Autocar spies what could be a turbo
Commodore as GM unveils 476kW LS9 V8
By JAMES STANFORD
RESPECTED British motoring magazine
Autocar has published photographs on its
website of a heavily disguised evaluation vehicle
that appears to be either a Holden Commodore
or a related model testing in Sweden.
Autocar claims the “mystery GM prototype”
has several design cues that suggest a new
Holden model lies underneath its cladding.
It also reports that registration details
confi rm the car is a Holden, with the database
attached to the licence plate indicating that
the car is 4850mm long, 1800mm wide and
According to Autocar, it also has a 260bhp
(194kW) engine paired with an automatic
“If it is a Holden, Saab engineers could
be working on either a four-wheel drive
transmission, or on (a) turbocharged petrol
engine for the car. Saab is a centre of excellence
within GM for both these areas of engineering,”
While GoAuto believes it is unlikely that a
rear-drive Holden would be converted to allwheel
drive, despite the fact it may open up
more sales in the US and Europe, there is a
strong prospect of a large-capacity turbo V6
being developed for Commodore and export
Holden already produces a 2.8-litre V6
at its Port Melbourne engine plant that is
turbocharged for use in the Saab 9-3. Saab and
Holden could now be involved in engineering
a bigger version that would rival the upgraded
inline turbo six that powers Ford Australia’s
FG Falcon XR6 Turbo
and G6E Turbo models.
Such an engine was
previewed nearly four
years ago at the 2004
Sydney motor show, where
Holden revealed the TT36
‘Torana’ concept, powered
by a twin-turbocharged
3.6-litre Alloytec V6
delivering 280kW and some 480Nm of torque.
Ford’s latest XR6T engine produces 270kW
and 533Nm, while next month’s new FPV
version will produce 310kW and 551Nm.
The experimental V6 was hand-built
at Holden’s then-new engine plant at Port
Melbourne, featured two KO4 Warner
turbochargers and an air-to-air intercooler and,
according to Holden, produced 90 per cent of
peak torque from just 1600rpm.
While the vehicle’s disguised styling could
point to any number of Holden-developed GM
vehicles – from Buick, Cadillac, Pontiac and
perhaps even Saab – the prototype could also
be testing other technology for export markets.
Sweden is often used for electronic
stability control calibration, for
Note: dimensions given are close enough to current G6 to be the refresh expected early 2009 as a 2010 model. AWD would be big plus for northern US market. Covered grill opening is obvious Caddy influence, but it is a disguise, FWIW.