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FOR RELEASE: 2004-07-12

Holden Reveals Advanced, All-New Alloytec V6 Engine

Holden has revealed details of the advanced Global V6 engine that will provide the high-tech heartbeat for future generations of its Australian-built vehicles.

The all-new, high feature Alloytec V6 is being produced at Holden's Global V6 engine plant in Port Melbourne, Victoria. It will be introduced next month with the updated VZ Holden Calais, Commodore and WL Caprice and Statesman models, replacing the ECOTEC V6 engine that powers the current model series.

The new Alloytec V6-powered Commodores will be the most refined and powerful Holden has yet produced and will introduce a new standard of active safety performance.

Given five years of strategic development, the manufacturing of global variants for markets around the world, the development of Holden's own Alloytec variant and the commissioning of a $400 million engine plant, the Global V6 engineering and manufacturing project is the most significant engine program ever undertaken by an Australian vehicle manufacturer.

Holden's Executive Director, Engineering, Tony Hyde, said the introduction of a new six-cylinder engine to form the hub of the Holden range was a significant step forward which would benefit the company and its customers. It provided further confirmation of Holden's coming of age as an internationally competitive carmaker and would be in every sense a motivating force behind its continuing success in domestic and export markets.

"The fact that Holden was chosen by GM to produce this engine and included as an integral partner in its development from the outset five years ago shows the confidence GM places in our powertrain expertise here in Australia," Mr Hyde said. "Our contributions to the Global V6 program have emphasised our engineering and manufacturing flexibility and positioned us to become further involved in future GM powertrain strategies in the Asia Pacific region and increasingly, around the world.

"Closer to home, Alloytec signals the start of a new V6 performance era for Holden. It will certainly help to ensure that Commodore retains its crown as Australia's most popular car for some time to come," Mr Hyde concluded.

Performance and Refinement
Holden's Alloytec engine is a lightweight V6 of all-aluminium construction and 3.6 litre displacement. It belongs to a 'clean sheet' new family of GM Global V6 engines that was developed as part of a new global powertrain strategy based around modular design and flexible use.

These Global V6 engines incorporate state-of-the-art features and technology and deliver premium performance characteristics. They also set evolutionary benchmarks for GM in terms of efficiency, durability and operating refinement.

There are two Alloytec engine variants - Alloytec and Alloytec 190. They deliver more peak power and considerably more torque across the rev range than the current 3.8 litre ECOTEC V6 while maintaining a similar level of fuel economy and producing fewer emissions.

Alloytec produces 175kW of power at 6,000rpm and 320Nm of torque at just 2,800rpm - which equates to 14 per cent more power and five per cent more torque than the outgoing 152kW ECOTEC V6.

Drivers who appreciate Holden's characteristically 'torquey' launch feel will find that this responsiveness comes in fuller, smoother measure right across the rev range. Ninety per cent of engine torque is available between 1630 and 5460 rpm, a performance attribute normally associated with larger displacement V8 engines.

The sports performance Alloytec 190 produces 190kW of power at 6500 rpm and 340Nm of torque at 3200rpm. Ninety per cent of torque is produced between 1570 and 5870 rpm - which is a 59 per cent wider rev range than the previous 171kW Supercharged V6 performance engine. It benefits from the application of advanced, continuously variable cam phasing and variable intake manifold technology, among other highly developed features.

New 5-speed Auto and 6-speed Manual Transmissions Matching Holden's new Global V6 engines is a broader range of powertrain combinations. The Alloytec 190 is teamed with either a world-class new five-speed automatic transmission with 'Active Select' or a premium application six speed manual transmission. The Alloytec is mated to a comprehensively upgraded and improved version of Holden's current four-speed automatic transmission.

Feature Highlights
The Alloytec V6 engines operate with advanced double overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder. A combination of high feature technologies allows them to extract more power from less fuel, with emissions levels well within the latest Euro 2 standard.

Electronically controlled and hydraulically actuated, continuously variable cam phasing brings outstanding camshaft operational flexibility, permitting variability of valve timing to maximise performance, fuel economy and emissions control. For increased efficiency, the Alloytec 190 is equipped with variable cam phasing on exhaust as well as inlet camshafts, which is a GM engine 'first'.

A dual stage variable intake manifold, specified on the Alloytec 190, facilitates greater torque at low to medium engine speeds and increases power at high speed.

Performance consistency is improved by extremely fast and efficient data flow to engine management systems. A micro-hybrid design 32-bit capacity engine control unit, one of the most powerful currently available for automotive use, dictates every aspect of engine operation from individual cylinder-adaptive knock control sensing to the torque-based engine control.

Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) effectively coordinates drivers' intentions with the actions of various powertrain control components. By eliminating the mechanical connection between accelerator pedal and engine, ETC allows more precise throttle control. In addition, engine output for the driver-determined pedal position is managed by a new-generation torque-based engine strategy.

Alloytec also brings the extra efficiency of coil-on-plug ignition, which helps to lower emissions and increases dependability. Long-life new exhaust systems for Alloytec and Alloytec 190 have cast iron manifolds for low-noise operation and dual close-coupled catalytic converters to reduce fuel use and emissions.

Among other key contributors to superior Alloytec V6 performance and durability are a precision sand-cast alloy cylinder block (almost 10kg lighter than the ECOTEC block), a heavy duty micro-alloy forged steel crankshaft, piston-cooling oil jets, latest technology three-chain cam drive and coolant loss protection software.

An intense focus on reducing noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) during development of the Global V6 engine is reflected in appreciably smoother all-round operating refinement compared with the ECOTEC V6.

Holden's Role In Alloytec V6 Development
The new Global V6 engine family was created by GM to fulfil its strategy to build a new generation of sophisticated, high-feature six-cylinder engines for worldwide application in premium and high-performance vehicles. One of the prime objectives was to create a highly flexible platform from which a matrix of cost-effective variants could be developed.

From the program's inception in 1999, teams of Holden product and manufacturing engineers worked as part of a multi-national GM team to develop the Global V6. They contributed a wealth of rear wheel drive powertrain experience to make certain that everything required for the Australian Alloytec variant was included in the initial charter.

Even with the assistance of cutting edge computer-aided analysis, the unique development and localisation of the Alloytec V6 was a demanding assignment. It took place on both sides of the Pacific and consumed more than 200,000 staff hours and 143 experimental engines and required 60 specific tests.

Because the Alloytec engine design includes so many high tech features, its electronic engine and transmission control systems need to be equally advanced. The critical task of calibrating Alloytec engine software and all its technologies for local conditions and driving

patterns took two years and the talents of 15 specialist Holden engineers. More than 7000 variables were required for the calibration - five times more than ECOTEC.

The program involved frequent test trips to extreme climate and altitude locations in Australia, Europe and the USA as well as hundreds of thousands of proving ground kilometres and a rigorous emissions testing schedule.

Global V6, Local Production
Holden is a producer as well as a major end user of GM Global V6 engines. Its $400 million Port Melbourne V6 plant, which began building export engines last year, is currently one of only two such facilities in the world with plans for a third.

Like all members of the Global V6 family, Alloytec is designed for manufacture in an environment that promotes high levels of quality and tolerance control.

Holden's Global V6 plant represents GM's largest single investment in Australia in more than 20 years. It is now delivering fully locally produced six-cylinder Holden engines for the first time since 1986. Production of the first Global V6 engines, bound for GM de Mexico, began in November 2003 and the first 'domestic' Holden Alloytec V6 came off the line in June 2004.

Annual Alloytec V6 production is expected to top 175,000 units next year. The new engine will replace the ECOTEC and Supercharged V6 across the Holden V-car range of passenger and light commercial vehicles and W-car long wheelbase models as they are introduced. It will also power Holden's six-cylinder export vehicle variants. The Port Melbourne Global V6 plant has the capacity to generate up to 900 engines a day, or 240,000 a year.

56 Years Of The Holden Six
Full-scale manufacture of the first Holden six began in 1948. The 2.15 litre, 45kW 'grey' engine, named for the colour of its painted block, powered the original 48-215 Holden. Noted for its willing performance, high cruising speed, economy and durability, the overhead valve grey engine continued, with minor engineering changes, to power successive Holden models through the 1950s and early 60s.

In 1963, a new Holden engine plant began producing more powerful six cylinder 'red' engines. They were the 2.45 litre '149' and the 2.95 litre six cylinder '179', introduced with the EH model. Over their long life, the red engines underwent numerous re-engineering programs to improve performance and fuel efficiency.

With the 1980 VC model Commodore came a new range of six cylinder engines painted GM blue. They were up to 25 per cent more powerful and 15 per cent more fuel efficient than their predecessors. Features (2.85 and 3.3 litre) included a new 12-port head, new manifolding, a two-barrel carburettor and electronic ignition. In 1984, a 3.3 litre EFI engine was introduced with VK Commodore. Also available was a 3.3 litre six with electronic spark timing and air injection. Production of the 'blue' six-cylinder engines ceased in 1986 with the introduction of the VL Commodore, powered by a Nissan-sourced 3.0 litre unit.

Holden chose a US-designed Buick V6 for the all-new VN Commodore and local assembly began in 1988. The 3.8 litre, 127kW, EFI V6 was modified to suit Holden requirements, a process which included fitment of an Australian-developed electronic engine management system.

In 1995, a $9 million investment saw the original unit replaced by a radically revised second generation ECOTEC V6. Utilising low friction technology for improved performance, it was smaller, lighter and more fuel efficient. Assembly of a 165kW Supercharged V6 variant commenced in 1996 and for the introduction of the Commodore VT in 1997 it was modified to produce 171kW of power. With the VX Commodore debut in August 2000, V6 engine power was increased and fuel economy further improved. The ECOTEC V6 has benefited through the years from a series of refinements aimed at performance, economy and exhaust emissions.

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