ‘dual port’ grille which is set to give the Holden range a new corporate face in the future. Dynamic lines are carried through a high beltline, sweeping roofline and subtle integrated rear spoiler. The Barina’s design work was completed at GM’s South Korean design centre.
In the cabin the new Barina use a similar motorcycle-inspired instrument panel as the smaller Barina Spark. Blue illumination is used all round and LED backlighting also features. Standard equipment includes modern kit like Bluetooth and audio streaming, iPod connectivity, cruise control and steering wheel audio buttons. Continue reading “Holden drops covers off all-new 2012 Barina” »
July 1st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Holden has pulled the covers off it’s next-generation 2012 Colorado concept ute at the Australian Motor Show in Melbourne.
The new Colorado was first shown in Chevrolet form earlier this year and Holden’s version has kept with a similar curvaceous body design and ‘dual port’ grille. The concept Colorado is presented in a crew-cab form with the production model to be launched in New Zealand and other global markets in 2012.
Holden New Zealand Managing Director, Jeff Murray said Holden’s most significant play in the growing light commercial segment is without a doubt the new generation Colorado. “Clearly this is a show vehicle however, the basic proportions and design are pretty much what you can expect for the production version of the Colorado which will arrive in Holden showrooms in this country in 2012,” Mr Murray said.
The Colorado design project was led by 26-year-old creative designer Ben Last who worked closely with General Motors‟ Colorado homeroom and design studio in Brazil along with operations in Thailand and the US to develop the final Australian show theme. Continue reading “2012 Holden Colorado ute debuts at Australian Show” »
June 20th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
While it doesn’t have a big V8 engine under its bonnet Holden’s next-generation 2012 Colorado ute is still going to be a staunch looker. To whet the appetites of global truck fans General Motors has revealed an extra tough double-cab concept Colorado in Chevrolet form.
Named the Double-Cab Rally concept, this truck follows on from the unveiling of the Colorado Space Cab concept at the Bangkok Auto Show back in March. Clearly this is a off roading ute with a pair of winches (one at the front, one at the rear) ready to go if the mud gets too deep. To help keep it going forward there’s 305/60R18 BFGoodrich Mud Terrain tyres, long suspension travel and a unique rollbar/rail system across the roof and tray. At the rear there are special holes in the tailgate for bailing sand or gravel that may be caught in the tub during racing. To further reduce weight the side windows are made of clear acrylic.
Inside the Rally concept is fitted with racing seats and five-point harnesses. Continue reading “Holden’s 2012 Colorado ute previewed with Chevy badged concept” »
May 27th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Production of the next-generation 2014 Chevrolet Impala will be shifted to GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck manufacturing plant. At this production facility the new Impala will be produced alongside the Chevrolet Volt and Malibu with the decision being an early indication that Holden’s Commodore won’t be returning to U.S. shores.
The next American-market Impala will use a stretched version of GM’s Epsilon II platform, with a front-wheel drive layout. It certainly won’t prove a popular move with Chevy enthusiasts who want the famous-named large sedan to be rear-wheel powered and it also lessens the chances of the Commodore ever returning to the U.S., in either sedan, wagon or ute bodystyles.
With the Impala going front-driven GM is showing an awareness of fuel economy regulations. GM’s decision to keep most of its range front-wheel drive shows that the automaker has a preference for better fuel economy over performance. The front-wheel drive architecture also helps with developing more modern interiors due to the absence of a bulky driveshaft running the length of the car. In simple terms the Commodore just doesn’t fit into GM’s new politically correct range. It was popular in Pontiac G8 form but that was a different time and with the new Malibu being a direct competitor within the GM range the Commodore will have a tough time finding its way back into the lucrative America market. Continue reading “New Chevrolet Impala could kill Commodore’s U.S market hopes” »
May 25th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
In 2014 Holden is on track to launch its next-generation VF Commodore and the new model comes carrying serious expectations and some new technology. Fans can expect significant savings in fuel economy, improved aerodynamics, new electric power steering and it will also be the first Aussie-built car to use mass produced aluminium panels in its construction. To remain competitive with vehicles like the Toyota Camry Hybrid, Holden’s Commodore will be saving weight wherever it can.
Total fuel savings will be in the region of 7% off the current figures of the VE Commodore range (pictured). This will drag the 9.1lt/100 km combined rating of the 3.0 L V6 SIDI down to a more acceptable 8.4 lt/100 km. The older 3.6 L Alloytec V6 will drop to 9.1 lt /100 km (26 mpg) down from its current 9.8 lt/100 km. The fuel saving measures are partly funded by the Australian federal government, which has used AU$39.8 million from the discontinued Green Car Innovation Fund.
The entire VF model’s development will apparently cost just AU$189 million which is a huge decrease on the rumoured one billion that was spent on the VE Commodore. Continue reading “New VF Holden Commodore to save weight with aluminium panels” »
May 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Holden’s much hyped and anticipated Cruze hatch has just entered its testing stage before the model is introduced later this year. In a statement Holden has announced the news and released two new photos of the upcoming five-door hatchback which was designed at Holden’s Port Melbourne studio.
General Motors previewed the Cruze hatch in Chevrolet form (for global markets) early last year and then the production model made its world premiere at this year’s Geneva Salon.
Holden is still to release full technical details on the Cruze hatch, but it’s very likely the hatchback’s engine range will mirror that of the Cruze II sedan. The model pictured in the official photographs is equipped with a diesel engine, possibly the same 2.0-litre turbo diesel currently offered in the update four-door Cruze. Continue reading “Holden commences local testing of Cruze hatch” »
April 20th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Holden’s new medium-sized sedan, the Malibu, has made its international debut at the Shanghai Auto Show amid much anticipation.
The reveal, conducted by Chevrolet, saw the veil lifted on the new-generation model that will be sold in up to 100 countries including Australia next year. A decision has not yet been made on whether the Malibu will be sold here in New Zealand. If it is, the Malibu will replace the unpopular Epica in Holden’s lineup and will compete against segment heavyweights like the Ford Mondeo and Mazda6.
The Mailbu will be powered by a range of 4-cylinder engines, with more details to be released shortly. Over in the States the Malibu will be offered with a new direct-injected 2.5 litre four-cylinder Ecotec petrol engine producing 141kW and 245Nm of torque.
The exterior design has taken inspiration from Chevrolet’s iconic Camaro muscle car and also some styling cues from the Cruze. The wide stance, twin exhaust tips and integrated spoiler give it strong road presence. Continue reading “New Holden Malibu revealed in Chevrolet form” »