Holden Commodore ready for next O.E in American market

April 1st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

When the Pontiac brand was killed off in the States so was the Holden Commodore, but at that time financially desperate General Motors had little idea of the following that the Commodore/Pontiac G8 already had.

Now, after serious demand, the Commodore will likely return to the U.S market badged as a Chevrolet SS sedan. There is also a chance that the Commodore’s ute and wagon form will also be sold in the states, but they remain unapproved at this stage. The Commodore ute would likely receive the El Camino moniker and the long back car would keep the SportWagon name.

If the Commodores do make it to the States in Chevy trim it won’t likely be until early 2013 as GM is waiting for the next-generation “VF” Commodore to be developed by Holden. GM will be most interested in performance models for the American market so expect Holden’s exports to be mostly V8 powered. Continue reading “Holden Commodore ready for next O.E in American market” »

Death of Pontiac brand generates major loss at Holden

April 6th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

When General Motors first announced it was finishing up with the Pontiac brand, there were some serious concerns for Holden’s health, but we all moved on. After all, Holden was doing alright domestically and how much money was it really making providing America with left-hand-drive versions of the Commodore to sell as Pontiacs? Turns out it was a lot of money and now Holden is feeling the loss of that deal in a big way.

According to a recent report, Holden has announced a loss of $192 million USD. Thanks to the American thirst for Australian V8s, Holden raked in $5.3 billion USD in revenue in 2008, but just $3.6 billion last year.

It wasn’t just the absence of American market sales, though. Holden also saw general sales plummet due to a global recession last year.

Pontiac Solstice – driving

December 16th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
Driving shots – b roll footage

Driving shots – b roll footage

Pontiac: Trying to catch a GTO – 2004

December 16th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
High-action ad for the 2004 Pontiac GTO

High-action ad for the 2004 Pontiac GTO

Pontiac Solstice – It’s all in the details ad

December 16th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
Animated black and white Pontiac ad

Animated black and white Pontiac ad

HSV to launch Pontiac GXP-based models

December 9th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

HSV GXP fq

Holden Special Vehicles has just confirmed that it will be launching two limited edition models in 2010, based on the US-market Pontiac G8 GXP programme.

The HSV ClubSport GXP sedan and HSV Maloo GXP ute will enter the Holden Special Vehicles line-up as limited edition entry-level models, with customer deliveries due to begin early next year.

According to HSV Managing Director Phil Harding the HSV ClubSport GXP and HSV Maloo GXP represent an outstanding opportunity for HSV to complement its existing lineup with a limited edition entry level vehicle.

“We receive lots of enquiries about introducing a model to sit as an entry level to our brand and the GXP program provides us this opportunity,” Mr Harding said.

“I have always said that in order for a car to wear the HSV badge it needs to satisfy three criteria – Performance, Handling and Design. Clearly these cars tick all three boxes.”

Specific in-depth technical details haven’t been revealed, but HSV has released some info.

The ClubSport GXP and Maloo GXP will be powered by HSV’s 6.2 litre LS3 V8, offering the same 317kW of power and 550Nm of torque as the ‘regular’ ClubSport.

Suspension for the ClubSport GXP will be unique to the GXP package, while the Maloo GXP is offered with a unique HSV suspension tune.

A unique Brembo package will handle braking duties.

The latest E Series 2 styling touches will feature up front, with E2 daylight running lights, front bumper and Pontiac-style vented bonnet.

Inside, both models will feature the ClubSport R8 interior with sports cloth seats.

The ClubSport GXP will come with a recommended retail price of $NZD76,990 for the manual, and the Maloo GXP has a recommended retail price of $NZD68,590 manual. Auto variants attract a $1200 premium.

HSV will build 400 ClubSport GXPs and 350 Maloo GXPs, with the first cars expected to arrive in the first quarter of 2010.

Burt Reynolds’ personal Bandit Trans Am going to auction

December 8th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

The black-and-gold Special Edition Pontiac Trans Am will forever be a special vehicle for fans of the Smokey and the Bandit movies. In the late 1970′s the Trans Am stood as the final beacon of raw ruthless V8 power with a staunch refusal to give up its link to the near dead muscle car era.

Many point to the Smokey and the Bandit movie franchise for igniting sales of Pontiac’s wild child. Now, film and muscle car fans seeking the ultimate expression of Burt Reynolds adoration have the chance to bid on the star’s own personal 1978 Pontiac Trans Am Special Edition as it goes up for auction May 2nd in Huston, USA. According to the car’s description, it wears the full black and gold paint scheme, snowflake rims and body ground effects with flairs and spoilers. The interior has been fully restored and features unique embroidered Bandit portrait headrests and for recreating scenes from the movie a period-correct Cobra CB radio.

If you think the Trans Am from Smokey and the Bandit was the greatest screen car ever, then vote in our online poll. The Trans Am is struggling thus far against the General Lee and Elanor from Gone in 60 seconds fame, so click here to have your vote.

Holden announces SS V-Series Special Edition

October 2nd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Holden SS V-Series Special Edition fq

What were only rumours last month, the Pontiac-faced Holden SS V-Series Special Edition was yesterday officially announced by Holden.

The SS V-Series Special Edition sports a grille clearly inspired by that featured on the SS-based, US-market Pontiac G8.

Along with the special edition grille, the letterbox bonnet scoops and lower splitter of the G8 have made their way across to the new special edition Holden.

“SS V-Series has always been about sports performance and ultimate road presence. Now we’ve dialled it up even further,” Philip Brook, Holden Director of Marketing said. “The International edition is even better value when you combine extra features with the advanced 3.0 litre direct injection engine and 6-speed automatic transmission.”

Available in three colours – black, red and blue – the Special Edition version of the SS V-Series can be had in sedan, Sportwagon and Ute form.

The SS V-Series Special Edition will be available in Australia from November, after the Ute makes its debut on Friday the 2nd of October at the Deni Ute Muster over the ditch.

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