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More than a concept: Holden proudly claims the Cross8 is a driveable prototype rather than just a concept.

The Cross8 is the first of a new all-wheel drive range due from Holden in 2003

27 Feb 2002

HOLDEN has revealed the first in a new generation of all-wheel drive vehicles this morning at the Melbourne motor show.

Called the Cross8, it is based on the long-wheelbase Commodore platform already used for the Ute and luxury models, has a front-end similar to the Monaro, an elongated four-door body and a tray with a removeable lid reminiscent of last year's Utester concept.

Powered by a 225kW, 5.7-litre Gen III V8 engine, Holden is stressing this is a fully driveable prototype rather than a concept display car.

"As the name implies, this is a cross-over car - a four-door, all-wheel drive which can accommodate five people in sedan comfort, carry a light-duty load and deliver trademark V8 performance," Holden chairman and managing director Peter Hanenberger said.

"With its all-wheel driveability, the Cross8 will also handle a wide range of surface and off-road conditions with ease. It previews a new model range that Holden will be releasing early next year - and I can tell you that the all-wheel drive factor is a forerunner of more good things to come.

"The Cross8 provides further proof of Holden's ability to anticipate trends and transform concept cars into production vehicles much faster and more cost-effectively than ever before." While Holden will not release feature and specification details until production versions of the Cross8 make their debut in 2003, the company says the prototype's styling does indicate directional design themes.

Being a show car, the Cross8 has been dressed up for the occasion, with fender flares over 18-inch alloy wheels, hood and fender vents, integrated sports bar and a streamlined remote-release decklid.

The exterior is finished in Turbine Grey metallic with accent details in satin black, and the interior has the usual levels of leather, silver accents and brushed alloy.

The Cross8's 225kW V8 engine is matched to a four-speed automatic transmission mated to an all-wheel drive system comprising front, rear and centre open differentials. ABS and traction control add further control to the equation.

Holden says the Cross8 made the transition from computer screen to reality with the aid of advanced, simultaneous math-based process technology that validates key design and development phases "virtually", giving substantial reductions in turn-around times.

The motor show season is coming. For an in-depth wrap-up of the Melbourne and Geneva shows in March month subscribe to automotive e-news now. Just go to www.mellor.net and follow the e-news prompts.

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