More 6.0L Pontiac G8 News from Down Under

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    "GM HOLDEN will sell more cars overseas than it does in Australia if a plan to export its billion-dollar VE Commodore to the US as the next-generation Pontiac Grand Prix sedan comes to fruition.

    In an exclusive interview with GoAuto to discuss the concept of the VE as a world car rather than just an Australian car, company chairman and managing director Denny Mooney said that he was anticipating approval for the US program.

    "You will see an announcement in the next three to four months. Assuming it happens, (shipments) would start a little beyond that. I am not making an official announcement (in this discussion),” he told GoAuto, “but it looks very favourable."

    "I can tell you unequivocally that we designed the VE with the US in mind." Mr. Mooney confirmed that VE Commodore SS-V four-door sedans were under assessment in Detroit and indicated that speculation in the US motoring media that these Holden sports sedans would be sold as the Pontiac Grand Prix was not far off the mark.

    In the strongest indication yet that GM is about to announce renewed Holden exports to Pontiac in the US, Mr Mooney revealed Holden plans to export more cars from the company’s Elizabeth plant in Adelaide than it sells here.

    "I think from a manufacturing strategy here in Australia, Holden will ultimately have at least as many exports, if not more exports, than we
    have domestic (sales of local cars)," he said. The plans are part of a strategy to droughtproof Holden from the changes taking place in
    Australia in which large-car sales are drying up following a shift in the nature of the market.

    "The one thing everyone needs to remember in this market, as in every market around the world, is that the market is fragmenting," Mr Mooney said. "You are not going to see any market in the future with one car or a couple of car lines dominating the market like we did 10 or 20 years ago.

    "Everybody (when assessing large-car performance) wants to compare back to the market 10 years ago, but the market is much more fragmented. There are many more brands out there and many more models out there than there were back then (therefore) you have to find more markets for the car that you have.

    "I don’t know if we would go as far as Toyota’s model where they have many more (Camry) exports than they do domestic sales, but I can
    see in the future to survive we must have a fairly significant amount of export business."

    Mr. Mooney said that in addition to the Middle East, where sales are expected to remain around 30,000 units a year, the US was "the other big market that we are looking at."

    He said that an export program of a four door sedan to the US market could potentially achieve far more volume than the Pontiac GTO (Holden Monaro), which failed to achieve the 18,000 units expected of it.

    "If you look at this kind of vehicle in the US today, the sedan market is 20 times bigger than the coupe market."

    Asked if the potential of the Pontiac program was inhibited by using the Monaro coupe body, Mr. Mooney said: "There is no question. Coupes
    are very niche products in the US. Very niche. There is significantly more volume in a sedan. As sedans got better looking and got more sporty performance in the US market, coupes over time just disappeared."

    Mr. Mooney said that Pontiac was "the natural partnership" for a Holden-sourced VE sedan program in the US. He has already told Australian
    media earlier this year that the SS-V would make a great Pontiac and that Holden could play a role in moving Pontiac to rear-wheel drive.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Mooney said that the first shipments of the VE have gone to the Middle East and the VE launch was held there two weeks ago.

    "We will do more than 30,000 vehicles there next year and we will do about 30,000 this year. That includes the Chevrolet Lumina (Commodore)
    and the Chevrolet Caprice (Statesman). It could increase, but that is our current forecast for next year. I am optimistic. There is a lot of enthusiasm for the product."

    This compares with a forecast for 62,000 VZ/VE sales this year in Australia. This means that if Holden was to export more cars than it sold
    domestically, sales of Pontiacs would have to be well over double those achieved by the GTO.

    Mr. Mooney said that one of Holden’s strengths was that it already had installed capacity, equipment and infrastructure for the VE architecture. He said that under the GM's "flex strategy", a model could now be moved quickly from one plant to another. "It potentially gives you more options in more markets."

    Far from seeing it as a threat that VE production could potentially go elsewhere, Mr. Mooney saw the "flex strategy" as an advantage for Holden.
    "GM looks very hard at its existing installed capacity before it decides to spend money on new installed capacity. So we have the advantage
    of having spent half a billion dollars (on VE capacity) over the last three years," he said.

    He said that having VE architecture being built elsewhere in the world, like for the new Camaro, would benefit Australian parts makers supplying the program and would mean that GM could afford more sophisticated systems for cars sold in small markets. This was because the investment
    recovery in sophisticated systems was being spread across total VE architecture volumes.

    "Some of the engineering that we are doing on that vehicle (the Camaro) that is advancing the architecture will help our vehicles (Commodore) over time because it will apply directly to our vehicles," he said. "It can help us put more advanced electronic features in our cars here and can help leverage lower-cost components that would be common.""

    The Holden Commodore VE — yes, that’s the name — provides a preview of the next Camaro. GM’s performance future is unveiled down under.

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    BY PETER ROBINSON, November 2006

    Chevrolet’s marketing gang would love nothing more than to acquire bragging rights to this heroic sports sedan. Too bad, because while GM’s Australian outpost is celebrating the arrival of the new Holden Commodore VE, the bow-tie division near Detroit must cool its heels for a few more years. The Commodore has vast implications for GM globally. It’s the first production car based on the corporation’s rear-drive architecture that has been developed by Holden in Australia and is scheduled to be adopted across the GM board under the Zeta name.

    Zeta is the platform that will underpin a raft of future Chevrolet, Pontiac, and Buick models, including the recently approved next-generation Camaro coupe and convertible (due in late 2008 or early 2009) and possibly even a rear-wheel-drive Impala by the end of the decade. GM also confirmed that the upcoming Camaro will be built in Canada at the plant that builds the Buick LaCrosse and Pontiac Grand Prix.

    In Australia, the Commodore VE lineup starts at about $26,500 U.S. for a 241-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 sedan with a four-speed automatic. All Commodores share handsome yet aggressive styling, with bulging front-wheel arches that are more prominent than an M5’s. Mike Simcoe, the former design director for the Holden brand, established the Commodore’s striking proportions early on by stretching the previous-generation Commodore’s wheelbase 5.0 inches to 114.8 and trimming the overhangs.

    It’s the $34,000 VE SS and $39,500 VE SSV that captured our attention and instantly rendered the Chevrolet Impala SS even more obsolete. Power comes from the Gen IV 6.0-liter V-8 making 362 horsepower and mated to a six-speed automatic or manual transmission. Weight distribution comes in at a balanced 50/50. The platform gets a strut-type front suspension and a multilink rear similar to the setup on the Cadillac CTS and STS. If the Pontiac GTO (based on the previous Commodore architecture) was vaguely raw, the new SS delivers true refinement in a package that is poised, responsive, incredibly stable, and quick. We expect the quarter-mile to fall in about 13.8 seconds and a 0-to-60 sprint to take a tad over five flat.

    Steering responses are crisp and consistent, light but communicative; the grip from the specially developed 19-inch Bridgestone tires is inspired. The confidence-boosting handling is nearly neutral, and the ride is firm, with enough compliance to soak up irregular Australian blacktop. The cabin is modern, and the seats are supportive.

    Rebadged as a Chevrolet, the hot Commodore would make one brilliant Impala SS. Driving expectations for the upcoming Camaro just went to the redline.

    Vehicle type: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
    Base price (Australia): $34,000–$39,500
    Engine type: pushrod 16-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, port fuel injection
    Displacement: 364 cu in, 5967cc
    Power (SAE net): 362 bhp @ 5700 rpm
    Transmissions: 6-speed automatic, 6-speed manual
    Wheelbase: 114.8 in
    Length/width/height: 192.7/74.8/58.1 in
    Curb weight: 3900 lb
    Performance ratings (mfr’s est):
    Zero to 62 mph: 5.4 sec
    Top speed (governor limited): 155 mph
    Projected fuel economy (mfr’s est):
    EPA city driving: 15 mpg
    EPA highway driving: 24 mpg

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  2. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    The Bonneville and Grand Prix won't be missed. This is high on my list for my next car in a few years.
     
  3. D_Nice

    D_Nice Super-Moderator Super Moderator

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    You are not TriShi.... oh wait
     
  4. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    :eek3:
     
  5. Small Block LSX

    Small Block LSX BMW | N54 | LSX | Gun | PS3 | Parent | Night CREW

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    :ugh:
     
  6. sp00n155

    sp00n155 You underestimate the insignificance of my penis OT Supporter

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    :ugh:
     
  7. JohnnyBeagle

    JohnnyBeagle OT Supporter

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    Holy shit. Might be the replacement for the Trailblazer if not the next gen Camaro/Mustang/Challenger/EVO/STi
     
  8. Spanky

    Spanky I has a Orb

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    I want one
     
  9. schitz240sx

    schitz240sx New Member

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    Thats probably the only American sedan besides a cady I would buy.
     
  10. Slappy3243

    Slappy3243 Ello?

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    A bit chubbier then the GTO though. But I still like it
     
  11. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    That's the other one I'm keeping my eye on. :naughty:
     
  12. GET GOT

    GET GOT Rectum Wrecker

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  13. tony

    tony Guest

    that car looks hott:drool:
     
  14. tony

    tony Guest

    :rofl: :rofl:
     
  15. itll probably be watered down in terms of its aggressive appearance
     
  16. Scream_Phoenix

    Scream_Phoenix Handsome Boy Model

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    nice. GM might up the ante to selling three cars worth owning
     
  17. zatar

    zatar New Member

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    nice. :cool:
     
  18. 3rotorFD

    3rotorFD mark teh bagger >*

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  19. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    It's probably going to get a new grille, and that's it.
     
  20. PC Principle

    PC Principle New Member

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    :ugh:
     
  21. PC Principle

    PC Principle New Member

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    Too bad it isnt a Toyota. I might of bought it if it was.
     
  22. Slick26

    Slick26 Gun|Bike|Cigar|PS3|Beer |Whisky|Night Crew

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    :hsugh:
     
  23. It's just a family sedan.
     
  24. JW2

    JW2 New Member

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    They're going to fuck it up with the pontiac front-end :ugh2:
     

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