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Auto-only V8 duo for Holden's Adventra

Through the looking glass: All Adventras will feature as standard an independently opening rear window.

More details are revealed of Holden's Adventra all-wheel drive crossover

29 Aug 2003

JUST days before Holden releases details of its Cross Trac four-wheel drivetrain, three weeks before we drive it and almost two months before it is launched publicly at the Sydney motor show, GoAuto can reveal more details of Holden’s Commodore wagon-based Adventra all-wheel drive cross-over.

Two auto-only V8 Adventra variants will be launched in October, a month before the same locally-developed, full-time all-wheel drive system going on sale underneath a 4WD Crewman, dubbed Cross8.

Least expensive will be the entry level, Berlina-specification Adventra LS8, powered by a 235kW 5.7-litre Gen III engine and priced around $55,000. Holden’s flagship Adventra will be the Calais-specification LX8, featuring full leather trim and priced around $65,000.

HFV6 versions will not come on stream until late next year, while HSV versions are tipped to be named Avalanche and will be differentiated by body-coloured bumpers, wheelarches and other side cladding instead of Adventra’s dark grey plastics.

As with the Ford Territory, due on sale in June, 2004, third row seating will be optional, and all Adventras will feature as standard an independently opening rear window.

GoAuto sources that have sat in it claim Adventra features only marginally increased ride height and therefore seating, and very little interior differentiation from their respective Commodore wagon donor vehicles. But Adventra will feature longitudinal and lateral incline gauges.

Expect Adventra’s kerb weight to increase over regular Commodore wagons by about 200kg to around 1900kg, while performance of the even heavier Cross8 dual-cab, due on sale in November, is likely to be further blunted by its slightly less powerful 225kW V8.

Holden’s AWD strategy takes shape

By TERRY MARTINDESPITE negotiating abroad for small, medium and full-sized four-wheel drive wagons, Holden masterminds are working towards achieving 30,000 annual sales of its own Australian-built all-wheel drive cars well before the decade is out.

How will it get there?Holden’s Cross Trac full-time four-wheel drive system makes its debut on the Adventra station wagon in October, following in November with the Crewman Cross8.

Until the arrival of the all-new HFV6 engine late in 2004, Cross Trac is being restricted to a 5.7-litre V8 engine mated to a four-speed automatic.

But then cometh the great flood.

We’ll see Cross Trac on V6-powered versions of Adventra, Crewman, One Tonner and Ute – all in automatic form - and the light commercials also with manual transmission.

Holden has also confirmed that at least one passenger car will gain Cross Trac on its current V-car platform – perhaps a limited-edition AWD Monaro coupe, a swansong for two-door coupe before being retired, while production centres on the new generation VE Commodore sedan, wagon and cross-over variants in 2005/6.

Holden Special Vehicles will do something similar and is believed to be showing its hand with a concept car at the Sydney motor show in October. While the performance arm has shelved a rear-drive One Tonner for the time being, HSV is also certain to sell AWD versions of both Adventra and Crewman. Both could be sold under the Avalanche model name.

Resting on an-all new modular platform, VE Commodore will herald a range of AWD passenger cars in mainstream, performance and cross-over divisions.

A higher-roofed Adventra, featuring more flexible seating arrangements, to be sold alongside the current estate-based vehicle, is expected to be one of the first buds from this new platform.

"I think there’s probably room for both and whoever can tackle that problem of satisfying both markets will turn out to be the winner," said Holden executive director engineering and design, Tony Hyde.

Later in the decade, other niche vehicles – a Commodore-based hatchback, a smaller sedan, a sports estate and new generation coupe, for example – will materialise and all-wheel drive will figure in most, if not all.

Amid all this, and depending on whether enough people want it, the AWD range will be bolstered with a manual V8 and manual/auto diesel engine. It is known that Holden is currently evaluating several oil burners, although Mr Hyde said we would not see such an engine in production before 2007.

AWD LPG? There’s no reason to think that won’t happen, too.

"You have to pick and choose where you want to focus your efforts and where you’ll get the best market return and where you’ll satisfy the most customers," Mr Hyde said. "And that’s really what determines how many variants you do in the end as opposed to … what the platform can deliver."Still, nothing less than 30,000 per annum will do. And with all this lot arriving this decade, there is no reason to think Holden won’t reach that target.

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