New Chevrolet Impala could kill Commodore’s U.S market hopes

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” »

Holden Statesman joins the Police Force

October 6th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Chevrolet Caprice PPV fq1

After recent speculation that the Holden Commodore-based Pontiac G8 might be reborn as a law-enforcement-only vehicle in the States, GM has revealed the 2011 Chevrolet Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle (PPV), based on the Holden Statesman.

Announced at the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention in Colorado, the Caprice PPV will be available from next year, with patrol duties expected to begin in early 2011.

Chevrolet Caprice PPV intInstead of reworking the Holden Commodore-based platform of the retired Pontiac G8, GM has built the Caprice PPV on the longer version of the Zeta platform that underpins the Holden Ute and Statesman.

The cars will be built in Australia at Holden’s assembly plant in Elizabeth, SA, and are set to provide a shot in the arm for the plant’s total output.

“North American law enforcement fleets account for about 70,000 sales a year so securing a fraction of those sales would be a major manufacturing boost for GM’s operations in Australia,” said Holden Executive Director Sales and Marketing, John Elsworth. “Opportunities like this don’t come around very often, so we are working hard to deliver a world class product worthy of serious consideration by the police.”

The 2011 Chevrolet Caprice PPV will be powered by a 6.0 litre LS2 V8 engine developing 265kW and 520Nm of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic Chevrolet Caprice PPV rqtransmission. It’s competitor, Dodge’s law enforcement version of the Charger develops 253kW, and the outgoing Ford Crown Victoria produces a lowly 187kW.

The Caprice PPV is capable of reaching 60mph (96km/h) in under six seconds. A V6-powered version is expected in 2012, and will make use of the SIDI-equipped 3.6 litre engine used by the 2010 VE Commodore.

“The new Chevrolet Caprice police car is the right tool at the right time for law enforcement,” Jim Campbell, general manager for GM Fleet and Commercial Operations said. “We asked for a lot of feedback from our police customers, which helped us develop a vehicle that is superior to the Crown Victoria in key areas.”

Chevrolet Caprice PPV fqAs a vehicle on law-enforcement duties, the Caprice PPV will get a full range of police-specific equipment, including 18-inch steel wheels and heavy-duty four-wheel independent suspension.

The police-specific mechanical list includes a high-output alternator and engine oil, transmission and power steering coolers.

A “police-calibrated stability control system” will also feature in the Caprice PPV. Extra large seats have been fitted to accomodate officers’ gun/equipment belts and also mean an extra donut can be enjoyed care free. It’s good news for American criminals too with the Caprice PPV offering 100mm more leg space in the rear than the outgoing Crown Vic car.

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