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First look: Holden on an Adventra

Leading the way: The Adventra is Holden's first all-wheel drive production vehicle.

Look out for Holden’s cross-over wagon, coming late this year

22 Jul 2003

HOLDEN has released these first official images of its new Commodore-based cross-over wagon and confirmed its name as Adventra.

It is due to go on sale early in the last quarter of 2003, beating Ford’s Territory cross-over to market by as much as nine months.

Holden has released limited information and two front three-quarter photographs of the wagon, only confirming it will have permanent all-wheel drive underpinnings and be powered exclusively by the Gen III 5.7-litre V8.

The Adventra will not gain V6 power until the new HFV6 engine becomes available from the new Fishermens Bend engine plant late next year.

And the name? Apparently it is a word created by Holden’s marketing department and is meant to mean freedom or a special adventure.

The Adventra is a very significant car for Holden because it is its first all-wheel drive production vehicle, soon to be followed by a four-wheel drive crew-cab called Crewman (on sale as a two-wheel drive in September). An HSV version will be called Avalanche.

It is anticipated all-wheel drive will soon spread beyond cross-over applications and be employed on Holden and HSV passenger cars.

The next generation Holden rear-wheel drive platform due to debut around mid-decade under the VE Commodore is engineered for all-wheel capability.

As a starting point, Adventra is very close to its Commodore wagon base externally, with only its jacked-up ride height and cladding fundamental changes from the donor car.

That contrasts with Ford’s Territory which shares some components with Falcon but has a significant degree of mechanical uniqueness and a bespoke 4WD-type wagon body.

Ford has spent $500 million on Territory while Holden’s investment in Adventra is said to be about $200 million.

Holden believes it can sell between 2500 and 3000 Adventras in the last quarter of 2003, despite the lack of a V6 option.

In an exclusive interview with GoAuto this week, Holden boss Peter Hanenberger dropped a broad hint that pricing of Adventra would be one of its key advantages, despite being V8 only and quite a high specification.

“You will be surprised,” he said. “I think it is really affordable. I think that is one of the things that will be one of the big surprises.

“I’m not giving you any pricing, but the volume will be as good as what we can build until we get the six-cylinder going next year … I personally think that it will be a very big success.

“I believe once we got the car out with you guys (the media) and the retailers and people driving this thing, I think it will be the talk of the town and a real chance to get people out of the big tractors.” Mr Hanenberger said the Adventra’s driveability would be one of its key assets over traditional 4WDs.

“It is one of a kind,” he said. “I don’t think anything on the market offers the luxury of that car and the convenience.

“You can go to really rough stuff on Flinders Ranges roads or out in Coober Pedy, and just be like in your normal car down the highway in Victoria.

“And then of course we have beautiful V8 power and on top of that beautiful fuel economy, so it all comes together.” But Mr Hanenberger backed away from claims made late last year that the Adventra’s styling would be significantly different to the traditional Commodore rear-wheel drive wagon.

He told GoAuto last December: “It will be a very outstanding difference … I would be disappointed if you said it looks like a Commodore wagon”.

Reminded of those comments this week, he was rather less bullish: “You might have too many expectations,” he said.

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