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Old 10-25-2006, 03:35 PM   #1
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SS-V to Grand Prix? Easy

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SS-V to Grand Prix? Easy

This time, GM has thought ahead

By Angus MacKenzie
Photography by the Manufacturers
Motor Trend, October 2006

The new Commodore has been engineered from the get-go to be left-hand drive and comply with all world safety standards. Even the fuel tank is ahead of the rear axle--changing that for the GTO was one of the reasons GM couldn't spend more money giving the Monaro coupe more Pontiac style.


The new Commodore is a clean-sheet car, so it looks fresh, contemporary, and muscular. GM's head of North American design, Mike Simcoe, knows the car intimately: An Aussie, he oversaw all the initial work on the new Commodore in GM's Melbourne, Australia, design studio before being promoted to Detroit.

A relatively simple front fascia change incorporating the Pontiac split grille, plus the usual Pontiac branding details and official U.S. safety certification and emissions calibration are about all this car needs to be ready to roll on U.S. roads. Holden sources estimate the work could be completed for a mere $15 million. Building a new Grand Prix in Australia also would help Holden maximize production efficiency of its assembly plant in Elizabeth, South Australia. Until recently, this plant was running three shifts a day to meet demand, but high gas prices (Australians are paying about $4.30 a gallon) have hit Commodore sales hard in the past 18 months--sales of the runout model were the lowest in 12 years. Export market sales also have been hit. Getting a Pontiac Grand Prix into production would probably take the best part of 12 months, by which time initial demand for the new Commodore will have eased. A Grand Prix version could take up the slack left by decreased local demand.

Grand Prix By Holden

GM's Australian outpost wants to follow up the GTO with a sedan.

By Joshua Dowling
Photography by Charlie Gearside
Motor Trend, October 2006

Keeping to the tire tracks of the Pontiac GTO, General Motors's Australian outpost wants to export its new rear-drive V-8 sport sedan to the U.S. as the next Pontiac Grand Prix.

GM's Australian division, Holden, launched its all-new Commodore in July, the first vehicle based on GM's rear-drive Zeta architecture to go into production. The Commodore has been Australia's biggest-selling car for the past decade, but Holden is increasingly relying on exports to ensure that local production of its large sedan remains viable.

The car Holden proposes as the next Grand Prix is based on the new Holden Commodore SS-V, which is powered by GM's new 6.0-liter Vortec V-8 with 362 horses and 390 pound-feet of torque, available with six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions and running on 19-inch wheels. Holden shipped a Commodore SS-V, the performance flagship of the new Holden range, to Detroit for a strategy board meeting with high-level GM executives in early August.

The American boss of Holden, Denny Mooney, told Australian media at the launch of the new Commodore that Holden could help with GM's plans to take Pontiac all rear-drive. "I think if you talk to anyone at Pontiac, he'd tell you he'd love a rear-drive performance Grand Prix. The SS-V would make a great Pontiac. But I'm not going to oversell this thing. We're going to send these cars over there and let them speak for themselves."

The SS-V will be driven by GM chairman Rick Wagoner and global product chief Bob Lutz, among others. They also will drive a luxury, long-wheelbase version of the Commodore, sold as a Holden Caprice in Australia. Holden had planned to export the new Caprice to the U.S. as a Buick (the design and engineering were finalized more than a year ago), but those plans were scrapped when GM focused its energy toward a new range of SUVs in North America.

Holden hasn't given up hope of exporting the Holden Caprice to the U.S., but it may now not be sold as a Buick. In Australia, the Caprice, which rolls on a 118.5-inch wheelbase--some 4.0 inches longer than the standard Commodore--is available with a 261-horse version of the 3.6-liter high-feature V-6 as well as the 362-horse V-8. Standard transmission is GM's new 6L80E six-speed automatic, also used in the Cadillac STS and C6 Corvette.
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Old 10-25-2006, 04:51 PM   #2
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Those first three pix are sweet. I love the color, styling, accents, interior (two tone looks great), and...I want it with the steering wheel on that same side. You gotta be a little differet, right?
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Old 10-25-2006, 05:39 PM   #3
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Those first three pix are sweet. I love the color, styling, accents, interior (two tone looks great), and...I want it with the steering wheel on that same side. You gotta be a little differet, right?
At my former employer we would have monthly meetings at world headquarters. In the lobbies there would be our products that sold over seas ie: 300 + HP Four Door Sedans ect.. Nine times out of ten everyone one would say “WOW, Now why don’t we market that in the U.S.?” The answer would be the same every time “safety standards, cost to much to bring them up to U.S. standards” or I liked this one the best “Emissions” I guess “The Big Three” did not totally understand the meaning of Globalization. I think they get It now…

I wonder how hard it would be to get use to right hand drive. Just try shifting with your left hand, and are the pedals backwards???
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Old 10-25-2006, 09:24 PM   #4
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pedals look to be the same...what'chall think?
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Old 10-25-2006, 10:25 PM   #5
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pedals look to be the same...what'chall think?
Yep, I’m a dumb ass, should have studied the photo more…:o
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Old 10-26-2006, 12:18 AM   #6
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Yep, I’m a dumb ass, should have studied the photo more…:o


KILLER, I think that's the first time I've heard you cut on yourself!
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Old 10-26-2006, 11:00 AM   #7
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I can't agree w/you more tag I would really like to have a car w/the wheel on the other side. I would love it.
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Old 10-26-2006, 01:35 PM   #8
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KILLER, I think that's the first time I've heard you cut on yourself!
Yeah, I got to spread the wealth, don't want someone thinking I’m only picking on them.
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Old 10-26-2006, 01:55 PM   #9
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Built one on Holden’s website last night http://www.holden.com.au/www-holden/ check out the exchange rate http://www.concierge.com/tools/currency. I would have to say if I had a Miss she’d be sporting it… I totally dig the Ignition color.
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Old 10-27-2006, 02:13 AM   #10
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That is a nice looking ride...
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Old 10-27-2006, 10:21 AM   #11
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Man I just created mine they are sweet rides. Tag them are some cool pics.
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Old 10-27-2006, 11:47 AM   #12
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The sig?...Why thank you very much. I had a buddy on z28.com do it for me. I'm trying to learn and am going to get photoshop. I want to learn so I can get numerous ones done for me and also begin making them for other people.
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Old 10-27-2006, 01:01 PM   #13
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that would be awsome man.
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Old 10-27-2006, 03:29 PM   #14
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I want to learn so I can get numerous ones done for me and also begin making them for other people.
Can I be a customer??? Like the sig. too.
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Old 10-28-2006, 01:43 AM   #15
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Can I be a customer??? Like the sig. too.
You better believe it! Got the program today. A buddy is going to run me through it. I think it's going to take a little while to get used to it and be able to create some good ones. I don't want to just slap crap together, but I'd be happy to get some done. I'll LYK.
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Old 10-30-2006, 07:45 PM   #16
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2006 Holden Commodore VE - Car News
The Holden Commodore VE — yes, that’s the name — provides a preview of the next Camaro. GM’s performance future is unveiled down under.
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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Old 01-12-2007, 03:41 PM   #17
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Holden Commodore SS set to become Pontiac G8

By RICK KRANZ | AUTOMOTIVE NEWS

AutoWeek | Published 01/12/07, 9:13 am et

General Motors is expected to expand Pontiac's U.S. product line with a rebadged rear-drive Australian sedan.

The Holden Commodore SS will be called the Pontiac G8 and priced around $25,000, according to the Herald Sun in Melbourne, Australia.

While GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz did not confirm the plan, he told the newspaper, "It's such a logical thing to do. The volume range is 30,000 to 50,000. It depends on how we price it." He refused to say when shipments might begin.

Lutz said details would be revealed next month.

"We have yet to make an official announcement," Lutz said. "Much more will be revealed at the Chicago show."

This will be GM's second try at selling a rebadged Holden model as a Pontiac in the United States. The Holden Monaro was marketed as the Pontiac GTO for the 2004 to 2006 model years. Sales did not live up to expectations.
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